Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 5 of 5]

One runner will run with a pink rose in loving memory of his wife. For another, running has new meaning since the Boston Marathon bombing. Here are their stories for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon this weekend.

This will be Jose Cumagun's third year running in the Half Moon Bay International Marathon.
This will be Jose Cumagun's third year running in the Half Moon Bay International Marathon.
Half Moon Bay is currently in "Race Week" with only one more day to go before the Half Moon Bay International Marathon welcomes 1,200 runners from 39 states and six countries, set to run 26.2 miles starting from Pillar Point Harbor along the Pacific coastline.

For the next few days leading up to race day on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, Half Moon Bay Patch will feature stories in the runner’s own words about why they are participating in the race. Some of their stories are quite emotional and insightful and will inspire you and maybe even bring tears to your eyes. 

Sharlene Chinn

I've always believed that running, regardless of distance is a gift but it took running the 2013 Boston Marathon and crossing the Finish Line less than 3 minutes before the explosions to really feel what a gift it is to not only run but now to use running as a vehicle and stance against terrorism.

My initial reaction after completing the 2013 Boston Marathon was that I wasn't sure if  I had it in me mentally to ever run another marathon again. I couldn't understand how something as innocent, non-threatening and carefree as running could be victimized by terrorism.  I couldn't understand why innocent and unsuspecting individuals who were  simply out enjoying the day and a great event were killed and injured. I don't think I'll ever fully understand the "why" but  now I can see  that running  was an obvious threat and fear  to the terrorists.  It's gratifying to know  that I have the gift and the power to stand up and  fight back. With that in mind, I knew had to get out there as soon as possible and keep going so I ran the SF Marathon in June, 2013, placed 2nd in my Age Division, registered for the Half Moon Bay Marathon, Honolulu Marathon in December and will return to run my fifth  Boston Marathon in 2014.

Running marathons has now taken on a different meaning and it's not about "me" anymore.  I used to think that all I could do for victims of terrorism was to say a prayer and donate to the cause.  After experiencing the explosions in Boston, I now know that I have the power to  do more and honor those who have been killed or injured over the years and run every marathon for them.  I owe it to all the innocent victims to run with my heart and soul in  every race and run the best I can.  That's the powerful gift of running.

Jose "Joey" Cumagun

I just want to say that I'm very excited to be back for the third time! Looking forward to a great race and a meaningful one. Running with a pink rose in memory of my wife. Thank you HMBIM!

Mimi Nguyen

Half Moon Bay International Marathon 2013 will be my first marathon! When I started training for the marathon, I had several friends that committed to running parts of my training runs with me.  During these training runs, my running partner (whoever it was that day or for that segment) and I would chat about everything -- work, their kids, what we're making for dinner, fun plans.....we talked about EVERYTHING! I had friends run with me up to 15 miles so we had plenty of time to chat.

As race day started getting closer and closer, I began to realize that my friends that were running with me would not be there to run the marathon with me.  Instead, I would need to rely on good music, the spectators and the scenery to keep me going and to keep my mind off of how long I have to go before reaching the finish line.

I decided to ask my friends and family to record voice memos on their iphone for me.  I promised not to listen to any of the voice memos as they were email and texted to me.  They were encouraged to send me stories, jokes, a memory, or say ANYTHING they wanted to. On Friday, the 27th, I'll be transferring the voice memos into strategic places on my playlist on my ipod in random order. I'm looking forward to hearing voices from my family and friends as I conquer my first marathon.


Race Weekend Events

The Half Moon Bay International Marathon will include a full 26.2 marathon event, a 13.1 mile half marathon event, and a FREE 5k Fun-Run.

Saturday, Sept. 28

·       12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. - Runner's World's Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso (and author of the famous Yasso 800s training workout) will speak about his passion of running and how to achieve your goals. 

·       12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Bart will be available for photos and book signings. 

·       1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Eric Vaughan, Executive Director of the HMBIM will discuss the course, signage, aid stations and other last minute tips. 

·       2 p.m. - 4 mile fun run (run as much as you want) on the HMBIM Course with Bart Yasso, starting from the HMBIM Start/Finish Line.

Sunday, Sept. 29

Three events are planned for race day including a full and half marathon distance and a free 5K fun run. The Full and Half distances are run on a mixture of paved coastal trails, local streets and some hard-packed dirt trails, while the 10k and 5k are entirely on paved trails. The trail portions of the course offer some of the most spectacular vistas of the entire course. The Start/Finish Line of the 2013 HMBIM is at EQ Fitness HMB (formerly known as Coastal Lifestyles), 371 Princeton Avenue, Half Moon Bay.

·       Full Marathon: 7 a.m.

·       Half Marathon first wave start: 7:30 a.m.

·       Just Run 5K: 7:45 a.m.

After Party at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Steps away for the Start/Finish Line, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is hosting an amazing party all day, starting with breakfast in the morning for spectators and early finishers, followed by lunch, and a special HMBIM Beer! Come grab some food and drink, and enjoy the festivities featuring live entertainment and outdoor seating near the finish line. Get tickets by clicking here

All of the above events are open to the public. Marathon organizers still need volunteers. Click here for more information — you'll have a chance to win one of several prizes, get a free shirt, and be a part of the amazing community event.

Read Part 1 hereMonica Boyce's story in Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.


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