Juneau marathon runner Shawn Miller set a new personal record en route to a second place finish at the Royal Victoria Marathon on Oct. 8 in Victoria, British Columbia.
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Miller's time of 2 hours, 29 minutes, 10 seconds placed him second in the field of 1,862 competitors. Miller's time also qualified him to participate in the 2007 or 2008 Boston Marathon. Miller was the highest placing American in the field as Steve Osaduik of Nanaimo, B.C., won the race in a course-record time of 2:16:47.
According to Miller, he closed a 40-second gap with Adam Campbell with about one mile to go for second place.
"I started to put in my final kick with 300 meters to go," Miller wrote in an e-mail. "I passed by Adam with 150 meters before the finish line, sprinting as hard as possible. Adam could not match the pace at the end but still ran a great race. It was his first marathon."
Miller wrote that he ran a good pace for the first half of the marathon. He posted a split time of 1:14:10 at the 13.1-mile midway mark.
That placed him second heading into the final stretch. Miller, however, had to overcome a set back in the final 13 miles.
"The Gatorade at one of the aid stations was diluted to the point where it was almost complete water," Miller wrote. "I started experiencing stomach cramps soon after drinking the fluid."
Campbell overtook Miller, but the Juneau runner paced himself for one final surge.
"The timing would have to be perfect," Miller wrote.
Miller nipped Campbell at the line by 23 seconds and averaged 5:40 per mile in the race.
His pace lead solid performances by a number of Juneau runners who competed.
Benjamin Gage finished in 3:02:48, Tommy Thompson crossed the line in 3:17.19, Heidi Lingle finished in 3:36:08 and Carol Johnson ended her marathon in 3:45:08. All four of those Juneau runners qualified for the Boston Marathon with their times.
Other local runners included Rachel Jurasz, who finished in 3:52:35, and Amy Carroll, who crossed the finish line in 4:13:45.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.