Eddie Hahn (MM184) I was born in Fullerton California in (Orange County). (My parents moved to Oregon when I was 5). After a career as an active duty US Army soldier, I moved back to California (2006).
I first read about the OC Marathon in Marathon and Beyond Magazine and identified it as a great opportunity to marathon in my birth county. Unfortunately, I was deployed to Iraq during the inaugural year (2004).
I was first in a position to run the race in 2007. During that year, (despite being hosted in the earlier month of January), race day temperatures exceeded 80F and Larry Altneu of Anaheim Hills died after finishing in just over 4 hours. Ironically this was my fastest OC marathon year (4:01) and he likely passed me on route (rather than being in front the entire time)-since I had begun with the 3:40 pacers and dropped further back as temperatures climbed. I was impacted by Larry’s death, and wrote a small editorial for the Citrus College Clarion Newspaper.
I would go on to complete of 7 OC marathons including this year four of them as a pacer (and 2008’s course slowest, 5:33 partially a reflection of having completed the Running from an Angel at Lake Meade Nevada the day prior.)
Living in the SoCal region and having raced various marathons here, identifying this was the earliest).. I inferred that the 5:30 am start time is a reflection of the May vice January start and in consideration of the prior fatality.
Going into the event I had concerns about the pace group I selected when I was in better form a few months ago. Since Revel Mt Charleston in early April, my training had been somewhat spotty considering working and family obligations, and now 4:05 seemed like a tall order. Unfortunately, I was committed having not identified my concerns to the pace manager several weeks ago.
Much to my surprise the grey skies of the marine layer lasted the duration of my running. Being about an 8 to 10 marathon event casualty of heat cramps (and a heat stroke in Iraq during a 4 mile race)- cooler weather is kind of my panacea.
The course which travels from the start at Fashion Island along the Pacific thru the Newport Beach back bay offers extremely scenic panoramas and the eclectic living communities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana as well as traversing past a mall and a local high school.
Conspicuously absent this year was the “alien” aid station at mile 21 . On the other hand I appreciated the Snail’s Booth Pacer stop at about the halfway mark, the Team Red White and Blue aid as well as the John Wayne cowgirls at mile 10 and the Carlos Santa esque guitarist at mile 17.
I always enjoy helping runners meet their goals, and although most of the pace group split off by the 18 mile mark, after the finish one runner came up to me and said that he forged ahead and fell short of meeting his (sub 4 hour) target, but ran a negative split and finished between our 4:05 group and the 4:00 pacer.
My finish time was 4:04:29. This was my 273rd marathon.
Photo and Post Credit Eddie Hahn