Senior, alumnus both run in Los Angeles Marathon

Current students and alumni ran in the 23rd Los Angeles Marathon March 9, finishing the 26.2 mile course. While Gordon Wintrob ’08 ran his first marathon, finishing in four hours and 50 minutes, Zach Goren ’03 finished in the top 100 runners despite the world-class field that the race attracted.

Goren, an alumnus and former Advancement Office employee, ran with a time of 2:52:22, which placed him 54th out of the 25,000 runners who began the marathon. He finished just under 30 minutes behind the winner, Kenyan Laban Moiben, who finished with a time of 2:13:50.
Outside of runs on the JV cross country team this past season, Wintrob had never run in an organized event. However, less than a month after ending the season, Wintrob made the decision to start training for the race.

“After I finished cross country, I wanted to work towards a bigger goal,” he said. “It doesn’t get bigger than running in a marathon.”

To build up, he started an 18-week training course five days a week, four of which were running days. It built from a longest run of six miles the first week and culminated in a 20-mile run in week 15. It tapered off leading up to the race. The lessons he learned on the cross country team were the foundation for his program, including necessary correct stretching and nutrition, as well as mental preparation for the event. Once the race began, he tried to keep a consistent pace in the early sections of the run to conserve energy. Still, he outstripped the nine-minute per mile pace that he had achieved in his half-marathon, which would have put him on pace for a time of under four hours.

At mile 18, Wintrob dropped to a 10-minute pace. He felt the fatigue a few miles later.
“By the last five miles it’s like a whole different race,” he said. “Every muscle in your body is cramping up, and it’s hot. It’s like the first half of the race is the first 20 miles and the second is the last 6.2.”

Despite the fact that his training never took him past 20-mile runs, Wintrob was still able to fight through the remaining miles and reach the finish line in the middle of the pack. The idea of dropping out never really came to mind.

“There were a couple of times in the last five miles of the race where I was right up against the wall,” he said. “However, I was never thinking, ‘this was a bad decision,’ it was always more ‘this is more difficult than I had imagined.’”