California Weekend Wrap-Up: Road Racing Galore

A break from collegiate cross country didn’t slow down the running action in the Golden State. A number of road races took place in the California as well as a number of out-of-state races involving Californians, notably the Chicago Marathon.


Simon Bairu has been off the map for much of the last two years dealing with injuries and other health ailments but looks to be turning the corner after a win in 1:03:28 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon. Bairu fought off multiple mid-race surges from Sergio Reyes to hold off the Palmdale, Calif. resident by three seconds. Scott Bauhs of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. finished third in 1:04:29.

“The most important part of the race was that I was able to finish strong. I really felt like I could have kept going a few more miles, which is what you want after a hard half-marathon effort,” Bairu said post-race. “This is a huge confidence booster and I’m excited for my next performance.”

The next performance Bairu speaks of will likely in the Big Apple, where he will join Reyes and Bauhs on the starting line of the New York City Marathon on November 4 barring a decision made by his coach Jerry Schumacher.

“It’s really in Jerry’s hands right now,” said Bairu. “If he likes what he sees, I’ll be lining up in New York.”

Bairu has struggled with the marathon distance thus far in his career. The Canadian record holder at 10,000 meters dropped out of his debut in New York City in 2010, pulled out of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October 2011 citing fatigue and finished in a disappointing 2:19.52 at the 2012 Houston Marathon.

Clara Horowitz Peterson of the Bay Area Track Club ran 1:12:52 to easily win the women’s race. Coming off a 16th place finish at the Olympic Trials Marathon in her debut at the distance, Horowitz Peterson is looking to better her personal best of 2:35:50 when she takes on the California International Marathon on December 2.

Results from the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon here.


Jimmy Grabow had high expectations for his second career marathon at the Chicago Marathon. After a successful debut at the Olympic Trials, The Long Beach, Calif. resident was looking to better his PR of 2:12:29. He came through the halfway point on Sunday right on 2:11 pace in 1:05:31 but struggled immensely over the second half to finish 26th in 2:19:03.

“After the halfway point, I got really sore and tight. I probably should have gone a little slower and been more conservative,” Grabow told Flotrack shortly after the race. “I’ll take it as a good learning experience.”

San Francisco’s Malcolm Richards was the top Californian in 22nd place in a personal best of 2:17:00. Lindsay Tollefson was the top California woman in 14th place in 2:43:52.

Full results from the Chicago Marathon here.


Cal-Berkeley alum Chelsea Reilly capped off a stellar fall racing season with her first national title at the U.S. 10km Championships in Boston. Reilly covered a late move by Tara Erdmann and pulled away from the former Loyola Marymount All-American to break the tape in 32:40.1 ahead of Erdmann’s 32:45.4.

Reilly has been on fire since finishing her collegiate career at the NCAA Championships in June. Now coached by Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, Reilly was third in the Falmouth Elite Mile in a track personal best 4:30.18, won the Front Street Mile in Hawaii and then finished eight at the Fifth Avenue Mile in 4:29.0.

Full results from the U.S. 10km Championships here.


McMillan Elite teammates Danny Mercado and Nick Arciniaga claimed the top two spots at Sunday’s Long Beach International Half Marathon. Former West Covina High standout Mercado finished in 1:05:26, 57 seconds ahead of Arciniaga, who is prepping for the New York City Marathon.

Full race results from the Long Beach International Marathon and Half Marathon here.


An already successful day for the McMillan Elite team was futher bolstered by a win by steeplechase specialist Ben Bruce at the Santa Monica 5000. Bruce finished in 14:25.0 for the road 5k distance. Tanya Zeferjahn, a former Division II national champion while at Queens University, was the women’s champ in 16:54.5.

Full results from the Santa Monica 5000 here.

Tags: Chicago Marathon San Jose Rock N Roll

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