Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 1 of 4]

The Half Moon Bay International Marathon is this weekend, Sept. 22-23. Here are stories by some of the runners and their reasons for participating in this Coastside event.

Half Moon Bay is currently in "Race Week"  with only five more days to go before the Half Moon Bay International Marathon welcomes 1,000 runners from 35 states and six countries, set to run 26.2 miles starting from Pillar Point Harbor along the Pacific coastline.

For the next few days leading up to race day on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, Half Moon Bay Patch will feature stories in the runner’s own words about why they are participating in the race. Some of their stories are quite emotional and insightful and will inspire you and maybe even bring tears to your eyes.

Kalie Crose, age 26

Growing up, I was always overweight, never athletic at all. When I was 12 my parents had me join Weight Watchers. I weighed in at 203 pounds!

Weight Watchers didn't last long during high school. I worked out sometimes and ran a little bit but not much. I refused to weigh myself. I thought I was overweight but never realized how much. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome  (PCOS) at 18 and was told I would never have children and will always be overweight. I got married at 21 years old, and I soon realized how unhappy I was at my weight. My doctor had prescribed me different meds that were supposed to help me lose weight, but just ended up making me sick and no results.

My husband and I tried to start a family four years ago, and I realized after a year and a half of trying with no luck I was getting very depressed, and I needed something to change.

My mom wanted someone to go on a diet with her so I thought let’s do this. I started at 250 pounds and a woman’s size 22 with P90x and Weight Watchers and lost 20 pounds, and then I tried Insanity and another 20 pounds gone.

Then I got inspired. I’m a huge Disney fan, and I saw they had a Disney 5K race. My first morning out, I ran a minute, and I couldn't breath! I trained all summer in Las Vegas heat. My sister and my dad ran the race with me. We thought people who ran over 5Ks were crazy. Well let me tell you, that was September, and I ran in my first half marathon that December.

The bug bit me, and I can't stop running! I've lost a total of 100 pounds since I started my journey and running is now my passion. It is what keeps me sane.

Last August, I was hit by a car in a crosswalk while running, and I had my first Disney half marathon two weeks later. I ran in it bruises, scrapes and all and finished with a PR or 2:03! I am determined, and I think of every run as an adventure.

I am so excited for the Half Moon Bay International half marathon! It will be my 5th half marathon. My dad is doing the full marathon.

Running has changed my family in a more positive way. If you told me five years ago I would be running in half marathons, I would have told you, you’re crazy.

I want to be an inspiration to all those ladies out there who think they can’t or are depressed and tell them you can do it! There is hope, especially those with PCOS. Running changed my life.


James Holt, age 56

My son Ryan, age 20, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Moraga on May 18, 2007. I was attending a fundraising Gala for the Contra Costa Crisis Center last November and decided to run my first marathon in his memory.

I've run and jogged since my high school days but have never attempted this kind of distance.

The Crisis Center is a nonprofit organization that provides grief counseling, both individual and group, for families that have lost a family member at no cost. They were instrumental in helping me deal with Ryan's death. Ryan's death was the most difficult event I've ever experienced in my life.

It is appropriate that training to run a marathon has been the most difficult physical activity I've tried in my life. You have a lot of time to think when you train, and I decided that I would make the Crisis Center a beneficiary of my run.

I created a website with the help of my older son Kyle, www.marathon4ryan.com. There are pictures of Ryan, myself and family as well as an opportunity to donate to the Crisis Center. A friend of mine who is three years older than me and has run several marathons in the last few years (and qualified for the Boston Marathon last year) has offered to match the highest donation made to the Crisis Center.

I choose to run the Half Moon Bay International Marathon because of the time of year and the location. I can't imagine a more beautiful setting to run 26.2 miles. Having the Pacific Ocean next door should keep the temperature moderate.

Race Weekend Events

Saturday, September 22, 2012

World renowned athlete, author and philanthropist, Dean Karnazes (http://deankarnazes.com) returns to the location that launched his illustrious running career, Half Moon Bay, When Dean was 30 years old and celebrating his birthday, he set out in the middle of the night from downtown San Francisco to run "30 miles on my 30th birthday", and starting in the City he ran all night and ended up at -- the 7-11 in downtown Half Moon Bay (See page 63 of his book Ultramarathon Man - Confessions of an all Night Runner http://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585422789). Dean is the special guest athlete at the 2012 HMBIM. 

Saturday schedule: 

12:00 Dean Karnazes will speak at the Shoppes at Harbor Village in Pillar Point Harbor at the Empowered Fitness location 

12:30-2:00 Dean will be on hand to sign his books and take photos 

12:45 Yolanda Holder, described above, will speak at the same location

1:15-2:00 Yolanda will be on hand to sign his books and take photos

2:00 - Pillar Point Harbor, near the HMB Kayak Company, Dean will lead a 4-mile fun run, ending up at the 7-11 in Half Moon Bay for a photo opportunity! 

5:00 The HMBIM Pasta Dinner, catered by local Italian Favorite Mezza Luna, will be held at the Ted Adcock Community Center in downtown HMB. The dinner will be include talks by Dean Karnazes and Yolanda Holder, and feature musical entertainment by "Chinese Melodrama"  (full details at http://halfmoonbayim.org/pasta). 

Sunday, September 23, 2012 

Four events are planned for race day including a full and half marathon distance, a 10k and a Free 5K fun run. The Full and Half distances are run on a mixture of paved coastal trails, local streets and some hard-packed dirt trails, while the 10k and 5k is entirely on paved trails. The trail portions of the course offer some of the most spectacular vistas of the entire course.

The 2nd running of the HMB International Marathon will start with the Half Marathon event at 7:00 a.m., the 10K at 7:15 a.m., the FREE 5k at 7:30 a.m. and the Full Marathon at 7:45 a.m. The start and finish of the race is at Pillar Point Harbor adjacent to the HMB Kayak Company. The Full Marathon men's and women's champions will receive a $500 cash prize, donated by Gold Partner GoPro, Inc., to be presented at the awards ceremony at 2:00 p.m. 

After Party to follow at the Mavericks Event Center, catered by the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, with a special MARATHON Beer, from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (http://halfmoonbayim.org/afterparty). 

All of the above events are open to the public. Marathon organizers still need volunteers at http://halfmoonbayim.org/volunteer — chance to win one of several prizes, get a free shirt, and be a part of the amazing community event.

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