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American River Messenger

California Resident is Winner in California’s International Marathon

Dec 26, 2023 07:38PM ● By Grace Gollihur

Runners came from all over the world to participate in the scenic 26.2-mile route, running from the Folsom Dam to the State Capitol on Sunday, Dec. 3. Photo courtesy of California International Marathon


SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On Sunday, Dec. 3, 11,000 runners gathered on Folsom-Auburn Boulevard to complete the 2023 California International Marathon. People came from all over to participate in this scenic 26.2 mile route, running from the Folsom Dam to the State Capitol. The CIM has been around for 40 years with the first run held in 1983. Many spectators enjoyed watching the runners go by, waving and cheering for their friends, family and community members.

Executive Director of the Sacramento Running Association Scott Abbott oversees the planning and execution of the CIM. His main job is making sure everyone else is doing their job.

“I’m just managing the entire event from six hundred foot view – it’s such a big event that encompasses so much,” Abbott said.

Abbott went on to talk about all the different teams of people that help plan the many aspects of the race. It’s also his job to make sure that the runners are having a fun and safe time.

“Safety is always our priority. After safety, we really try to focus on the participant experience,” Abbott said.

The CIM is a very big event that takes a lot of people to put on, and the SRA could not do it without their volunteers.

Gerry Garcia has been volunteering for the CIM for ten years, and he does it to give back to his community.

“We have runners in all different shapes and sizes and ages and they’ve set a goal to do – and I’m kinda helping them out with their goal,” Garcia said.

Garcia is a captain at the starting line of the race. He also oversees the first aid tent, as well as the busses and transportation. Garcia meets with a group of volunteers three times before race day to plan their respective stations at the race.

Runners from all over the world participate in the race. They come from countries such as Germany, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. This year the winner, CJ Albertson, is from Fresno, California. He took two hours and eleven minutes to finish the race. The top female finisher was Grace Kahura from Longmont, Colorado. She took two hours and twenty-nine minutes to finish the race.

But not all participants compete for time, some runners run for the fun of the race and to hang out with their friends.

Melissa McCormick is a teacher at Cowan Elementary School and she ran the CIM as a half marathon with her friend as teammate. She has been running marathons for a long time, but the CIM was her final race.

“I thought that would be a good way to go out – I have probably done about thirty halves,” McCormick said.

McCormick also spoke about how her family drove her and supported her throughout the race. She enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the race.

“I had so much fun – there were DJs and I danced when I was going by – everything was the way it should be,” McCormick said.

She went on to talk about how everyone was very positive and kind, and how she really enjoyed the course.

The CIM is not only for runners, but it is also for the community. UC Davis Children’s Hospital is the Chief Beneficiary of the CIM and the SRA. The SRA works continuously with the hospital to raise funds in order to provide care for many people. The CIM and SRA also support the SPCA and the NEC Society.

The California International Marathon was a success once again. Registration is already open for the 2024 race. To sign up, visit the Sacramento Running Association website.