On a Chamber of Commerce race morning, complete with cloud-cover hugging the Los Angeles skyline, Jeffrey Eggleston proved to be the lonesome runner.
Speeding through the downtown streets of L.A. starting near Staples Center this morning, Eggleston won the fifth Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Halloween 1/2 Marathon in a course record 1 hour, 4 minutes, 12 seconds.
Eggleston, who trains out of Boulder, Colo., was running solo about 100 yards from the start and won by more than two minutes with Jovanny Godinez of Hayward taking second in 1:06:23.
Despite winning easily, Eggleston called the morning “a bit of a challenge. We had real good conditions, given the weather, but that’s not an easy course.”
On the women’s side, a local proved fastest from start to finish. Katja Goldring, raised in Los Angeles and a UCLA graduate now living in West L.A., won in 1:18:01. Jennifer Tave of France took second in 1:18:19.
Tave was shadowing Goldring through Mile 9 when the winner began separating.
“I didn’t feel like I broke away,” said Goldring. “I thought she was right on my shoulder.”
Fitness played a factor in the women’s race. Tave suffered a fracture to her foot in July, wasn’t able to resume training until late August and simply couldn’t keep pace.
Tave, who coaches men’s and women’s track and cross country at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College, was making her debut in the half marathon.
“I just love going long,” she said, “keeping a consistent pace. Or trying to keep a consistent pace.”
Eggleston is a Rock ‘n’ Roll veteran. He made his marathon debut at Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona is 2010, finishing in 2:14:32. He placed eighth this year at Boston and owns a marathon PR of 2:10:52
In keeping with its date on the calendar, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Halloween Half Marathon has evolved into a let’s-party costume contest. There were so many Superman outfits that all of Los Angeles was safe and secure.
One creative type dressed as a tube of toothpaste. There was a Speedo-clad Olympic swimmer. Forrest Gump showed up, needing a cane. There was a squirrel lugging the Stanley Cup trophy, obviously paying homage to the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
There were almost as many Where’s Waldo on the premises as all-time Where’s Waldo book sales.
Among the 9,079 runners, walkers and wheelchair racers who started the 5K and half marathon was ESPN personality Michelle Beadle, co-host of “SportsNation.” Beadle finished the half marathon in 2:11:55.
“About Mile 9, you don’t want to run anymore,” said Beadle. “Then there’s a band jamming, little cheerleaders jumping up and down. There’s all this energy, a positive vibe.
“It’s hard to be pissy out there when there’s so much happiness.”