March 2, 2012
For immediate release

Turlock runner has fond memories of success in SRA’s California International Marathon

Ask Miguel Nuci what he’s most proud of in his running career and he zeroes in on
the California International Marathon.

The 32-year-old runner from Turlock finished third in the CIM in 2005 (2:20:53) and 2006 (2:15:34) and was sixth in 2008 (2:20:18). His 2006 effort marked a personal best in a memorable race that featured Jonathan Ndambuki edging Kassahun Kabiso by a single step.

Nuci, two minutes off the lead at the halfway point, finished just 36 seconds behind all that drama.

“That’s what made it so special,” Nuci said of his second-half surge. “I’ve run it (CIM) so many times. I know how to run it.”

Given his success in the CIM, founded and organized by the Sacramento Running Association, Nuci’s recent decision to join the SRA’s Elite Team seemed like a natural.

“It sounds good,” he said. “I figured it would be a good fit.”

Nuci said he’s always felt right at home in the CIM, with a slightly downhill course, an early December date and a low-key feel contributing to his comfort.

“I love that race,” he said. “Everything is perfect: the weather, the course, some good hills in the first half. It’s got the atmosphere … It’s not overwhelming, not too big. I can focus.

“I’ve always had success in that ever since I started running it … I think six times. Every time I run that course I always have a good race. It’s a race where I can still run a PR.”

Nuci has enjoyed success elsewhere, too. He finished 15th in the Boston Marathon in 2007 (2:20:18), with only one American finishing ahead of him.

“I do feel some pride,” he said of that effort.

Nuci took a shot at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston last month but didn’t finish because of a hip flexor.

“It was just overuse, fatigue,” he said.

Nuci, a former standout at Cal State Stanislaus, also ran hurt in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials after a fluke injury.

As he waited for an elevator at his New York City hotel the night before the race, Nuci decided to take the stairs. He skipped over the first step and then felt something in his right knee.

He ran through pain the next day to finish 31st in 2:18:47.

“It was very unfortunate,” Nuci said. “I was probably 95 percent healthy going into the Trials. I was going to a high floor for a technical meeting. There were people waiting in the elevator. I just didn’t want to wait.

“I usually won’t do the stairs.”

Nuci took a month off after the 2012 Trials and is just now building a mileage base for the upcoming season. He’s also focused on strengthening his core to prevent injuries.

“One of the big things is I was focusing on trying to get fast,” Nuci said. “Now I see I can not get fast if I don’t have a strong core … I pretty much have a good idea of what my body needs, what has worked and not worked.”

Nuci, who loves cooking and hanging out with family, has retired twice but keeps returning to running. His 2012 goals include racing well in a few half marathons and, of course, being ready for another strong performance in the CIM.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Sacramento Running Association events include the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 1, the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon on October 28, the 30th annual California International Marathon on December 2 and the recently concluded Super Bowl Sunday 10K Run.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.