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CJ Albertson eyeing Two Cities Marathon record; tribute to Clovis administrator planned

About 3,200 runners are expected for the 11th annual Two Cities Marathon and its accompanying half marathons Sunday (Nov. 2). The race starts near Audubon and Friant Road and ends at Woodward Park.
About 3,200 runners are expected for the 11th annual Two Cities Marathon and its accompanying half marathons Sunday (Nov. 2). The race starts near Audubon and Friant Road and ends at Woodward Park. Vida Staff Photo

Expect the men’s record to be threatened Sunday (Nov. 4) when the 11th running of the Two Cities Marathon – which includes two half-marathons, and a two-runner relay for the full race – kicks off at 6:30 a.m. Sunday (Nov. 4) on a course that winds from Woodward Park to Old Town Clovis and back.

That’s because Buchanan High School graduate and Arizona State alum CJ Albertson has indicated he wants to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, which sets a 2 hour, 19-minute time for the Class B qualifying.

Should Albertson get the Olympic-qualifying mark, he’ll break the Two Cities record of 2:21:58 set in 2011 by Turlock’s Miguel Nuci.

Albertson is the men’s cross country head coach at Clovis Community College.

Fresno High School teacher Jesús Campos, a multiple winner at Two Cities, is in the field but he told Moore he’s not looking for a fast time.

The men’s and women’s winners receive $750, with $500 going to second and $250 to third.

There is an extra $500 for a course record.

Among the top women entered is Fresno’s Molly Friel, who has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Qualifying Trials. Race director Nathaniel Moore said Friel is not planning on a record run, but something around 2:50.

The women’s record is 2:38.33.

The marathon starts at 6:30 a.m., followed by the two half-marathons at 7:15 a.m.

The Clovis half-marathon will take runners to Clovis Old Town and return to the finish inside Woodward Park. The Fresno Half-Marathon runners will head up Shepherd Avenue but turn back and head out on Friant Road before finishing at Woodward Park.

The Sierra Pacific Orthopedic Health & Fitness Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the New Covenant Community Church.

Gavin Gladding tribute

About 400 runners are expected to pay tribute to Fort Washington Elementary School vice principal Gavin Gladding, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident near Friant Road and Old Friant Road in September while training for the marathon.

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Messages, flowers and running shoes hang on a fence at Fort Washington Elementary School where Gavin Gladding was an administrator. The father of two was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Friant Road on Sept. 16. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Two friends are competing in a relay team for Gladding, who left behind a wife and two children.

The Gavin Gladding Memorial Mile participants will run the final mile with the relay team starting near Friant and Fort Washington at about 10:20 a.m.

Race results, additional information: www.twocitiesmarathon.com

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