BIG SUR HALF MARATHON ON MONTEREY BAY - October 29, 2006
(October 24, 2006 – Carmel, CA) On a Sunday morning that offered perfect running conditions, the elite field at the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay lived up to the hype by crushing the existing course records. The world-class contingent of runners provided an exciting race as they ran neck in neck through historic downtown Monterey, on world famous Cannery Row, and along the scenic Pacific Grove coastline.
The combination of two former Olympians, a U.S. record holder, numerous NCAA All-Americans and a sprinkling of Kenyans resulted in the fastest race ever in the Big Sur Half’s four year history.
Former Stanford track star Ian Dobson crossed the finish mat in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 33 seconds, besting the record of 1:05:12 set in 2004 by Michael Aish of Gunniston, CO by over 2 ½ minutes. Prior to Sunday, a 10K was Dobson’s longest race. The nine-time All-American and NCAA runner-up at 5,000 meters stayed with the lead pack of three until the final two miles where he surged ahead and earned a well deserved prize purse of $2,000, as well as the $1,000 bonus for setting a new course record.
Dobson was pushed to the finish by 2nd place winner Fernando Cabada, a U.S. champion at 25K. Cabada crossed the line in 1:02:45 followed shortly by McDonald Ondara, a Kenyan out of Santa Fe, NM with a time of 1:03:14.
The times of the top five male finishers all broke the 2004 course record.
The women’s race was equally loaded, with Olympians Jennifer Rhines and Kate O’Neill finishing first and second. They are both Team USA elite runners who train at Mammoth Lakes at 8,000 feet.
Rhines led the race almost from the beginning and her winning time of 1:12:18 placed her 16th overall and crushed the women’s course record of 1:15:13 set by Nicole Aish of Gunniston, CO two years ago. O’Neill, an Olympic 10K runner, clocked in at 1:16:33 in her half marathon debut. Brooke Wells, a 2002 Carmel High graduate now living in San Francisco, placed third in a time of 1:17:58.
The Prim was a race within the race, with the first male and female to reach the 3 mile marker garnishing a $500 bonus. Sergio Reyes of Palmdale, CA won the men’s Prim while Jennifer Rhines easily took home the women’s bonus.
The Master’s prize purse was awarded to runners age 40 and older. The male winner was Fred Arapmayiek (age 53) of Los Angeles, CA in a time of 1:12:00. He was followed by local superstars Jeff Magallanes (age 44) of Seaside, CA in 1:15:13 and Dwight Smith (age 48), also of Seaside, in 1:16:47.
Race Director Wally Kastner commented, “The addition of Team USA California athletes to our elite field is exactly the direction we want our half marathon to go. This fast group of runners even pushed our non-elite runners to faster times.” He went on to say, “We want our half to continue to grow. We are a superb destination location with a fast, scenic course, excellent organization and warm, friendly volunteers. We are already looking forward to our fifth presentation to be held November 11, 2007.”
To learn more about the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay, visit www.bsim.org.