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 Marathon’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 “grabbed” soccer teammate and friend, Logan Laugero. With the two beginning training in December, this was Laugero’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 Marathon’s race results state.
Tying for second place in the 19 to 24 age group required months of training, Laugero said.
“We trained about 3 to 4 times a week, and would go to the gym on our off days,” Laugero said.
“We’d run short distance at ten miles, medium distance and then long distance at 15 to 17 miles,” 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 Marathon’s race results.
“We made it to 13 mile, but then there was 13 more,” Black said. “We had to keep going, but the course just got harder.”
After the halfway point, the course’s numerous hills began to take a toll on the runners, Laugero remarked.
“If we didn’t have to run on so many hills we probably would have been able to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” Laugero said.
This was the first year that the SLO Marathon was a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, according to Black.
“For women, qualifying for the Boston Marathon is three hours and 35 minutes, which is my goal,” said Black. “Actually my goal is running an Ironman, just because it’s the hardest thing to put your body through.”
An Ironman Triathlon is is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run race, according to the Ironman official website.
Cuesta’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.
“We saw this girl off in the distance with a huge bucket of watermelon,” Laugero said. “She just got right in front of us and tried to get us to eat them.”
This forced some runners to stop, but not the girls.
“If she made us stop that would have been so demoralizing,” Black said. “I wouldn’t have been able to keep running.”
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.
“So you had to run up the hill and then you could see the line,” Laugero said. “We just starting sprinting, we didn’t saying anything to each other.”
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 Marathon’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.
“I’m just happy I can run a marathon,” Laugero said. “That’s an accomplishment.”