First time marathoner Daniel Tapia, 23, of Castroville, CA, took off from the start and never looked back, clocking an overall winning time of 2:26:09 to become the first Monterey County champion in the history of the Big Sur Marathon.In his first ever marathon, Tapia admitted, “I didn’t really know what to expect.” “It was amazing. It’s a very emotional win for me. I couldn’t ask for more.” Tapia was named Northern California Community College Runner of the Year in 2009 after taking home State titles in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs.
Second place finisher, Michael Wardian, of Arlington,Virginia, clocked a 2:27:39. The 36-year-old Miami Marathon champion, who was crowned the ‘Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge’ victor, had also completed the six-day Marathon des Sables across the Saraha Desert only 10 days earlier.
Two New Yorkers finished one-two in the women’s race. Veronica Clemens, 28, finished a strong with a time of 2:55:17, nearly 13 minutes ahead of runner up Melinda Schwartz, 32, of Buffalo who crossed the line at 3:08:09.
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