Claudia Black and Logan Laugero racing before tying for secnd place at the SLO Marathon.
Photo Courtesy of Logan Laugero
By Chris Bremer
Copy Editor/Online Editor
After months of training together, two Cuesta soccer players crossed the San Luis Obispo Marathonâ€™s finish line at the same time, tying for second place as the youngest racers in their group.
Claudia Black ran a marathon before, and wanted to do it again. Needing a running partner, she â€œgrabbedâ€ soccer teammate and friend, Logan Laugero. With the two beginning training in December, this was Laugeroâ€™s first marathon.
The San Luis Obispo Marathon + Half, which occurred on April 30, drew runners in from around the world to compete. The two tied for 34th place overall, with more than 200 women competing, the SLO Marathonâ€™s race results state. Â
Tying for second place in the 19 to 24 age group required months of training, Laugero said.
â€œWe trained about 3 to 4 times a week, and would go to the gym on our off days,â€ Laugero said.
â€œWeâ€™d run short distance at ten miles, medium distance and then long distance at 15 to 17 miles,â€ added Black, explaining their training process.
The two started off the race at a steady pace, set to finish the marathon with a time of three hours and 30 minutes, with an average mile time of seven minutes and 26 seconds, according to the SLO Marathonâ€™s race results.
â€œWe made it to 13 mile, but then there was 13 more,â€ Black said. â€œWe had to keep going, but the course just got harder.â€
After the halfway point, the courseâ€™s numerous hills began to take a toll on the runners, Laugero remarked.
â€œIf we didnâ€™t have to run on so many hills we probably would have been able to qualify for the Boston Marathon,â€ Laugero said.
This was the first year that the SLO Marathon was a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, according to Black.
â€œFor women, qualifying for the Boston Marathon is three hours and 35 minutes, which is my goal,â€ said Black. â€œActually my goal is running an Ironman, just because itâ€™s the hardest thing to put your body through.â€
An Ironman Triathlon is is Â a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run race, according to the Ironman official website.
Cuestaâ€™s two runners did not let this deter them as they pushed on, careful not to stop running even for a minute.
This continued until a woman with watermelon began charging runners on the track.
â€œWe saw this girl off in the distance with a huge bucket of watermelon,â€ Laugero said. â€œShe just got right in front of us and tried to get us to eat them.â€
This forced some runners to stop, but not the girls.
â€œIf she made us stop that would have been so demoralizing,â€ Black said. â€œI wouldnâ€™t have been able to keep running.â€
The two runners continued on pace, however. Breaching the last of the hills, the girls saw the finish line, just 200 yards away, Black said.
â€œSo you had to run up the hill and then you could see the line,â€ Laugero said. â€œWe just starting sprinting, we didnâ€™t saying anything to each other.â€
The two raced to the finish line, both tying as they crossed the finish line with a time of four hours, 29 minutes and 13 seconds, according to the SLO Marathonâ€™s race results.
Winning top three in the 19 to 24 year old age group, these novice marathon runners made their mark on the SLO Marathon stage.
â€œIâ€™m just happy I can run a marathon,â€ Laugero said. â€œThatâ€™s an accomplishment.â€