June 13, 2012
For immediate release

Sacramento Running Association standout finds success dropping down in distance

Folsom’s Kevin Pool savored the marathon’s highs and lows in 2011, setting a series of personal bests but winding up 22 seconds shy of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

So the Sacramento Running Association event manager opted to focus on shorter distances this year, a strategy that takes him to Duluth, Minn. for Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships.

While his 2011 marathon exploits were impressive – 2:23:30 at Boston, 2:19:52 in Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego, 2:19:34 at Twin Cities and a 2:19:22 heartbreaker in Philadelphia that just missed qualifying for the Olympic Trials – Pool’s philosophy for 2012 heads in a different direction.

Shorter is better.

Pool has enjoyed success in shorter races this year, running a personal-best 29:33.93 for 10,000 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays and winning the American River Parkway Half Marathon in 1:09:01.

Ask the 29-year-old Pool about preparing for the 13.1-mile distance instead of the 26.2-mile test and he sounds energized.

“I would say the training for the half is more manageable,” he said. “It seems like you can feel pretty good day-to-day.

“When you’re training for a marathon you might have to slug through some stuff. A little bit shorter and you don’t have to deal with that.”

Pool finished 24th in the USA Half Marathon Championships last year with a personal-best 1:06:30 effort, nine seconds slower than his personal best.

This year, he hopes a good training cycle pays dividends on race day.

“I’ve been trying to do a lot more work around 5-minute pace, basically my goal for the half marathon,” Pool said. “I’m feeling more and more comfortable.

“It’s going to be a really great race … I have a goal time in mind but I also realize there’s variables you can’t control.”

Pool, an NCAA Division III All-American at Allegheny College, is taking supplements to overcome an iron deficiency that slowed him early in 2012.

He said he realized something was wrong during the USA 15k Championships on March 10 in Jacksonville, Fla.

“The way I felt during that race was unlike anything I’d felt before,” said Pool, who finished 34th in 48:59. “My mind was telling me one thing and my body was telling me the opposite.”

Pool plans to return to the marathon at some point in the near future.

“I’ve kind of taken a hiatus from the marathon,” he said. “When I go back to it, I think there will be a little more motivation.”

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.

SRA events include the California International Marathon, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Dec. 2. More than 3,000 runners have already registered for the race.

Other SRA events include the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon, The Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run.

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