McALLEN — Members of Team Red, White and Blue cheered and encouraged their teammate as he made his way to the finish line of the 26.1-mile course.
Team RWB is a national 501c3 organization with chapters around the country, including Edinburg. Its mission is to “engage members in meaningful team and community-based experiences such as leadership and service that, beyond physical and social activities, renew self-identity and purpose in life.”
The runner was the final one to cross the finish line, but finish he did and with that ended the the sixth annual McAllen Marathon Scott Crane Memorial Run.
“It was something special to see all the veterans and those out there encouraging him around the oval,” said Karla Jimenez, marketing and special events coordinator for the City of McAllen Parks & Recreation Department, which organizes and runs the event. “There were supporters for people all throughout the route. It was really cool to see that.”
Juan Jaquez of Ciudad Lerdo in Durango, Mexico was the overall winner of the event, completing the course in 2 hours, 46 minutes, 15.346 seconds, the only finisher to break the three-hour mark. He was followed by Elias Blanco (3:00:59.224) and Cutberto Dorado — Mendieta (3:18:45.859).
On the women’s side, Edinburg’s Kyla McClure had the best time in 3:35:51.592, followed by Jessica Martinez (3:39:23.638) and Sandra Gutierrez (3:54:28.864).
The event was named after McAllen District 1 Commissioner Scott C. Crane, an ardent community leader who died unexpectedly on Dec. 14, 2014 at the age of 50. Crane was first elected as commissioner in 2005, and in 2013 was re-elected to serve his third term. Scott, an avid long-distance runner, was pivotal in creating the McAllen Marathon.
There were several events for runners to participate. Also on Sunday was the half marathon (13.1 miles) and a five-person relay marathon with different divisions. Saturday also saw a 5K run, a 10K run and the final Kids Mile Run.
There were more than a 1,000 runners signed up for Sunday alone and Jimenez said that it looked as if each event had more participants than past years, even though total numbers hadn’t been broken down.
Part of that reason could have been a cool but sunny morning and a familiar route that was the same as last year’s.
“It was obvious that the weather didn’t hinder anybody,” Jimenez said. “And we are getting good reviews again from the route, so that’s good as well.”
The McAllen Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying event. While there is a set time for different age groups to qualify for the Boston Marathon, the registration process changed. In 2012, a “rolling admission” registration process began, allowing the fastest qualifiers to register first. On the first day of registration, those who were eligible for entry by having met the qualifying standards for their age and gender group by 20 minutes or more were able to enter. On the third day, registration opened for those who met their qualifying standards by 10 minutes or more. On the fifth day, registration opened for those who met their qualifying standards by five minutes or more. Having not met the field size limit, registration opened to all qualifiers at the beginning of Week Two, and those who had met the qualifying standards by any amount of time were able to apply for entry.
Two runners also qualified for the New York City Half Marathon. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley track & field and cross country volunteer assistant coach Zach Daniel finished first while head coach Darren Flowers finished fifth at the McAllen Half Marathon.
Daniel finished the 13.1-mile race in a time of 1:11.46 while Flowers clocked in at 1:21.20.
“It was honestly a surreal moment winning the half marathon today, and the fact that I was able to do so while representing UTRGV makes the win that much sweeter,” Daniel said. “I’m extremely grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to represent the university on the big stage in NYC.”