CARLSBAD — Thousands of runners came from all over the world and fans were treated to one of the fastest finishes in the history of the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon on Sunday.
Fernando Cabada, who appeared in his first Carlsbad event, clocked the second-fasted mark in the 25-year history of the event, crossing the line in 2:18.14, while Mary Akor won the women’s crown with a time of 2:41.24.
Cabada, who hails from Fresno, came into the race prepping for the Olympic Trials, which run in three weeks in Los Angeles. Four years ago, he finished seventh at the trials, missing the Team USA cut by four places.
Admittedly, Sunday’s race was a back-and-forth affair for Cabada, taking time to decide whether to win or just get in one last marathon before the trials.
He motioned to two other runners to take the lead about 20 miles in, but they opted to stay behind and draft, therefore Cabada figured he could take the race and possibly an extra $1,000.
“I was trying to run 90 percent of my marathon pace,” he said. “It was good enough and not going to the well. I started leading around 15 miles.”
As for the half marathon, Yonas Mebrehatu took the men’s title in 1:05.14, while Simegn Abnet Yeshanbel was the women’s winner with a mark of 1:12.23.
Per tradition, bands and fans lined the streets of Carlsbad giving the event its charm. One band, at the corner of Jefferson Street and Marron Road, was a hit.
Thrown from the Wreckage, a heavy metal group, played the genre’s trademark fast and furious chords, although vocalist Zach Salazar’s lyrics were more freelance and to the point.
As per metal tradition, the loud and sometime inaudible lyrics were mostly the opposite on Sunday.
Salazar encouraged runners “to put one foot in front of the other,” and to “keep going” in a humorous montage dedicated to the runners.
The participants, meanwhile, enjoyed the band and many were seen head-banging along with the riffs.