CLOVIS, Calif. (KGPE) – The two-city marathon returned on Sunday. Boston’s qualifying race was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of runners of all ages and skill levels rode Clovis and Fresno for several hours.
For Oscar Perez, it was for the books.
“I came in second by hundredths of a second,” he explained.
Perez said he completed the 26-mile course in two and a half hours, adding that Sunday’s event was his first full marathon.
“I didn’t know how I would do after mile 22, that’s where a lot of runners struggle,” he said, but in the end his 70 mile a week training helped him.
“We had 3,500 runners who came out today and ran distances ranging from 5 km to a full marathon,” said Aaron Samansky, owner of Fleet Feet.
The event organizer said he has worked hard over the past few months to make sure things go smoothly.
“A lot of us have been here since 3 a.m. so it takes a lot to get settled.”
It also took some runners a long time to get to Clovis Community College on Sunday morning.
“The training was going well and then unfortunately I had the covid two weeks ago so I didn’t run for two weeks,” said one runner.
Others say the sky recently filled with smoke from the fires has also made training difficult.
The runners, however, found a way through.
“The course was great thanks to the people who attended, the volunteers,” said Cheryl Spano of Three Rivers. “There’s nothing quite like feeling burnt out and not feeling like you’re going to get there, and someone saying ‘You’re doing really well.'”
Spano said the signs were particularly helpful.
“I’ve read so many that made me crack, like ‘Your grandmother just passed you’ or ‘You run better than the government.’
Spano encourages others to take the first step and challenge themselves in a marathon.
“You can start with a 5k, you still get all the kudos, and then work it out yourself. And a lot of people just walk a marathon, and you did it anyway. “
“I take my hat off to people, it’s very impressive to see the fast athletes finishing in front. But it’s very inspiring to see people coming in later, you know their persistence is amazing, ”Samansky said.