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.
“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.
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.”
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.”