Marathon running in December can only mean one thing: California International Marathon (CIM).
Brian "Breezy" Young, Jerry "Outlaw" Greenlaw, Teal Burrell, and Julie Tarallo, four accomplish veterans on the GRC squad, are making the cross-country trip from Washington, D.C. to Sacramento to toe the line at 7 a.m. Sunday morning for the 21st running of the Marathon.
The four GRC-ers, all veterans of the marathon except for Outlaw making his marathon debut, are looking to capitalize on a CIM course that is known for turning our fast performances and PRs.
As of this posting, Sunday’s forecast is for lows in the low-50s, highs in the mid-60s and low wind.
After a fall of hard training, the four GRC-ers tackling the 26.2 in Sacramento are ready for big things.
With a fall of PRs for Burrell in the 10-mile and half-marathon, she’s looking to add another PR to the books with a breakthrough in the marathon.
Jerry Alexander, head coach of GRC, said that Burrell is “undoubtedly in the best shape of her life and is looking for a major breakthrough in the marathon.”
For Tarallo, CIM is an opportunity to improve on her PR from Boston in 2013. With her continual strong and steady performances, the fast course at CIM will hopefully pay dividends.
Breezy, who set a big PR last year at CIM of 2:42:24, has had a few setbacks due to his exceptional prosecuting skills. This time around, Breezy heads into CIM confident but cautious.
"Look, I know the marathon is about the hard training. That's what we do. I had some great months of hard training but unfortunately some weeks of work travel didn't help the cause," Breezy said.
Breezy's hard training once again included his signature 20-mile at pace effort, a workout that has proved successful and is now emulated to varying degrees by fellow GRC marathoners.
"I think the game plan I've talked with Coach Jerry about it to get out easy and look to negative split," Breezy said. "While I'm not sure the PR will be there, I'm looking to run a solid time and you never know at CIM."
While these three GRC-ers have double-digit marathons between them, Outlaw will be experiencing the post-22 mile sensation(s) for the first time.
“Outlaw’s training has gone exceptionally well this fall,” said Coach Jerry. “While he’ll be in uncharted territory over 25k, he has run numerous marathon-specific workouts that suggest he’s ready to crack the GRC top five all-time.”
With the hard training in the books, it’s clear Coach Jerry is excited to see what this group can do Sunday and knows it will certainly continue to build on the growing success of GRC.