San Dieguito Half Marathon

Jonathan Jefferson - Always at the top step of life's podium.

Jonathan Jefferson – Always at the top step of life’s podium.

Men's 50-54 Podium: from left to right - Mark Ford (3rd), Craig Zelent (2nd), Jeff Creighton (1st)

Men’s 50-54 Podium: from left to right – Mark Ford (3rd), Craig Zelent (2nd), Jeff Creighton (1st)

On February 8th I ran the San Dieguito Half Marathon in Rancho Santa Fe. This was the 47th time this great race has been held and it was my 16th time to cross the finish line. I had a great race as I finished in 1:23:06 (6:21/mile) and placed 2nd out of 68 men in the 50-54 age group and 13th out of 1,107 overall finishers. This was the 2nd year in a row where I got dusted by Jeff Creighton who won the age group with an amazing time of 1:19:13. Hopefully next year Jeff will oversleep because I can’t hold a candle to that guy.

They changed the course for this year’s race. I biked the new course 1 week prior to the race. I could tell the new course was going to be more challenging. The old course was very hilly and hard enough. The new course was going to be faster for the first 5 miles, but after that I predicted we would pay the price. I was not mistaken. I was more fit going into this year’s race so I was faster by 47 seconds, but there is no doubt the course is now more difficult.

One of my highlights was running with the eventual women’s champion Beth Gerdes…for a while. Until she chicked me! Beth won the women’s race with a time of 1:20:54. She was the only woman to beat me. Beth and I have been friends for the last 6 years. She does hold down a real job while also being a professional triathlete. It has really been exciting to see her triathlon career take off. We ran together for the first 7 miles and we even managed a little bit of conversation. The final thing I heard her say was “I wonder if my boyfriend will win this race or my ex-husband?” and then she dropped me like a bad habit. As it turned out, her boyfriend Luke McKenzie did beat her ex-husband James Walsh by 59 seconds. They went 1-2. Luke has placed as high as 2nd place overall at Ironman Hawaii. James has won his age group at the Xterra Triathlon World Championships. Both are amazing athletes.

To see my pictures from the race, click on this link
http://www.opix.net/main/?p=2893&image_id=92510010973&key_word_type=zkn_key_name&key_word=ZELENT

I ran this race in the memory of my Tri Club friend Jonathan Jefferson who passed away recently after a gallant battle with cancer. JJ gave so much to so many. I miss you, my friend.

Living the life…

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6 Responses to San Dieguito Half Marathon

  1. Karen Labenz Tom Hunt says:

    Congratulations,Craig!  Another outstanding race.  And awesome that you ran for Jonathan.  Sorry for your loss….KEL

    From: tricraigz To: keltrh@yahoo.com Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 8:12 AM Subject: [New post] San Dieguito Half Marathon #yiv8710879974 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8710879974 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8710879974 a.yiv8710879974primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8710879974 a.yiv8710879974primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8710879974 a.yiv8710879974primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8710879974 a.yiv8710879974primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8710879974 WordPress.com | tricraigz posted: “On February 8th I ran the San Dieguito Half Marathon in Rancho Santa Fe. This was the 47th time this great race has been held and it was my 16th time to cross the finish line. I had a great race as I finished in 1:23:06 (6:21/mile) and placed 2nd ” | |

  2. Colin Reid says:

    Nice race report, and I enjoyed our chat this week. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Denise Bienias says:

    Congrats Craig and for making it in memory of your friend Jonathan!

    Denise

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