Bakersfield Marathon draws over 2,000 runners


Julie Mana-Ay

News Editor


Nearly 2,000 participants and avid runners from over 60 cities and 11 states gathered together for the Bakersfield Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The event included a marathon, half-marathon, 5K run and a half marathon relay. The race began at CSU Bakersfield and ended near Bakersfield College.

A traffic collision delayed the marathon for one hour, according to a Bakersfield Marathon volunteer.

Mexico native, Lupe Eberly, 57, said the late start was something to learn from.

“This race was put together; the start was late, and it’s hard on the runners because they have to eat according to their time and all that and to hydrate,” Eberly said. “We started late, and I’m sure not too many people were happy about that.”

Jesus Campos, a 32-year-old Fresno native, was the first runner to finish the full marathon race at 2 hours, 43 minutes and 44 seconds.

Campos is a voracious runner who has competed in marathons in Fresno, California; Modesto, California; Chicago, Illinois and the Boston Marathon.

However, this is his first time competing in the Bakersfield Marathon.

“It’s a good feeling, winning a race,” said Campos. “It’s a good feeling even though I was expecting a much faster time, but it’s good. This is like my 30th [race]. I’ve been doing a lot of them.”

Campos first found his love for running his junior year of high school after his soccer coach recruited him for the cross-country team and has been running for 10 years.

He’s now the head coach of the Fresno High School cross-country team.

Campos has been preparing for the Bakersfield Marathon for six weeks.

“I run long distance, so I’ve been training,” he said. “I took three to four weeks off because I got injured, so I’m surprised to run this time within a few weeks of training.”

Though Campos has been running for a decade, there are other competitors who are persistent marathoners.

Eberly and Debbie Raygoza-Wells, 57, a native of Shafter, California, have been running for 33 years.

“We’ve done Boston two times and did marathons all over the United States,” said Raygoza-Wells. “This is my last half marathon for this year, and I’m going to go hike Mount Kilimanjaro in January.”

Raygoza-Wells said she’s run in Paris, Rome and was a competitor for the Boston Marathon.

“It’s nothing like running in your backyard and having all these people come out here and cheering on the sidelines. It’s really put together well,” she said.


Photos by Ben Patton