Two Berkeley runners win city’s first half marathon

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Runners leave the starting gate at Berkeley’s first half marathon on Sunday Nov. 24, 2013. Photo: Christian Kreibich

Update, Dec. 12, 2013: We’re sorry to report that Kenny Speirs, the man who collapsed during the Berkeley Half Marathon, passed away on Dec. 11. Speirs had been in the hospital since suffering a heart attack while taking part in the marathon. Speirs was an English lecturer at UC Berkeley and leaves behind a family.

Original story: Berkeley resident Anna Bretan and UC Berkeley student JP Slater were the winners of today’s first Berkeley Half Marathon. Bretan, who won the 2013 San Francisco Marathon, had an unofficial time of 1:17:19. at the inaugural event, while Slater won the men’s field with an unofficial time of 1:07:05.

There was one medical emergency when a man collapsed while taking part in the race. Fortuitously, a group of physicians from UCSF happened to be watching the race very close to where he went down on the pedestrian path on West Frontage Road that runs parallel to the bay and I-80. A UCSF radiologist performed CPR on the man before emergency responders from Alameda Fire Department attended to the runner, according to authorities. He showed improvement and was transported to Alta Bates Hospital, where he was in stable condition this afternoon, according to a marathon representative.

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Emergency paramedics from Alameda Fire Department responded to an emergency call for the runner who collapsed while taking part in the Berkeley half marathon today. Photo: Ted Friedman

Berkeley’s first-ever half marathon kicked off at 8 a.m. today at Civic Center Park. The event in fact encompassed three races: a half-marathon, a “Bearable” 10-mile race, and a 10-kilometer race. The main marathon route took runners up to the edge of the Cal campus, before heading west down University Avenue for a circuit of the marina and Cesar Chavez Park before a stretch along the bay. (View a map of the route.) All the races ended at Golden Gate Fields.


Vallejo resident Jorge Maravilla came in second in the half marathon with an unofficial time of 1:09:31. Oakland resident Magdalena Boulet came in second in the women’s field for the half marathon distance with an unofficial time of 1:18:58. John Constas of Danville won the men’s field for the Bearable 10-Miler with an unofficial time of 1:00:00, while Cindy Cox of Alameda, CA won the women’s field with an unofficial time of 1:05:11.

The Berkeley Half Marathon drew nearly 8,000 runners participating in one of the three race distances. More than $50,000 was raised for participating charities including Berkeley Public Schools Fund, Berkeley Partners for Parks and the Berkeley Food and Housing Project.

[Hat tip: Ted Friedman.]

Related:
The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend (11.22.13)
Downtown Berkeley to host first half marathon (08.29.13)

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