California International Marathon Runners Expect Wet Windy Weather

Here’s a pre-race look at what promises to be a very challenging race for Sunday’s Sacramento Marathon. Mother Nature is throwing runners a mean curve ball, or more likely a soggy wet spit ball tomorrow, for the 30th-annual California International Marathon. Bring your raincoat, heck bring a raft. You’ll need it.

The facts
Sacramento hosts the 30th-annual California International Marathon Sunday, trailing from Folsom to the Capitol. This race is certified by USA Track and Field as a Boston Marathon qualifier, and under normal circumstances is a very popular race boasting big, festive crowds and near-perfect race conditions and fair weather. This year will be different. Very different.

The weather
The National Weather Service is forecasting intense rainfall and heavy winds, essentially peaking at the same time as race officials fire the starting gun on Sunday morning. Local news channels have been tracking and reporting storm-after-storm all week in the Sacramento area. This one, known as “Storm #3,” will roll in Saturday night and is expected to be one of the strongest in recent history. Winds, which normally pose a bigger problem for runners than rain, will be strong at first, but calm to 15 to 20 m.p.h., by race time.

Jim Abraham, a Lodi runner, and first-time CIM marathoner confirms, “Rain, I can handle. You just get wet. Once you’re soaked, it just becomes an annoyance, not an obstacle. Wind, on the other hand, is unpredictable. It blows you around. It blasts debris straight into your face when you least expect it. It throws you off your game and gets into your head.”

At the 7:00 a.m. starting gun, Folsom will be soggy and 58 degrees F. Runners run a mostly downhill course all the way to the Capitol.

According to a Sacramento Bee report, Race Director John Mansoor predicts there will be a 3 to five percent rate of runner no-shows. In the report, he is quoted as saying the no-show factor for volunteers that man booths and aid stations is usually higher than the rate for runners. He is hopeful that won’t happen this year.

My take
While it’s true that I’m not running the marathon, I have run my share in wind and rain. I agree with Jim, the Lodi runner, that running in the wind is harder than running in rain. I’d just encourage people to resist bundling up when running in the rain. You don’t want to overheat and weigh yourself down on those longer runs. Instead, choose light clothing that is manufactured to prevent chafing and don’t forget warm, dry clothes for the end.

Good luck to all of the CIM marathoners on Sunday.

I, for one, am proud to be a part of the runner community. There’s a series of fun and inspirational posters that Adidas created in 2000, boasting, “Runners, Yeah, We’re Different.”  I love the way they capture the spirit of how and why we run. Here are a few of my favorite ads from that campaign.

Adidas 1999 ad campaign

Adidas 1999 ad campaign

Adidas 1999 ad campaign

Adidas 1999 ad campaign

Adidas 1999 ad campaign

Adidas 1999 ad campaign

Do you remember this ad campaign? Do you have other favorite quotes, or ads that capture the answer to the proverbial question, “Why do you run?” 

Leave your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below.

Editor's note: Photo, courtesy Wikipedia

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