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

Race events for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon begin tomorrow! Here's Part 4 of our series, featuring stories written by runners and why they are participating in this Coastside event.

Half Moon Bay is currently in "Race Week” with only two 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 days leading up to race day on Sunday, Half Moon Bay Patch featured in a four-part series stories by runner’s in their 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.

Stories by Kalie Crose and James Holt were featured in Part 1 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Wes McGaugh and Sarah Pollock shared their stories for Part 2 and yesterday, we had stories by Julie Weiss and Toby Stime in Part 3.

In the last part of this series, here are stories by runners Michelle August and Mary Redman:

Michelle August, age 40

This year I lost two very special people in my life, both taken away too early. My cousin Paxton only three years old passed away in February from a malignant brain tumor. He fought an amazing fight and truly showed me what strength and courage is all about. Everyday his smile touched so many lives and he has given me great strength to live life to the fullest.

Then in July my best friend passed away from a tragic accident. She will always be my biggest inspiration in life because of the way she lived her life to the fullest. She has always encouraged me to do my best and as I've been training to run my first marathon with the Half Moon Bay International Marathon, she would always tell me how proud she was of me. Losing her has been very difficult and as the runs have gotten more difficult there have been times I have felt like giving up, but my angels in heaven continue to remind me that I can run 13.1 miles of “Running Heaven.” So running I will do in honor of their lives.

I started running back in May 2012 using the all so popular couch to 5K training app. My first day it called for me to do a 5-minute walk, 2-minute jog and another 5-minute walk. I truly thought to myself, there is no way I'm going to be able to run any kind of race let alone a half marathon because after jogging for only 2 minutes I thought I was going to pass out.

My goal was to register for the Nike Half Marathon so I could get the Tiffany's necklace at the end of the race and that would be my motivation to reach my goal of running a half marathon.

Well I didn't make the random drawing and thought to myself maybe it just wasn't my time. My husband knew I was a bit disappointed and offered to buy me a Tiffany's necklace if I continued to train and registered to run another half marathon. My friends also encouraged me to continue and told me about the Half Moon Bay Half Marathon.

When I went online and looked at the Half Moon Bay half marathon it was perfect. I would be running near the beautiful ocean and the name just captured me: “26.2 Miles of Running Heaven.”

Although I'll only be running 13.1 miles the name said it all and that is what became the motivation for my training.

I'm getting so excited as it gets closer to the day of being able to accomplish my goal of running my first half marathon.


Mary Redman, age 62

My story is not so dramatic as some, but I think it is a good one. My 24-year-old daughter Morgan graduated from Stanford just over a year ago and has remained in California to live and work.

When she was playing soccer for Stanford, my husband and I used our free airline miles to watch her and her teammates play quite often. It was four years of fun for us. So, now that she is finished with school and collegiate soccer, we need to find some good excuses for visits both for her to Indiana and for us to California.

In May, she came home to run the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon with me. We both did well in our respective divisions (my 60-64 and her 20-25 divisions). We decided perhaps we should find a race to do in California, as well. So, I signed up to run the Half Moon Bay 10K, and she signed up to run the Half Marathon.

We will make a weekend of it. My husband and I will visit with our daughter in her new apartment, and following the race, we even plan to take in a Stanford women's soccer game and catch up with some old friends. We are very much looking forward to a great weekend!

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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