Fastest course in the west.

CIM fills its 8,000-runner field in a hurry

08/23/2012, 9:30am PDT
By CIM

Demand strong for 30th anniversary; Charity entries, time slots available

Aug. 23, 2012
For immediate release

The 30th annual California International Marathon has reached its cap of 8,000 entries, but there are still a few ways for runners to gain a spot on the starting line for the race on Dec. 2.

While the CIM hit its cap for the fourth consecutive year, reaching the mark two months earlier than in 2011, runners can still earn a spot in the field by either purchasing a charity entry or meeting the race’s time standards.

The race is offering 300 charity entries for $250 each, with the money going to fund youth fitness programs, elite athlete training, trail building in the American River Parkway and cross country courses.

Runners who meet the CIM’s time standards – five minutes slower than Boston Marathon qualifying times – are guaranteed entry during a registration window from Oct. 1-Oct. 15.

Throw in an estimated 150-200 elite runners and race director John Mansoor expects entries to surpass the 8,500 mark. The CIM was the country’s 14th-largest marathon last year and could move up a few spots in 2012.

“CIM is one of the few marathons in the country to add entries,” Mansoor said, noting the trend toward capping fields.

“We don’t want to outstrip our logistics … We have to maintain the quality, make sure that remains our No. 1 priority … make it a good experience.”

The CIM, founded by the Sacramento Running Association, has long enjoyed a reputation as a great race to earn a Boston Marathon qualifying time. The 26.2-mile test from Folsom to the state Capitol is slightly downhill, and weather conditions are normally cool enough to help produce fast times.

The race has doubled in size since 2005, when it featured 4,000 runners. The first CIM in 1983 had 1,600 entrants.

With an expected field of 8,500 entrants, 4,400 relay runners and 2,000 maraFUNrun participants, the CIM could reach a total of 15,000 runners. The spectator count is expected to reach 50,000.

Mansoor said the race’s 30th anniversary likely prompted people to register sooner.

“What the 30th may have done is create a stampede to enter,” he said.

There are still spots available in the CIM’s four-person relay. More than 600 teams have registered; the cap is set at 1,100.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon on Oct. 28, the Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run on Feb. 3 and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 7.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.