Midori Sperandeo/Bee file photo
Every time Midori Sperandeo, long one of our top Masters marathoners, wins a race, news reports focus on how she "couldn't run a mile at age 29" and is a "stay-at-home mom." It's a great human interest story, no doubt. And Sperandeo, a former TV journalist and documentary filmmaker, must know that, as well.
But it almost overshadows her running ability.
Her performance Sunday in the Eugene Marathon speaks for itself.
Sperandeo, 43, won the Eugene Marathon on Sunday and qualified for her fourth U.S. Olympic Trials with a time of 2 hours 44 minutes 21 seconds. It was a course record. Sperandeo is the second local woman to qualify for the 2012 marathon trials. Mary Coordt, of Elk Grove, qualified in last fall's Twin Cities Marathon.
The win in the women's division, by slightly under a minute over second place finisher Marlene Farrell, was merely a bonus for Sperandeo. As she told the Eugene Register Guard afterward, "My primary goal was to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials. I did that, so I'm happy."
Read the full story here.
It was a happy day for other Sacramento area runners. Former Bee columnist and "Run, Sacramento" blog contributor Daniel Weintraub shattered his P.R. by finishing at 2:48:32 -- that's a six-minute improvement. (We'll post Dan's race recap shortly.) Elite Masters runner Jenny Hitchings, 46, of Sacramento finished first in her age division and was the sixth overall woman with a P.R. of 2:51. Sacramento's Emily Mah-Nakanishi finished 15th among the women at 3:00:50.
The top finisher from Davis was ... your modest blogger. Then again, I was the only entrant from Davis. Anyway, I ran 3:26:58. That's five minutes slower than my P.R., set five years ago, but still easily qualifying me for the Boston Marathon, my overarching goal. So, I can't complain... even though those damned calf cramps returned at mile 23 and slowed me.
In the Eugene 5K, Sacramento's Stacy Worthen won the women's title at 18:44. Sacramento's Kurt Mellick finished third in his age group (40-44) and 16th overall at 17:46. He finished just behind the race mascot, Flap Jack (dude in a pancake costume, courtesy of a race sponsor), who was finished at 17:46.
Yup, we haven't forgotten that there were other races over the weekend other than at "Track Town, U.S.A."
At Saturday's Miwok 100K ultra, Folsom's Erik Skaden, 38, finished fifth in 8 hours 53 minutes 58 seconds. Davis' Mark Murray, 47, was 24th overall at 9:57:29. Other top locals: Joe Van De Water at 10:05:57, John Blue at 11:05:35 and Kim Kortz at 11:47:08.
At Saturday's American River Parkway Half Marathon and 5K, Roseville's Michael Fadling, 42, emerged victorious with a time of 1:16:40, eight seconds ahead of Adam Weiner of San Diego. Sacramento's Chris Pollack was third at 1:19:30. The top local woman was Karalee Morris at 1:31:56.
At the Parkway 5K, Curt Casazza, 38, of Cameron Park was the winner at 18:01. The women's winner was 41-year-old Kirsten Schneider, coming off an injury, at 19:45.
At Sunday's Avenue of the Giants Marathon in Humboldt County, the top local finisher was Folsom's Brian Wieland at 3:22:24. The top local woman: Nevada City's Abby Hunter at 3:42:06.
And, finally, at the Fleet Feet Fair Oaks Sun Run 5 Mile Run, Sacramento's Steve Schenck was the winner at 27:41. The top woman was Mary Coordt, recovering from a top finish at the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in South Africa, at 31:27.