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Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 2 of 4]

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

Half Moon Bay is currently in "Race Week"  with only four 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.

Yesterday, Half Moon Bay Patch featured stories by Kalie Crose and James Holt. Today, we have stories by Wes McGaugh and Sarah Pollock:

James Wesley McGaugh, age 33

I cannot express to you how excited I am about the 2012 Half Moon Bay International Marathon. This will be my 11th marathon but they are more than just marathons to me.

Each race, each mile, each accomplishment is a celebration for me. A little over eight year ago I was 330 pounds until one day I was challenged to lose 25 pounds.

However, after three months that turned into 64 pounds, then a year later I had lost a total of 150 pounds. Since then I chose to live a healthy lifestyle which includes cardio exercise.

So I started running very short distances just for fun. About a year and a half ago I was going for 17-mile runs just for fun. My wife talked me into a half marathon and with that being successful, I started to run marathons.

My greatest accomplishment so far is running 4 in 29 days all under 4 hours. Now my dream is to qualifty for Boston. I am currently at a 3:28 and need a 3:10 for the 2014 Boston Marathon. This marathon will be a stepping stone in order for me to acomplish my goal.

I run because I enjoy running, and I tell about it because I want to inspire. I wake up and run every morning at 3:30 a.m. and run approximately 80 miles a week.

To think eight years ago I was on my way to early heart trouble and other health problems each step, each mile, each race is a CELEBRATION of life and enjoyment for me!

If you put your mind to it and committ you can do anything you want to in life.
I run for myself, for people who always believed in me, and my biggest motivator is for all the people that said "I CANT!"

Once again, I am estatic about the upcoming race and cannot wait to be a part of such an awesome event. "Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery... But today is a gift and that is why we call it the present!"

Sarah Pollock, age 31

I was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm in 2004 which claimed the lives of my dad and aunt in their 20s, and also put an end to the triathlons I was doing — and all other exercise.

I underwent open heart surgery to repair it in 2008, and after recovery, finishing my degree and having a child, I finally started exercising in March this year. I got into running, and decided to do the Half Moon Bay half marathon for its picturesque setting.

I'm incredibly excited to have gotten this far!

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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