© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News

Joel Bryan giving his thumbs up.

Fifty-two-year-old Joel Bryan of Victoria raced the 2018 California International Marathon in Sacramento on Sunday, Dec. 2nd finishing in the time of 2:43:45. It was a new personal best performance.

“This was my third time racing CIM. The previous two times I had run personal bests, so I went in with confidence,” said Bryan.

In any other year, he would have finished 100 positions higher in the results, however, the 2018 CIM served as the final opportunity for Americans to try to qualify for the US Olympic Trials – so there were many more fast runners on the start line than usual.

“I went out with the 2:45-pace group (set up for the Women’s OTQ). It was great to have a large pack of runners to work with, was through half-way in 1:21:48 and working with my training partner Mike Angrove. We cruised the middle part of the race banking a few seconds under pace. I was pretty happy to see the 2:43:45 on the watch as I crossed the finish!”

Bryan finished third place in his 50-54 age-group out of 494 finishers and 392nd out of 7,844 overall. He was the 33rd runner over 40-years-of-age out of 2,377 masters.

“It was a great day in Sacramento. My coach Jim Finlayson had me very well prepared,” said Bryan. “There were 99 women that went sub-2:45:00 to qualify for the US Olympic Trials in that race. Conditions were perfect.”

The A-standard for men to run under to qualify for the US Olympic Trials was 2:15:00; the B-standard was 2:19:00. For the women, the qualification standards were A-2:37:00 and B-2:45:00. Consequently, there was a steady stream of women that Bryan was competing against in and around the standards.

File photo. Michael Angrove training in Mt. Doug. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

There were 73 women who finished in front of him and 31 who finished within a minute either side of him. It was a stacked field. There were 100 men who finished under 2:25:00.

For perspective, 2:43:45 would have placed Bryan 14th overall at the 2018 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.

Not far behind Bryan was fellow Victorian Mike Angrove who crossed the finish line in the time of 2:47:35. It was a new personal best for the Prairie Inn Harrier Running Club member by over eight minutes and 30 seconds. Angrove’s time would have placed him 18th overall in Victoria.

Granted, the CIM course runs one direction and offers a net downhill start-to-finish. Victoria offers a rolling course that runs back over itself most of the way; therefore any potential tailwind benefit is negated by the likelihood of the return headwind, especially along Dallas Rd. Regardless, the two performed well in a course that requires specific training to handle the long downhill stretches over the 42.195-kilometre course.

Also in the race from Victoria was 49-year-old Rustom Anklesaria. Anklesaria finished in the time of 3:23:31, which qualifies him for the B.A.A. Boston Marathon.