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The Octagon

Junior Jack Christian to run in California International Marathon

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(Photo used by permission of Christian)
Junior Jack Christian, right, and his mother pose in front of a CIM sign at the CIM Health and Fitness Expo on Dec. 1. At the expo they received their bibs and giveaway gear, which included socks, a pullover, a fanny pack and other items.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, junior Jack Christian will run in the 35th Annual California International Marathon (CIM) with his mother Michelle.

The CIM will begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday at Folsom Dam and finish 26.2 miles later at the State Capitol. The CIM Relay Challenge and the maraFUNrun 5K and Fitness Walk are also on Sunday.

The CIM, put on by the Sacramento Running Association, is a qualifier for both the US Olympic Trials Marathon and the Boston Marathon, which is one of the reasons Christian began training in August with his mother.

“My mom already ran a marathon earlier this year right after she had her baby,” Christian said.

“She wanted to qualify for (the Boston Marathon), but she didn’t because she didn’t have a good enough time. So she wanted to run the CIM, and she was looking for a running partner. I decided that I wanted to run with her because I thought it would be a lot of fun.”

The two have been training five days a week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays before school, and on Saturday and Sunday. Sundays are always the longest runs, Christian said.

Christian said the training became harder as the race approached.

“In the beginning it was more relaxing,” he explained.

“It wasn’t as hard on me. But (now), towards the end, (I am) putting in almost 40 miles a week.”

The longest Christian has run is 20 miles, and he’s done that distance twice.

“When you’re training for a marathon, you never run more than 20 miles,” he explained.

“You’re just supposed to go out and run six more miles on the actual marathon day.”

The two originally planned to run an 8:52-minute mile so Christian’s mother could qualify for Boston with a marathon time of around 3:52, but since she injured her calf towards the end of training, they aren’t aiming to qualify for Boston anymore.

“We’re just going to be running for fun,” Christian said.

“We’re probably going to run with the four-hour pacing group. Only 25 percent of marathon finishers run under four hours, so that’s our goal now – to run under four hours.”

Christian’s mother has run nine previous marathons, but this will be his first. Although he knows it will be tough running for so long at a fast pace with no breaks, he said he’s looking forward to the race.

“I’m definitely excited,” Christian said.

“I think it will just be fun to run throughout Sacramento, and run through the streets and in downtown and through East Sac.”

However, he doesn’t think he will run a marathon again anytime soon.

“That’s enough running for now,“ Christian said. “Maybe later, in college or something.”

Physics teacher Glenn Mangold, who ran the New York Marathon on Nov. 5, will not be participating in this one because the two are so close to each other in time.

By Sarina Rye

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