For all the Johnny Cash fans out there, this race begins just across the American River from the Folsom State Prison, which Cash sang about in Folsom Prison Blues. The prison was also the location of a live album recording in the 1960s.
A net downhill course
Drynan explains that the first half of the course is rolling, but flattens out over the halfway mark. “This sets the stage for some definite personal best potential,” she says.
View this post on Instagram
Last year, Emma Bates and Brogan Austin ran away with the wins in a stellar USA Championship field at CIM. Bates, of Boise, Id., led the race wire to wire to run an impressive time of 2:28:28. Not only was this her debut marathon, but it was the 8th fastest debut mark by an American woman and the fastest time by an American woman under 30 in 2018. This past October in Chicago Bates ran 2:25:27 to finish 4th overall and the top American in her only other attempt at the distance. Unlike Bates, Austin of Des Moines, Iowa, had to make a late surge the final 500m to overtake Matt Llano. Austin finished in a new blazing PB of 2:12:38, which came as a surprise to many since he was so new to the marathon. Prior to CIM, Austin had only run one marathon which had been at the Olympic Trials in 2016. At that race he finished 38th place in 2:24:38. This past May, Austin competed at the USA Half Marathon Championships in Pittsburg, PA, where he notched a 4th place finish. #road2cim #runcim #triviathursday #runningdownadream
Hitting the wall
At mile 20, Drynan says runners will literally hit a wall. “There’s a brick wall facade with 10K to go. This reminds you that the race is really getting underway.”
The BQ bell
Drynan says that in her experience, the weather in early December is typically perfect. “It’s never been colder than two degrees or warmer than 12 in the years that I’ve raced.” This year’s weather forecast is calling for some rain, but pleasant temperatures and low wind.