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Spectator’s guide to Sunday’s California International Marathon

Runners prepare for the start of the 2014 California International Marathon on Sunday morning.
Runners prepare for the start of the 2014 California International Marathon on Sunday morning. Sacramento Bee

More people watch the California International Marathon every year than run the 26.2-mile event. For those supportive souls who stand roadside, coffee in hand, here’s a marathon rundown:

▪  Race time: 7 a.m. Sunday, starting at Folsom Dam, finishing at the Capitol. A field of 9,000 runners will attempt the marathon, 4,000 runners will participate in the relay.

▪  Favorites to win: In the women’s race, Renee Baillie of Bend, Ore., hopes to break the course record, set in 1999, of 2 hours, 29 minutes, 21 seconds. The men’s record, set in 1993, is 2:10:27. Some of the fastest in the field are Kenyan Julius Koskei and Ethiopian Tesfaye Alemayehu.

▪  Weather: Cool, dry morning with temperatures in the 50s.

▪  Closures: Numerous road closures will be in place. Roads toward the end of the course are closed longer than the streets near the start.

▪  Best spots to watch:

1. Mile 6, as course turns from Oak Avenue to Fair Oaks Boulevard. Always a good crowd because it is the location for the first relay exchange.

2. Mile 10, in Fair Oaks Village. Usually there’s a band and some cheerleaders. Small-town feel, complete with chickens crossing the road in front of runners. Good place to get coffee.

3. Mile 16.5 near Bella Bru Café and Willie’s Burgers at Arden Way and Fair Oaks Boulevard. Wide-open spot to watch the runners go by.

4. Mile 20, around Loehmann’s Plaza, 2555 Fair Oaks Blvd. The wall, where even the most seasoned runner can run out of fuel, crops up at this point. Watch runners smash through the wall or bend over in agony as they gamely move toward the finish 6 miles away.

5. Finish area around Eighth, Ninth, 10th streets and Capitol Mall. The first runners should finish around 9:10 a.m. Food trucks will be stationed nearby.

“We usually have 50,000 spectators lining the course,” said CIM spokesman John Schumacher. “Runners have said in the past how the crowd does make a difference.”

Find more information at http://runcim.org.

Here’s a look at last year’s race.

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

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