SLO marathon and half-marathon draws over 3,800 runners to San Luis Obispo
Sergio Reyes didn’t have much competition in a record-setting effort in Sunday’s SLO Marathon, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t someone pushing him.
Reyes, a San Luis Obispo native and the 2010 USA Marathon national champion, had a time that was set recently by another Central Coast native in mind as he navigated the 26.2-mile course set in the rolling hills around the downtown area, starting and finishing at Madonna Meadows.
He was pushed by former Mission Prep and University of Oregon star Jordan Hasay’s recent record-setting Boston Marathon time of 2 hours, 23 minutes on April 17. Hasay finished as the top American woman and broke the record for an American woman in a marathon debut.
“Obviously, she’s just an awesome diva of the sport. But yeah, obviously I wanted to just not run 2:23, that would just be bad,” Reyes, now of Palmdale, said jokingly after the race. “I figured, ‘OK, make sure I run a little bit faster than that.’ ”
Hasay’s inspiring performance, which she dedicated to her late mother, has been on top of the minds of not only San Luis Obispo County running fans who remember her days as a dominant youth runner, but of sports fans across the country.
Reyes said it was only natural to channel Hasay — who was present at Sunday’s race and addressed the crowd before the award ceremonies — as he approached the finish. His time of 2:21.42 in the sixth edition of the race on a bluebird morning smashed the course record held by Jorge Maravilla (2:26.47, 2015) and bested second-place finisher Timothy Comay of Walnut Creek by nearly 21 minutes.
“My goal today was to shoot for around the 2:25 time frame and see how I felt,” said Reyes, who said he wanted to use Sunday’s race as a buildup to the famous Grandma’s Marathon on June 17 in Duluth, Minnesota. “I knew I was probably going to be by myself most of the way, so I just wanted to focus on my own time. And then as I started getting closer to the 2:23 range … I just wanted to make sure I ran a little bit harder than that and be happy with a strong finish, and I got that.”
The winner in the women’s race also benefited from some Boston Marathon mojo.
Kelsey Lakowske of Davis entered as a non-elite in an attempt to qualify for next year’s Boston race so she could run with her mother, who has already qualified. And Lakowske — also a San Luis Obispo native — made good, completing the course in 2:59.08 to beat out second-place finisher Christie Clemons of San Luis Obispo and finish sixth overall.
Cal Poly graduate Ben Bruce, now of Flagstaff, Arizona, won the men’s half marathon with a time of 1:09.21, crossing the finish line just ahead of Grover Beach’s Joe Thorne (1:09.45).
In the women’s half marathon, Clayton’s Jenny Kadavy won in 1:20.20, beating 49-year-old Master champion Molly Friel of Fresno.
Both Bruce and Kadavy set race records, as well.
Of note: San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon made her half-marathon debut, finishing the 13.1-mile course in 3:53.05.
SLO Marathon and Half Marathon
1. Sergio Reyes, 35, Palmdale, 2:21:42*, $850
2. Timothy Comay, 32, Walnut Creek, 2:42:57, $300
3. Van McCarty, 46, San Luis Obispo, 2:46:37, $150
* event record (previous record, 2:26:47, Jorge Maravilla, 2015)
1. Kelsey Lakowske, 24, Davis, 2:59:08, $600
2. Christie Clemons, 35, San Luis Obispo, 3:25:36, $300
3. Kristin Edler, Arroyo Grande, 3:32:37, $150
Men’s Half Marathon
1. Ben Bruce, 34, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1:09:21*, $800
2. Joe Thorne, 33, Grover Beach, 1:09:45, $150
3. Brandon Messerly, 23, San Luis Obispo, 1:11:25, $75
* event record (previous record, 1:10:50, Joe Thorne, 2016)
Women’s Half Marathon
1. Jenny Kadavy, 34, Clayton, 1:20:20*, $550
2. Molly Friel, 49, Fresno, 1:25:09, $150
3. Erin Tracht, 36, San Luis Obispo, 1:26:37, $75
* event record (previous record, 1:21:08, Kara Thorne, 2014)