Foothill Flyers Race Reviews
Last update Nov 3, 2014

Pasadena Marathon and Half Marathon

May 15, 2011, start and finish at Pasadena City College

Info: call the Run With Us store at 626-568-3331 or click on Pasadena Marathon above.

2013 was the last year they ran this event. Unknown if there will be any future Pasadena marathons.

The Half According to Catherine Gallagher:
It rained. AGAIN. They should change the song. It never rains in Southern California UNLESS there is a major marathon that day! (LA.... Pasadena....) Even so: It was fun!! Nice to see a few Pasadena Tri Club members running by as well as some Pasadena Pacers and Foothill Flyers running club friends. I'm not that fond of the long climb out of the Rose Bowl. It's not that steep but seems endless. Therefore: REALLY nice to see Pasadena Pacers and a few Pasadena Tri Club people at the top of the hill! Every race I walk less and run faster. Only walk this time was up part of the aforesaid hill and a bit of another small hill. I estimate I lost about a minute. PR: 1:57:27. No podium but top 5% of my AG.

The Marathon According to Cyrus Davis:
Sunday, May 15, 2011, marked the 3rd annual Pasadena Marathon sponsored by Kaiser Permanente (with whom I am employed). For the first time the event included a 5K, 10K and wheelchair categories along with a bike tour and an added 1K for the little ones. There were an estimated 8,000 participants.

This is a runner's race with no one stopping to take pictures, no excessive walkers or sightseers and folks lollygagging around just to have a good time. Runners are focused on a single goal of doing their best run. Maybe the latter crowd entered the 5 and 10K events.

As I worked diligently to maintain my relative position in the half marathon, I realized how serious the runners were, and it was inspiring. The Pasadena Pacers were well represented. I saw lots of their bright red t-shirts throughout the crowd. Perhaps the Foothill flyers can remember to wear our shirts during events (I am sure many of you do).

The half marathon and marathon promptly began on time at 6:30 a.m. Now why can't the LA Marathon ever start on time (maybe it has something to do with the TV coverage?). The 5 and 10K started at 7:30 a.m.

The race started at Pasadena City College and wound its way through the most scenic parts of Pasadena including long stretches of the residential areas of Marengo Ave. and Orange Grove Blvd. The toughest part was the climb out of the Rose Bowl - a whole mile until one gets to the 210 freeway, and then more moderate inclines into Altadena. The good news is the 3-mile descent to the finish line from Los Robles and Washington in Altadena.

Yes, it did rain for the third year in a row. This year's rain was not as bad as in previous years. There were no mile markers along the route and just a couple of entertainment venues. No Gatorade; just water. Again, this is a serious runner's race. As after the LA Marathon, my trusted Garmin watch was searching for satellites as I checked to see what my official time was upon crossing the finish line. There may have been but I did not notice any official clock. Results were not even posted online on Sunday. Employees of Run with Us took 1st, 2nd and 3rd places overall. I chatted with the 3rd place winner, coming in at a cool 1:15. His only tell-tale sign was a "little stiffness." There were a few interesting post-race tents: Kaiser provided catered goodies from Corner Bakery (now that is product placement); Disney handed out free t-shirts to their employees; and the coolest tent was a heated tent to keep us frigid runners warm (now that is innovation).

The future of the race might be somewhat uncertain as the City of Pasadena has entered into an agreement to have the Rock & Roll running organization host a half marathon in Pasadena next February. That would result in a total of three half marathons for the city.

Finally, kudos to Simon Cooper's edict to train us Monday night runners to "run on tired legs." During the final two-mile stretch, I passed about a dozen runners as their fatigue set in breaking the 2 hour marker, to come in at 1:59. Despite the early morning drizzle, it turned out to be a fine day indeed, as sunshine gradually broke through the clouds later that afternoon. Maybe God does like marathons, at least half ones, after all.



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