Tag Archive | "Nadia Ruiz Gonzales"


Run It Fast at the Boston Marathon

Run It Fast Club members will be representing at the Boston Marathon this year! There will be quite a few members there from Tennessee, Mississippi, New York, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, California, South Carolina, Oregon, and New Hampshire. They’ll all be going for the medal shown above, probably a PR too, and hopefully an Age Group win or two. Whatever their goals, we are so happy and proud that Run It Fast members will be running it fast from Hopkinton, up Heartbreak Hill, and across the finish line in Boston.

Check out our list of Run It Fast Club members who will be there and send them some good luck and well wishes:

RIF #159 Diane Bolton (Bib #26967) will be running her 4th Boston Marathon. Diane is a running machine and just recently completed marathons in Antarctica and Chile in her quest to run this world. Go Diane!

 RIF #28 Kenneth Williams (Bib #20561) has run Boston over 10 times. He’s not only a runner but a coach as well and has travelled the world to run marathons. You can follow him on Twitter here @MarathonKoach and check out his Run It Fast Profile here for more fun facts: Kenneth Williams Profile.

RIF #105 Kathy Shirley (Bib #20098) will be running her 3rd Boston Marathon. You can follow Kathy on Twitter @ipoddess

RIF #92 Steven Lee (Bib #6645) will be running his first Boston Marathon this year. He completed his 50 States quest at the Honolulu Marathon in December and has run a sub 4 marathon in all 50 states. You can follow him on Twitter here: @steventlee

RIF #206 Gary Krugger (Bib #309) will be running his 5th Boston on Monday. He ran a 2:44:48 there last year…when it was hot. It will be exciting to see what he does this year with better weather.

RIF #124 Michelle Walker (Bib #13916) will be running her 1st Boston Marathon. She also just recently completed marathons in Chile and Antarctica. You can follow her on Twitter here @MarathonMomof6, read about her Road to Boston here: Road to Boston, or check out her profile to learn more about her here: Michelle Walker Profile.

RIF #79 Dallas Smith (Bib #18431) will be running his 6th Boston Marathon on Monday. The last 2 years, Dallas finished 2nd in his Age Group! Go Dallas! He also holds quite a few Age records in the state of Tennesse. You can follow him on Twitter here @smithbend and check out his blog here: http://dallasfallsforward.blogspot.com/.

RIF #70 Chuck Engle (Bib #276) “Marathon Junkie” has run a sub 3 hour marathon in all 50 states and has over 275 sub 3 hour marathons on his resume. You can follow him on Twitter here: @MarathonJunkie and read more about him on his blog here: MarathonJunkie.

RIF #101 David Wingard (Bib #19810) will be running his 2nd Boston Marathon. He just completed his quest to run a marathon in each state at the Walt Disney World Marathon. You can follow him on Twitter here: @CockyDW.

RIF #261 Kerri Haskins (Bib #23693) will be running her 1st Boston Marathon. Kerri is on a quest to run a marathon in every state and has only 5 states to go! You can follow her on Twitter here @khrunner0815 and check out her Run It Fast Profile for more fun running facts here: Kerri Haskins Profile.

RIF #139 JD Leman (Bib #3575) is running his 1st Boston Marathon on Monday. It will be only his 4th full marathon. You can follow JD on Twitter here: @lefthash.

RIF #69 Nadia Ruiz Gonzales (Bib #8682) Nadia has completed over 90 marathons and has qualified for Boston over 50 times! You can learn more about her on her Facebook page Nadia Ruiz/Athlete or by checking out her blog: Nadia The Runner. You can also follow her on Twitter here: @IrongirlNadia.

If we left you off it wasn’t intentional. Just message us RunItFast@gmail.com and we’ll add you to the list!!! 🙂

Quite a list, isn’t it? Good luck to everyone running! We will be following along on Monday to see what they are up to. We hope you’ll join us on Monday too and follow along to get the latest info on all the Run It Fast Club members…and oh, yeah…the elites who will be running as well. 😉

If you’d like to join Run It Fast – The Club or would like more information about it, please click this link:

Run It Fast – The Club (JOIN TODAY)

Posted in Marathon, Running, THE CLUBComments (0)

Extreme Racer Nerdy Winners Steve Hughes and Diane Bolton

Steve Hughes Wins 2012 ‘Extreme Racer of the Year’ (Complete Final Standings)

Steve Hughes (RIF #194) won Run It Fast’s Inaugural ‘Extreme Racer of the Year‘ contest with a whooping 2,742.4 points. The Arkansas native ran an amazing 82 marathons, fifteen 50K’s, and four other races consisting of 129 miles for a grand total of 2,742.4 race miles in 2012.

Second place (first female) went to Diane Bolton (RIF #159) with 1,961.91 points.

Joshua Holmes (RIF #1) finished in third with 1,652.1 points.  He was followed by John Kent Leighton (RIF #190) and Carol Goslin (RIF #218) rounded out the top five.

Runners in the ‘Extreme Racer’ standings are given 1 point for each mile of racing they complete. For example a marathon is worth 26.2 points, half marathon 13.1 points, 50K 31.0 points, etc.

The competitive contest is open to members of Run It Fast – The Club. You can read more about joining HERE. The club is open to runners of all levels.

2012 Extreme Racer Final Standings

Top Ten Overall
1.   Steve Hughes – 2,742.4  (RIF #194)
2.   Diane Bolton – 1,961.91  (RIF #159)
3.   Joshua Holmes – 1,652.1  (RIF #1)
4.   John Kent Leighton – 1,648.88  (RIF #190)
5.   Carol Goslin – 1,188.3  (RIF #218)
6.   Hideki Kinoshita – 1,153.8  (RIF #88)
7.   Steven Lee – 1,044.4  (RIF #92)
8.   Elaine Bickel Green – 915.4  (RIF #217)
9.   Shannon McGinn – 820.79  (RIF #46)
10.   Michelle Walker – 801.5  (RIF #124)

Men’s Leaderboard
1.   Steve Hughes – 2,742.4  (RIF #194)
2.   Joshua Holmes – 1,652.1  (RIF #1)
3.   John Kent Leighton – 1,648.88  (RIF #190)
4.   Hideki Kinoshita – 1,153.8  (RIF #88)
5.   Steven Lee – 1,044.4  (RIF #92)
6.   Scott Stader – 665.9  (RIF #40)
7.   Danny Staggs – 510.3  (RIF #186)
8.   Alvin Lee – 499.5  (RIF #30)
9.   Nicholas Norfolk – 429  (RIF #116)
10.   Jason Howard – 379.9  (RIF #150)
11.   David Wingard – 365.4  (RIF #101)
12.   Mark Watson – 329.6  (RIF #173)
13.   Daniel Escue – 320.45  (RIF #187)
14.   Rick Thiounn – 299.9  (RIF #111)
15.   Rick Jarvis – 296.8  (RIF #18)
16.   Wade Anderson – 236.8  (RIF #22)
17.   Chris Estes – 226.2  (RIF #151)
18.   Dennis Arriaga – 215.56  (RIF #140)
19.   David Donald – 203.96  (RIF #54)
20.   Anthony Ohrey – 201.1  (RIF #27)
21.   Rodrigo Jiménez – 195.43  (RIF #203)
22.   Perry Ligon – 193  (RIF #146)
23.   Jonathan Bobbitt – 180.6  (RIF #3)
24.   David Pharr – 178.2  (RIF #185)
25.   Robin Robbins – 167.9  (RIF #33)
26.   Greg Smith – 144.4  (RIF #168)
27.   Kevin Leathers – 143  (RIF #12)
28.   Trent Rosenbloom – 141.6  (RIF #57)
29.   Steven Reagan – 139.82  (RIF #157)
30.   Nathan Bass – 135.4  (RIF #174)
31.   Chris Haynes – 135.3  (RIF #223)
32.   Winston Trice – 126.4  (RIF #29)
33.   Josh Liggett – 119.62  (RIF #147)
34.   Nathan Judd – 118.6  (RIF #166)
35.   Mark Sikkila – 113.4  (RIF #108)
36.   Kevin Ronayne – 106.3  (RIF #11)
37.   James Krenis – 83.6  (RIF #67)
38.   Naresh Kumar – 83.4  (RIF #2)
39.   Stephen Griffin – 82.7  (RIF #48)
40.   John Hudson – 79.6  (RIF #63)
41.   Brian Wooldridge – 77.9  (RIF #141)
42.   Victor Fleitas – 71.12  (RIF #21)
43.   Scott Lochridge – 65.5  (RIF #32)
44.   Stewart Crouch – 64.8  (RIF #89)
45.   JD Leman – 39.3  (RIF #139)
46.   Scott Gatlin – 29.3  (RIF #80)
47.   Scott Gorski – 25.5  (RIF #107)
48.   Chris Nelson – 19.3  (RIF #135)
49.   Patrick Johnson – 10  (RIF #87)

Women’s Leaderboard
1.   Diane Bolton – 1,961.91  (RIF #159)
2.   Carol Goslin – 1,188.3  (RIF #218)
3.   Elaine Bickel Green – 915.4  (RIF #217)
4.   Shannon McGinn – 820.79  (RIF #46)
5.   Michelle Walker – 801.5  (RIF #124)
6.   Heather Shoemaker – 730.9  (RIF #44)
7.   Nadia Ruiz Gonzales – 690.6  (RIF #69)
8.   Lisa Gonzales – 562.6  (RIF #5)
9.   Laura Raeder – 517.3  (RIF #20)
10.  Mikki Trujillo – 514.1  (RIF #13)
11.   Shannon Burke – 502.03  (RIF #171)
12.   Emily Conley – 426.4  (RIF #24)
13.   Robin Mancinelli – 413.8  (RIF #134)
14.   Alicia Eno – 405.7  (RIF #126)
15.   Michelle Mitchell – 365.7  (RIF #133)
16.   Leigh Marsh – 332.7  (RIF #192)
17.   Marlene Deem – 281.2  (RIF #189)
18.   Jennifer Whitley – 184.9  (RIF #160)
19.   Amber Goetz-Bouchard – 166.75  (RIF #15)
20.   Marj Mitchell – 148.4  (RIF #4)
21.   Donna Pittman – 147.2  (RIF #181)
22.   Christy Bowers – 143.9  (RIF #60)
23.   Daniela Obregon – 135.69  (RIF #49)
24.   Nicole Knutson – 104.8  (RIF #47)
25.   Lisa Edwards – 58  (RIF #122)
26.   Natalie Torres – 42.4  (RIF #72)
27.   Meredith Yox – 40.2  (RIF #128)
28.   Debra Jacildo – 17.39  (RIF #98)

Big thank you to all of the Run It Fast members that took part in the Extreme Racer program in 2012. You should have received a Thank You card in the mail along with a couple of Run It Fast temporary tattoos.

Top 10 overall finishers will be receiving a certificate to honor their accomplishment. Top 3 overall finishers will be receiving gift certificates to Running Warehouse.

We are already collecting data from January for the 2013 Extreme Racer standings. You can view that info or RIF members can enter their data HERE.

Posted in Extreme Racer, THE CLUBComments (1)

Steve Hughes – Run It Fast Extreme Racer Points Leader RIF #194

RIF #194 Steve Hughes Takes Commanding Extreme Racer Lead (thru Sept)

RIF #194 Steve Hughes is now the overall leader in the Run It Fast – Club Extreme Racer standings thru the month of September 2012.

Steve has opened up a nice lead with 1,456 total points.  He has a 314 point lead over fellow new member RIF #190 John Kent Leighton (1,142.58 pts).  Third place male goes to RIF #1 Joshua Holmes with 1,124.8 points.

RIF #159 Diane Bolton has an even more impressive lead on the women’s side (4th overall). She has accumulated 1,055.91 points and has a 529.51 pt lead over second place female RIF #124 Michelle Walker (526.4 pts).  Third place female is RIF #69 Nadia Ruiz Gonzales with 509.1 points.

Top Ten Overall
1.   Steve Hughes – 1456  (RIF #194)
2.   John Kent Leighton – 1142.58  (RIF #190)
3.   Joshua Holmes – 1124.8  (RIF #1)
4.   Diane Bolton – 1055.91  (RIF #159)
5.   Hideki Kinoshita – 996.6  (RIF #88)
6.   Michelle Walker – 526.4  (RIF #124)
7.   Nadia Ruiz Gonzales – 509.1  (RIF #69)
8.   Shannon Burke – 478.1  (RIF #171)
9.   Heather Shoemaker – 434.8  (RIF #44)
10.   Scott Stader – 427  (RIF #40)

Men’s Leaderboard
1.   Steve Hughes – 1456  (RIF #194)
2.   John Kent Leighton – 1142.58  (RIF #190)
3.   Joshua Holmes – 1124.8  (RIF #1)
4.   Hideki Kinoshita – 996.6  (RIF #88)
5.   Scott Stader – 427  (RIF #40)
6.   David Wingard – 365.4  (RIF #101)
7.   Rick Thiounn – 299.9  (RIF #111)
8.   Rick Jarvis – 296.8  (RIF #18)
9.   Jason Howard – 295.1  (RIF #150)
10.   Danny Staggs – 293  (RIF #186)
11.   Alvin Lee – 289.9  (RIF #30)
12.   Chris Estes – 226.2  (RIF #151)
13.   David Donald – 203.96  (RIF #54)
14.   Jonathan Bobbitt – 180.6  (RIF #3)
15.   Wade Anderson – 170.6  (RIF #22)
16.   Perry Ligon – 162  (RIF #146)
17.   Mark Watson – 151  (RIF #173)
18.   Kevin Leathers – 143  (RIF #12)
19.   Trent Rosenbloom – 141.6  (RIF #57)
20.   Nicholas Norfolk – 139.01  (RIF #116)
21.   Daniel Escue – 130.85  (RIF #187)
22.   Dennis Arriaga – 123.76  (RIF #140)
23.   Greg Smith – 118.2  (RIF #168)
24.   Mark Sikkila – 113.4  (RIF #108)
25.   Nathan Bass – 94.8  (RIF #174)
26.   Steven Reagan – 84.7  (RIF #157)
27.   Naresh Kumar – 83.4  (RIF #2)
28.   Kevin Ronayne – 80.8  (RIF #11)
29.   John Hudson – 79.6  (RIF #63)
30.   Robin Robbins – 75  (RIF #33)
31.   Brian Wooldridge – 74.8  (RIF #141)
32.   Victor Fleitas – 71.12  (RIF #21)
33.   David Pharr – 71  (RIF #185)
34.   Scott Lochridge – 65.5  (RIF #32)
35.   Stewart Crouch – 64.8  (RIF #89)
36.   Winston Trice – 46.6  (RIF #29)
37.   JD Leman – 39.3  (RIF #139)
38.   Josh Liggett – 35.52  (RIF #147)
39.   Scott Gatlin – 29.3  (RIF #80)
40.   Scott Gorski – 25.5  (RIF #107)
41.   Chris Nelson – 19.3  (RIF #135)
42.   Patrick Johnson – 10  (RIF #87)

Women’s Leaderboard
1.   Diane Bolton – 1055.91  (RIF #159)
2.   Michelle Walker – 526.4  (RIF #124)
3.   Nadia Ruiz Gonzales – 509.1  (RIF #69)
4.   Shannon Burke – 478.1  (RIF #171)
5.   Heather Shoemaker – 434.8  (RIF #44)
6.   Emily Conley – 426.4  (RIF #24)
7.   Laura Raeder – 409.4  (RIF #20)
8.   Lisa Gonzales – 370.3  (RIF #5)
9.   Mikki Trujillo – 367.7  (RIF #13)
10.   Shannon McGinn – 333  (RIF #46)
11.   Robin Mancinelli – 311.4  (RIF #134)
12.   Alicia Eno – 258.2  (RIF #126)
13.   Michelle Mitchell – 273.4  (RIF #133)
14.   Leigh Marsh – 254.1  (RIF #192)
15.   Marlene Deem – 194.5  (RIF #189)
16.   Jennifer Whitley – 184.9  (RIF #160)
17.   Donna Pittman – 121  (RIF #181)
18.   Daniela Obregon – 107.7  (RIF #49)
19.   Amber Goetz-Bouchard – 105.98  (RIF #15)
20.   Nicole Knutson – 104.8  (RIF #47)
21.   Marj Mitchell – 88.1  (RIF #4)
22.   Christy Bowers – 79.8  (RIF #60)
23.   Lisa Edwards – 58  (RIF #122)
24.   Natalie Torres – 42.4  (RIF #72)
25.   Meredith Yox – 24.7  (RIF #128)
26.   Debra Jacildo – 17.39  (RIF #98)

Details on joining Run It Fast – The Club

[Extreme Racer points are rewarded per each racing mile completed. Example: marathon = 26.2 points, half marathon 13.1 points, etc.]

Posted in Running, THE CLUBComments (0)

Nadia Ruiz Gonzales’ Top 20 Most Favorite Marathons

Nadia Ruiz Gonzales’ Top 20 Most Favorite Marathons

Veteran marathoner Nadia Ruiz Gonzales has run 74 marathons to date.  She ran her first marathon at the age of 14-years old at her hometown Los Angeles Marathon.

Here is a look at some of her favorite marathons that she has run from the West Coast all the way to Europe.

Nadia’s Top 20 Most Favorite Marathons:

20. Rock’n Roll New Orleans Marathon – (Website)
Location: New Orleans, LA
Race Date: 2/13/11
2011 Finishers: 3,140
2011 Race Temps: 40F/55F
2011 Results: 3:20:48 BQ, 54th total

Looking for a fun city on a fun weekend full of beaded necklaces, boas, masks, drinks, and more? New Orleans is the place to be during Mardi Gras! The race offers a flat course with several turns, cool temps, and typical Rock’n Roll pre and post race support providing very favorable conditions for PR attempts but watch out for uneven roads at times. I enjoyed this race with friends and hitting a PR made it even sweeter!

19. Extraterrestrial Midnight Marathon & 51K – (Website)
Race Location: Rachel, NV
Race Date: 8/14/11
2011 Finishers: 173
2011 Race Temps: 50F
2011 Results: 4:37:08, 1st FOA 51K

Starting at midnight, the marathon and 51K ultra start at the infamous black mailbox outside of Area 51 for a point to point scenic course in the desert. You run under a full moon and star lit sky going slightly uphill continuously for the first 13 miles then rolling hills thereafter. Be aware the RD from Calico Racing does charge extra for glow in the dark items, required reflective tape, and shuttle bus ticket from Vegas. 1st overall award was a glass bottle of salts. Still very entertaining race with neon lit runners and alien themed. Don’t get abducted!

18. Red Rock Canyon Marathon – (Website)
Location: Red Rock Conservation Area, NV
Race Date: 3/5/11
2011 Finishers: 175
2011 Race Temps: 35F/50F
2011 Results: 3:38:59 BQ, 2nd FOA, 55th total

Another race from Calico Racing as it offers an absolutely gorgeous out-and-back course at elevation with views of red rock formations but be prepared for a large amount of hills on the roads! I love scenic courses so here is one that the views and hills will not disappoint. Watching the sunrise over the horizon is as breathtaking as they get.

17. Pasadena Marathon – (Website)
Location: Pasadena, CA
Race Date: 5/15/11
2011 Finishers: 868
2011 Race Temps: 57F/61F
2011 Results: 3:20:04 PR, BQ, 59th total

With slight hills on this road race, the course meanders throughout the beautiful homes and greenery of Pasadena with some beginning miles around the Rose Bowl Stadium. The course is not your typical PR flat course but I was well trained for hills that spring season so I earned my PR that day. If you like a small, very well organized marathon, this is a great one! Check their FB fan page as they often offer contests for free VIP entries.

16. Malibu International Marathon – (Website)
Location: Malibu, CA
Race Date: 11/15/09
2009 Finishers: 330
2009 Race Temps: 50F/69F, windy
2009 Results: 3:38:01 BQ, 7th FOA

Point to point course begins in Camarillo and ends in Zuma Beach: first 10 miles are flat through the fields of Camarillo then the remaining 16 miles are along the beautiful CA coastline on PCH with possible strong headwinds and significant rolling hills. Beautiful beach marathon with a large towel and reusable lunch bag for finishers. Since its inaugural year in 2009, I have returned every year and the race continues to grow in participation where marathon participation was almost 500 in 2011.

15. Bermuda Marathon – (Website)
Location: Hampton, Bermuda Island
Race Date: 1/18/09
2009 Finishers: 76
2009 Race Temps: 60F
2009 Results: 3:58:11, 22nd total

Take a vacation during Bermuda’s low season off the east coast and enjoy the beauty of the island’s two-loop course through its neighborhoods all along the shoreline. The locals are friendly and very welcoming to tourists. They also offer their Bermuda Triangle Challenge for runners interested in racing three days for extra bling!

14. Catalina Island Conservancy Marathon – (Website)
Location: Two Harbors-Avalon, Catalina
Race Date: 3/10/12
2012 Finishers: 382
2012 Race Temps: 50F/70F
2012 Results: 5:16:32 pacer, 3rd Div.

Starting in Two Harbors and finishing in Avalon, you will run on trails through the hilltops of Catalina with miles of ocean views. Offering over 3,500′ of elevation gain, the course is enough to challenge any runner but merciful so you can enjoy the beauty of the island. Generally the rule of thumb is add about 1hr +/-15min to your regular road marathon time to predict a finishing time on Catalina. Watch out for buffalo!

13. Bellingham Bay Marathon – (Website)
Location: Bellingham, WA
Race Date: 9/26/10
2010 Finishers: 401
2010 Race Temps: 62F, light rain
2010 Results: 3:38:48 BQ, 48th total

Commented by many reviews as “the most beautiful marathon in the Pacific Northwest,” you will run along the beauty of Bellingham Bay, San Juan Islands, with mountain views running on roads, bridges, and a touch of trails. A wonderful variety of beauty with slight hills definitely a favorite of mine.

12. Napa Valley Trail Marathon – (Website)
Location: Calistoga, CA
Race Date: 3/29/08
2008 Finishers: 45
2008 Race Temps: 40F/55F
2008 Results: 3:40:13, 1st FOA

Capped at 300 participants for the full, half, and 10K, the Napa Valley Trail Marathon offers a challenging yet rewarding course on a single track in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Surrounded with lush greenery all around and running streams as your soundtrack, the course does require hill preparation for a great experience! Even though I twisted and sprained my ankle in the second half (grade I sprain), it was sweet to cross the finish line for my first win in this intimate, friendly marathon.

11. Nike Women’s Marathon – (Website)
Location: San Francisco, CA
Race Date: 10/16/11
2011 Finishers: 6,322
2011 Race Temps: 64F/69F
2011 Results: 3:37:29 BQ, 65th total

With an entry via lottery only and a very large female representation, this race offers many nice perks such as a four day Expotique with several fun free vendors, finisher’s Tiffany’s necklace given by firemen, and a hilly course finishing at the beach offering something slightly different than the San Francisco Marathon. Very large event with most of the participants in the half marathon so be prepared for large crowds but still very fun.

10. Napa Valley Marathon – (Website)
Location: Napa, CA
Race Date: 3/4/12
2012 Finishers: 1,794
2012 Race Temps: 39F/68F
2012 Results: 3:22:47 BQ, 72nd total

Named the world’s best little marathon, it had made many top lists such as Top 10 marathons worth traveling for, Top 100 road races in North America, and it sure made my Top 20. In it’s 34th year, it still takes care of their runners with cool swag of giving runners a duffle bag, tech shirt, spinner medal, and a great post-race festival with warm soup, massages, showers, & more. If that doesn’t excite you, the beautiful, peaceful course through the vineyards of Napa are certainly a plus. Net downhill course but do be aware of the continuous, gradual uphill in the last 10K. This race closes every year so sign up early.

9. Barcelona Marathon – (Website)
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Race Date: 3/7/10
2010 Finishers: 4,054
2010 Race Temps: 45F/60F
2010 Results: 3:37:52 BQ, 38th total

Traveling internationally for me is such a treat and to be able to combine it with a marathon makes it even more memorable. Europe travel in the spring is in its low season and much more affordable plus you will find favorable cooler racing temps. The course travels through many tourists sights in Barcelona so you get a great taste of the city. Enjoy a paella de Mariscos, great bottles of wine, and make it a vacation to remember! Note: European marathons tend to have fluid stations only every 5K.

8. Walt Disney World Marathon – (Website)
Location: Orlando, FL
Race Date: 1/9/11
2011 Finishers: 13,522
2011 Race Temps: 44F/49F
2011 Results: 3:23:01 BQ, 52nd total

Want to be a kid again and run through multiple magical kingdoms as the sun rises before the crowds hit the amusement parks? The race is a hefty price tag but travel to Orlando in January is in it’s low season so why not. Enjoy the magic of the race with the half, full, or be Goofy and do both! Always sells out so sign up early.

7. San Francisco Marathon – (Website)
Location: San Francisco, CA
Race Date: 7/31/11
2011 Finishers: 5,920
2011 Race Temps: 57F/60F
2011 Results: 3:35:06 BQ, 61st total

Want a marathon in the summer with almost guaranteed cool race temps and an early 5:30am start? SFM is the only race where it shuts down the Golden Gate just for its runners. The first half is hillier than the 2nd half but it isn’t as bad as SF could be. I personally love running on the Golden Gate, Embarcadero, Golden Gate Park, and other SF hot spots so I’ve ran this race for 5 consecutive years. It’s definitely a favorite and an excuse to have some seafood in SF.

6. Pikes Peak Marathon – (Website)
Location: Manitou Springs, CO
Race Date: 8/21/11
2011 Finishers: 728
2011 Race Temps: 68F/60F
2011 Results: 8:41:47, 62nd total

As “America’s Ultimate Challenge,” it fulfills its name. Claimed as the most difficult marathon in the US if not the world, the race begins at 6,300′ elevation climbs for 13 miles to the summit at 14,115′ and then you have to run back down. Ask any mountaineer, the mountain at that elevation controls the day so be prepared for anything and to have slower than normal mile splits. Add anywhere from 2-3hrs to your regular road marathon time. I was on target for a 2hr addition but when a hail storm hit the summit, the boulders became slippery, and I sprained my ankle at Mile 18. I hopped to the finish and grateful that I did. I love mountains!

5. Boston Marathon – (Website)
Location: Boston, MA
Race Date: 4/19/10
2010 Finishers: 22,588
2010 Race Temps: 42F/52F
2010 Results: 3:28:32 BQ, 40th total

Down to the Top 5! It’s many runners’ dream to qualify and run the infamous Boston, and it definitely delivers a memorable experience. Marathon Monday is a holiday for Bostonians, and they welcome the running community with full energy. It is full of excitement, cheer, emotion, and thrill from the moment you start to the moment you finish. I’ve been very fortunate and grateful to qualify every year for the past 13 years; however, travel to Boston during this race weekend is sure to surprise you with its prices. Fortunately with friends to share the experience, I will be returning anxiously for a 3rd year in 2012. Work for it friends. It’s worth it at least once!

4. ING NYC Marathon – (Website)
Location: New York City, NY
Race Date: 11/6/11
2011 Finishers: 46,795
2011 Race Temps: 40F/65F
2011 Results: 3:39:37 BQ, 66th total

As one of the largest marathons of the world, the unheard of energy of this race is in great competition with Boston. I was pleasantly amazed with the great organization of this race as it runs through the five boroughs of NYC. Don’t look for your fastest time here with the multiple bridge crossings and so much excitement to absorb in this amazing race! It’s NYC!

3. Rome Marathon – (Website)
Location: Rome, Italy
Race Date: 3/22/09
2009 Finishers: 11,010
2009 Race Temps: 39F/55F
2009 Results: 4:01:21, 25th marathon

Passing through over 20 tourist sites in Rome, some course highlights are running through the Vatican City, Pantheon, Fountain de Trevi, but most notable is starting and finishing around the infamous Coliseum. The entire run is as majestic as they can get and listening to the spectators cheer you on in Italian makes the entire experience unforgettable. Nothing disappoints in Italy: it was the best pizza, best wine, best city, best gelato, and best company a runner can ever ask for earning the #3 favorite of marathons in my heart. Make it a week long vacation and you will not regret it.

2. Big Sur Marathon – (Website)
Location: Big Sur to Carmel, CA
Race Date: 4/25/10
2010 Finishers: 3,442
2010 Race Temps: 49F/70F
2010 Results: 3:45:08, 41st total

Beautiful, gorgeous, and breathtaking do not give the Big Sur Marathon justice how magnificent the course really is. It is the only marathon that closes down PCH for its runners from Big Sur to Carmel running along the jagged edge of the western world. You have miles of green beauty to the east and miles of blue beauty to the west. You will be mesmerized almost every step of the way especially when you run across Bixby bridge and listen to the echoing harmony of the pianist playing just for its runners. This is a must in a runner’s lifetime!

1. Los Angeles Marathon – (Website)
Location: Los Angeles-Santa Monica, CA
Race Date: 3/1/99
1999 Finishers: 16,861
1999 Race Temps: 55F/73F
1999 Results: 4:05:55, 1st marathon

And finally for #1, the world renown LA Marathon. Over the fourteen years of my running career, I have ran LAM every year and experienced several course changes, changes in management ownership, and a variety of weather conditions from scorching heat waves to the monsoon that hit LA in 2011. Now with a net downhill course still with several rolling hills, it runs from the Dodger stadium to the beach in Santa Monica. What brings me back every year? The memory of running 26.2 for the first time with my father: we ran our first together in 1999 and we continue to run the LA Marathon every single year. Then in 2012, it was the first time I ran a sub-3:20 earning myself a 3:18:17 PR. As they say, you never forget your first!

“I hope you enjoyed my Top 20 marathons. Continue to make your memories. Continue to make your heart beat with excitement for your races. Continue to make your journey yours! The world is our playground and I intend to keep playing as long as my legs will carry me.” – Nadia

Nadia’s Blog
Nadia’s Facebook Fan Page
Nadia’s Marathon Results

Honorable Mentions:
Carlsbad Marathon
California International Marathon
Philadelphia Marathon
Rock’n Roll Denver Marathon
Surf City Marathon

Posted in Marathon, RunningComments (0)

Catalina Island Marathon Medal – 2012

Catalina Island Conservancy Marathon Medal (2012)

Here is the colorful yet simple finisher’s medal from the 2012 Catalina Island Conservancy Marathon that took place on March 10th.

I really like this medal. It’s fresh and resembles a gingerbread cookie with icing. It looks almost edible. That would be a fun challenge to put upon someone finishing a marathon…give them a medal that is a cookie and see how many would still have a medal by the time they got home from the race.


[medal photo submitted by Nadia Ruiz Gonzales. Follow her on Facebook on her Fan Page]

Posted in Bling, Featured, Marathon, MedalsComments (0)

Nadia Ruiz Gonzales – Boston Marathon Finisher

Catching Up With Nadia Ruiz Gonzales: An Interview

Run It Fast was recently able to catch up with veteran marathoner Nadia Ruiz Gonzales from Los Angeles. Nadia is 27-years old and ran her first marathon at the age of 14. She has now run a total of 71 marathons to date.

Here is a quick rundown of why Nadia runs and who inspires her:

When did you start running?
In middle school, my mom enrolled me in boxing so I can learn self defense. Yes, cool mom. 🙂 As part of training, the coach had us run and run some more in circles around the gym. It was then I learned I had a thing for endurance.

Did you start with races or just running recreationally or for school?
After middle school, my sister suggested I try out for the high school Cross Country team. Afraid and timid, I trained my first summer hard as a Freshman because it was a fear that I would be left behind. In our first school’s Cross Country meet, I came in first overall for our school. I was hooked. I remained undefeated at any long distance for four years at SFHS.

What distance(s) were your first races?
Standard distance in Cross Country was the 3 mile event. In Track & Field, I was placed in the 4x400m, 800m, 1600m, and 3200m. I was so hooked to the running high, I started running 5Ks and 10Ks on the weekends with my family as training to make myself a stronger racer. Ten years after graduating, my high school records for the 3 mile, 2 mile and 3200m still remain at SFHS.

Who inspired you or inspires you to run? Who got that ‘bug’ activated within you?
I first learned about running as a sport and the marathon distance as a 6th grader from my middle school math teacher who ran marathons for “fun.” Noticing my interest, my father took me with him to cheer on an Ecuadorian runner in the 1996 Los Angeles Marathon who went on the win the race making my dad be a proud Ecuadorian that day. Witnessing such amazing strength and will, I then decided as a little 12 year old girl that one day I would run the marathon to hopefully make my parents proud but most importantly prove to myself that I could do it. My father and I ran our first marathon together when I was 14 years old hand-in-hand crossing the finish line together… in tears. My parents had immigrated to this country with nothing leaving behind everything to allow for their children to seek greater opportunities. This was an opportunity I was taking to discover what I had inside me to run my first marathon. My father and mother to this day continue to be the largest source of inspiration for me.

How many marathons have you run?
After 13 years running, I have now completed 71 marathons as a 27 year old.

What is your fastest marathon to date? Fastest half marathon?
The past three years have been great racing years for me in running and triathlons where I have ran a 3:20:04 marathon PR and a 1:26:45 half marathon PR both in 2011. I hope and will work hard to surpass those marks this year.

How many states have you run marathons in?
I have ran marathons in 15 different states and 4 different countries. I hope to run marathons in as many countries as I can and in every continent.

Have you run an ultra marathon yet? If not, do you want or plan to?
I ran my first ultra in 2011 at the ET Midnight Marathon and 51K at Area 51, Nevada on 8/14/11. With a focused mind and the help of an ultra runner friend, I won first female overall at my first ultra despite how much it hurt my legs to go passed 26.2 miles. It was a great first experience!

What is your favorite race to date?
As many races as I have ran, it is always difficult to narrow it down to one favorite. I can say though my favorite top 5 marathons are: Los Angeles, Big Sur, Rome, ING New York, and Pikes Peak.

What is your dream race that you haven’t run but hope to one day?
The Antarctica Marathon. I’m wait listed for 2015. It is an absolute dream to run at the end of the world!

What shoes and gear do you run in?
I have tried a variety of brands. Currently, I run in Brooks.

What do you eat on race morning?
I have experimented with a variety of combinations and try to mix it up when I can to keep it exciting. I have had in the past: peanut butter and almond sandwiches, granola with almond butter, Greek yogurt with granola, oatmeal with apples, or bananas with honey.

Do you belong to any running clubs?
I am a part of an amazing online running community called the Marathon Maniacs member #1791, Tri Lunatics  #3 (site), and Run It Fast – The Club member #69 (details HERE).

What other runners do you look up to admire?
My father
My mother

Have you ever been seriously injured from running? If so did you have to take off a lot of time from it? How did you cope?
Thankfully, I have not been seriously injured but I did develop tendonitis of the knee once where I stopped running for 6 weeks. That taught me to not ignore what my body needs again. Too much, too soon, too fast is asking for trouble.

What advice do you have for someone looking to improve their time/speed in a half marathon or marathon?
Every little thing helps. If you want it bad enough, you have to adopt a marathon lifestyle. Love and listen to what your body needs and you can demand anything from it. Dream big.

What helpful tips can you give to the newbie runner that has no running experience and knows nothing about running?
The running community is one of the most welcoming groups you can find. No matter what distance, no matter what pace, always aim to have fun and you may just become a lifelong runner.

Posted in Half Marathon, Marathon, RunningComments (1)

Run It Fast on Twitter

twitter button free