Marathon returns to Santa Clarita

Carlos Larios, winner of the Santa Clarita Half Marathon, passes the finish line with a finish time of 1:14, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Signal file photo

Santa Clarita resident and Trinity Classical Academy running coach Timmy Kahovec took home his first marathon win on his home turf Sunday at the Santa Clarita Marathon.

“It feels surreal,” he said. “I ran the L.A. Marathon in March, and I was faster by about 12 minutes.”

Though faster, Kahovec still had a 15-minute lead on his opponents and won with a time of 2:40:42. By the halfway mark, he said he knew he could pull out a win.

Runners competing in the Santa Clarita Marathon, lead the pack as they make their way down the first leg of the race on Valencia Blvd, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Gilbert Bernal/The Signal

“I was either second or third through (the first) 13 miles, and I was feeling good,” he said. “I thought I could do it again (through the second half).”

Kahovec trained for about 14 weeks prior to the race, much of it with the athletes he coaches. “I run with those kids just about every day.”

The women’s race winner, Dolores Valencia, traveled from Chino Hills for the race.

“I love this course, so I keep coming back,” she said.

A pack of runners move around a bend on McBean Parkway during the Santa Clarita Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Gilbert Bernal/The Signal

This was the 55-year-old’s third Santa Clarita Marathon win, and the second marathon she’s run in the past two weeks.

“I just ran one 12 days ago in Ventura,” she said. “I wanted to take the challenge and run back to back. I’m getting prepared for London. I’m going to go run the elite masters division, but it’s six days after (the) Boston (Marathon), so I wanted to see what it felt like. It’s a lot of work, but fun.”

Jessica Reyes, crosses the finish line for the Santa Clarita Half Marathon with a time of 1:24, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Gilbert Bernal/The Signal

Many were hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon, including second-place finisher Chris Blecher, who finished with a time of 2:55:08.

“It hurts, but I’m happy,” he said, adding, “I’m going to Boston — that was my goal for the year.”

Blecher had recently moved to San Jose, but he returned to Santa Clarita for the marathon. “I always like running this race.”

A Santa Clarita Marathon spectator waves and wishes runners a good morning as they make their way down McBean Parkway, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Gilbert Bernal/The Signal

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