Fastest course in the west.

Credibility Comes Quickly

Oct. 23, 2012
Second in a series of the top 30 moments from the California International Marathon’s colorful history. The 30th anniversary race is on Dec. 2. By John Schumacher

Second-year event hosts national championships
Credibility didn’t take long to arrive at the California International Marathon.

The CIM’s inaugural race in 1983 was successful enough for The Athletics Congress, the governing body of road racing which later became USA Track and Field, to award the 1984 men’s and women’s national marathon championships to the event.

“The important thing is we were recognized right away as a great event and we were able to host the national championships,” said CIM race director John Mansoor, who co-founded the event.

“It was a great distinction. People realized right away we had a great event.”

Ken Martin and Katy Schilly then delivered memorable performances to enhance the race’s status even more.

Martin, a talented steeplechaser from the University of Oregon, won the men’s race with a 2-hour, 11-minute, 24-second effort.

He surged in the last mile to pull away from Scotland’s Fraser Clyne (2:11:50). Sweden’s Kjell Erik Stahl finished third (2:12:00) despite not arriving in Sacramento until 5 a.m. and then going straight from the airport to Folsom for the 7 a.m. start.

Martin hit his peak at the 1989 New York City Marathon, finishing second in 2:09:38.

Atlanta’s Schilly held off Gail Kingma by 1:29 to win the CIM women’s race in 2:32:40, with Monica Joyce third in 2:34:49.

The payday for the winners: $10,000.

The prize for the CIM: even more credibility.

Thanks to its early success, the CIM was awarded the women’s national championships in 1985, 1988, 1989 and 1993 and the men’s national championships in 1988.

The CIM is put on by the Sacramento Running Association, 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.