2004 Los Angeles Marathon

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Report by: Eric Barron

The good news is that records were broken at the 2004 Los Angeles Marathon. The bad news is that those records were Highest Ratio Of Water Poured Over Head To Water Poured In Mouth and Most Runners In The Medical Tent. All other records, being made of vinyl, melted.

TCLA had a low turnout this year, and this may reflect the good judgment of those in the club, for Sunday was not a good day to run 26.2 miles in downtown Los Angeles. With an 87-degree high, just two degrees shy of the record for the date set ninety years ago, the day should have belonged to swimmers, not runners. If you did decide to line up for this race, you had best have figured out that shooting for a time fifteen minutes to an hour slower than your goal pace was the way to run. Otherwise, you more likely than not ended up like those melting lp's.

Despite the climate challenge, TCLA did have some nice performances, and the first was turned in by its first finisher, Jose Castillo. Jose seems to thrive in difficult conditions, and to almost break three hours in that heat (and actually look fresh in the finish area) is quite an accomplishment. Also looking relatively at ease, Dean Goodman missed a p.r. by a few minutes, but he would have easily run one on a cooler day. Gary McArdle, David Kent, and Eirik Haenschke started out as if it was a cooler day, but they held on fairly bravely once the pain set in.

Mark Harris looked surprisingly fresh post-race, or maybe he was just putting on a good show for his family cheering section. Just over a minute behind him, Philip Steinman ran faster than he was expecting. Masami Fukuhara suffered significantly from the heat, but still cracked the four-hour mark.

Back on the positive side, Roberta Silverman and Marie Dray Steinman both ran strong times. Peter Keramidas summed the race up well when he commented, " I have never been so happy to finish a race with such a bad time." And after him, I suspect Terry Power, Sharon Yamato, Tayo Balogun, and Susan Rendell wished that they had never started the race. Still, they all trained hard and know that if they could do it for this one, they can do it again on a day that will pay off.

Tow Trucks and Fans: Amy Aukstikalnis, Brian Bartholomew, Ogie Espinosa, Brian Panosian, Todd Patterson, Peggy Sauve-Enriquez, Clarence Smith, Jim Spear, Jonathan Stein, Jeff & Kim Brettler, and Wenise Wong

Average Finishing Time: 4:8:7.5
Averge Per Mile Pace: 9:27.8
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