Math teacher Patricia Jacobsen and physics teacher Glenn Mangold. (Photo by Shimin Zhang)

One teacher conquers Boston Marathon; another runs ultramarathon

In the past month, physics teacher Glenn Mangold and math teacher Patricia Jacobsen ran races of 26.2 miles or more. Mangold completed the Boston Marathon on April 15, and Jacobsen ran a 50-mile ultramarathon on April 6.

Mangold, who finished in 3 hours, 5 minutes, 55 seconds, said he ran the Boston Marathon because of its popularity.

“The Boston Marathon is probably the world’s most famous marathon, so I like running it,” Mangold said.

Mangold, 57, finished 75th of 1,550 runners in the 55-59 age group. About 27,000 total runners competed in the race, according to Mangold.

Mangold said he also likes running the Boston Marathon for the challenge.

“In the beginning, you go downhill for five miles, but right around Mile 16, it starts to go uphill, which is where you are already exhausted,” he said.

Mangold added that the crowd of about half a million makes the race more exciting.

“The crowds are crazy,” he said. “There are a lot of them, and they scream loudly at you all along the (course). I like that.”

This is isn’t Mangold’s first Boston Marathon either. He finished in 3:41 in 2016 and 3:30 in 2018.

His quickest marathon time is 2:56:18 last December in the California International Marathon (CIM) from Folsom to the State Capitol.

The course in the CIM is much easier than the one in the Boston Marathon, Mangold said.

“The Sacramento (course) is just a nice gradual downhill with some little (climbs) that you hardly notice,” he said.

Mangold has been running long distances for five years, so he is always training for the next race.

“I didn’t really start training for this race,” Mangold said. “I just trained how I always train. But I did increase the mileage I ran every week leading up to the race, and then two weeks before the race, I backed down and let my body recover.”

Mangold hit an obstacle in his training in November when the Camp Fire made the air quality in Sacramento reach hazardous levels. Because he couldn’t train in Sacramento, Mangold drove to Folsom to run.

Jacobsen ran the AR50 ultramarathon, from Folsom to Auburn, in 13 hours, 41 minutes, 39 seconds. She finished 43rd of 56 women in the 40-49 age group and 115th of 136 women overall.

“I’ve always wanted to run a 50-mile race,” Jacobsen said. “I ran my first ultramarathon last year.”

An ultramarathon is anything longer than a marathon, according to Jacobsen, who completed a 50-kilometer (31-mile) race last March called the Way Too Cool in Cool.

Jacobsen said she faced a challenge in training for the 50-mile race.

“Normally I would train for five to six months,” Jacobsen said. “Building up to it, I would usually do a marathon and then a 30-mile race before the 50-mile race. However, I couldn’t really train properly for it because of my job and kids. Training is my last priority.”

Jacobsen said she mainly does ultramarathons for the difficulty.

“I do it for the challenge of starting something that seems really difficult or impossible and finishing it and enjoying it enough to do another one,” Jacobsen said.

The conditions for the race, according to Jacobsen, were ideal.

“It was a little hot, but there wasn’t any mud like last year (in the Way Too Cool Marathon),” she said. “It was a beautiful course and a lot better than last year when it was raining and hailing.”

By Arijit Trivedi

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