Local runners fare well in California International Marathon

In training to run her first marathon, Davis High School and UC Davis alum Kaitlin Gregg Goodman said she found the difficulty started increasing around the 17-to-19 mile range.

When she actually hit the course for the California International Marathon on Sunday, Goodman said, “It got hard at 14.”

“And I never really felt good,” Goodman added. “They tell you, ‘Oh, you’re going to feel awesome for the first half.’ They lied.”

Still, the 27-year-old Davis native was all smiles after crossing the finish line near the State Capitol on Sunday morning. Her time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 29 seconds, was the ninth-fastest in the women’s field and well under the U.S. Olympic Trials “B” standard of 2:43:00, qualifying her for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

In all, 25 women completed Sunday’s CIM under the Trials “B” standard time, while 17 men beat the men’s “B” standard of 2 hours, 18 minutes. Not all of those athletes are American; however, all U.S. runners who met the “B” standard qualified for the Trials, which are scheduled for February 2016 in Los Angeles.

U.S. runners who hit the “B” standard at CIM earned a bonus of $1,000. The event also offered a $2,500 bonus for runners who met the Trials “A” standard – 2:15:00 for men and 2:37:00 for women. Five U.S. women, led by third-place finisher Kristen Zaitz, cracked the “A” standard Sunday, and no U.S. men.

Goodman, who barely missed a trip to the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters, said she stopped thinking about the “A” standard early on.

“There was a time there I was like, ‘Let’s just get across the finish line,’” she admitted.

But she was buoyed by a strong spectator presence, especially in the final miles through downtown Sacramento.

“I’m so happy to do it here,” Goodman, who now lives in Providence, R.I., said of hitting the Trials standard near where she grew up. “It wouldn’t mean as much to do it in New York or Chicago. Everyone I know is here at the finish. It’s so cool.”

Encore, encore – In 1993, Sacramento’s Rich Hanna ran the CIM in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 51 seconds, still among the fastest times by a local in the event’s 32-year history. Sunday, Hanna returned to take aim at the course record for the men’s 50-54 age division.

Hanna finished in 2:36:31, beating the previous mark of 2:37:39 set by Herb Phillips in 1993. The course record for runners 50 and over is 2:36:18, set by Brian Pilcher in 2011.

“It’s been in the books a long time,” Hanna said of the age 50-to-54 record. “It’s about time it went down.”

Hanna said he initially planned to run with a pace group but couldn’t find the group at the starting line. So he “keyed off a few other guys and just tried to hold it together those last couple miles.”

“I haven’t run this in 20 years,” Hanna said. “And (running) 2:21, 20 years ago, was easier than this.”

Blind championships – Jason Romero, 44, of Denver, Colo., was the first visually impaired runner to cross the finish line in 2 hours, 51 minutes, 16 seconds. Sunday’s CIM doubled as the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes National Marathon Championship.

Adrian Broca, of Los Angeles, finished second in the visually impaired division with a time of 2:55:47, and Matthew Rodjom, of Fairfax, Va., finished third in 3:04:21.

Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.