Results of 5th Annual Camarillo Marathon on Sunday, January 4th

The 5th Annual Camarillo Marathon took place last Sunday. This flat, two loop course the first Sunday of the year had a bit of a small turnout, but between the full and half marathon, 10K and 5K, close to 500 people turned out this cool morning.

You don't see this too often, but the winning time was just over 3 hours (and 37 seconds). 2nd and 3rd place overall came in at 3:04 and 3:07 for the men. The top 3 women finished in 3:26, 3:29 and 3:30.

It's not like a sub-3 hour performance on this course is not possible. Last year's overall winner was a 27 year old woman in 2:52, some 15 minutes faster than the 2nd place overall finisher, a male. The race was in hot, windy conditions.

113 folks completed this year's marathon, up from 79 in the previous year.

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Ran Half of the Camarillo Marathon This Past Sunday at a Training Run

On December 28th I ran one of my longest training runs of the year, at 14 miles. Then, having not partied on New Year's Eve, decided to do a 2 hour run up to Boney Peak and back.

The next few days my quads and calves were sore, but that didn't stop me from looking at the CVG Upcoming Races listing and thinking, why not sign up for the Camarillo Marathon this Sunday and use it as a training run. So, I signed up Thursday night and picked up my bib number on Saturday. My legs were still sore on Saturday.

Some local runners have bad memories from the well-publicized issues at the inaugural Camarillo Marathon in 2010, when there were issues with course logistics. I'm very pleased to say that the race was very well organized on Sunday. The race started at 7am and is a double-loop course now, with plenty of water/Gatorade stops and a reasonable number of porta-johns along the course. They did a nice job and I would recommend this course as a flat, very low key alternative to the larger courses. The beauty of race like this is that you can wake up not so early, drive over, park, run, finish and be home shortly thereafter.

In any case, I opted not to run two loops on Sunday. The legs were still a bit shot so I decided to run a just over 7 minute pace to not overexert myself. It was yet another day of sun and wind. It didn't get overly hot (mid to high 60s, maybe low 70s later on), but the Santa Anas were out in force and it was quite dry. It was one of those days where I drank at every single water stop but there was no sweat on my shirt to speak of as the wind immediately dried it up.

Had my only issue been sore legs, I might have continued to run the full 26.2. But of all things, my stomach wasn't feeling up to the task on Sunday. My fate was decided at a pit stop around mile 11, when I said to myself "it ain't worth it." Adding to my discomfort was the beginnings of chafing in the back armpit area (I wore a sleeved shirt, not a singlet, and the wind was wreaking some havoc). Having signed up not to race, but to train, I opted to keep it positive at the halfway point, bail out and head back home to hang with the kids. I paced myself to a 1:32ish 13.1 miles. Slow for me, but purposeful. I'm still a bit sore today.

The overall winner was 27 year old Amanda Phillips of Roseburg (I'm assuing Oregon), who blew away the entire field, women and men alike, in 2 hours, 52 minutes. I saw her on the first lap turnaround and she looked really smooth. The 2nd and 3rd place finishers were men who came in around 3:06 and 3:07. The race had only 122 finishers but I would run it again.

New Year, Training, The Flu and The Camarillo Marathon

After some low key time over the holidays, I had a couple decent weekends of running in the new year. Unfortunately, it is 2 steps forward, 1 step back for me as I enter my 4th day of battling/recovering from a nasty flu. Sadly, the day I planned to get my flu shot the CVS store was out. Four days later it was back, but I got busy and didn't make it over there. A week passes by and I planned NEXT DAY to get my vaccination, but somehow I got nailed by it. I believe the culprit was at work. Arrghh.

The 3rd Camarillo Marathon took place on Sunday, January 6th. The Camarillo Marathon is currently the only marathon that is run entirely within Ventura County. The inaugural Camarillo Marathon in October 2010 had some serious shortcomings but over the last several years the race director seems determined to fix the issues.

This year the race was changed to a flat, 2 loop course, which makes logistics a lot easier for things like porta-potties, water stops, etc. According to, there were only 94 finishers at this year's race, including 64 men and 30 women. That's about as small as they get. But the winning time of 2:40 by 42 year old Van McCarty was pretty impressive, especially considering he is a master's runner running completely alone, his nearest competitor 13 minutes behind at the finish. This was no fluke for Van, having won the much larger San Luis Obispo Marathon last April in 2:38.

Back to Camarillo, there were also 203 finishers in the half marathon and 72 in the 5K. The 96 marathon finishers oddly was exactly the same number that finished the 2012 event, although the average finishing time dropped from 4:44 to 4:27. That's a step in the right direction.

The 4th Annual Camarillo Marathon is planned for January 5, 2014.

Time, Training and Tenaciousness Tames the Training Tiger

This past Saturday I ran a hilly 11 miles and change in 1 hour, 24 minutes. This was my longest run since my first detached retina surgery on September 15th. A comeback milestone while I decide if I will run the Boston Marathon in April.

What was most satisfying about this run is that it felt effortless. The weather was agreeable as I stepped out the door around 8 a.m. Not particularly prepared for a longish run, I had a few glasses off sweet tea and brought no liquid with me. But I was perfectly fine.

Dogged by tight hamstrings since and sluggishness since getting back into running 2 month ago, as has been the case in previous layoffs, suddenly, out of the blue, my body kicked back into gear. No explanation, no rhyme or reason.

But maybe there are some reasons for this. Perhaps it is my knowledge and experience from nearly 19 years of running that it was only a matter of time. The passage of time, the consistency of my training and the tenaciousness in my mind that I would keep the faith in my comeback.

As with anything in life, success is not easy to achieve. It takes effort.

In any case, the next day, Sunday (yesterday), was the 2nd Annual Camarillo Marathon. The first running of the event on October 3, 2010 was dogged with problems, including a lack of fluids and port-a-johns on the course. The 2nd annual event was originally planned for last October but scheduling issues ensued. The marathon race results this year showed 96 finishers; about a 40% drop from the prior year. That didn't stop 27 year old Peter Ellis of Issaquah, Washington from blowing away the field in 2 hours, 45 minutes, a full half an hour before the next finisher.

Next year's Camarillo Marathon is planned for January 6, 2013. Something to consider, if you like flat, low key marathons.