Bakersfield friends win race

Hundreds participate in first-ever Tent City Marathon

ATASCADERO – Software engineer and father of three, Greg Saiki, 38, of Bakersfield won the first-ever Tent City Marathon in Atascadero Sunday. Saiki’s friend, Joshua Farrow, 34, also of Bakersfield, came in second. Proceeds from the marathon — along with a half-marathon, 10K and 5K — will benefit the Atascadero Printery Foundation.

“It’s the first marathon I’ve ever won,” said Greg Saiki, who barely looked tired after winning the marathon with a time of 2:56:10. The same could be said for Joshua Farrow, who finished less than a second after. Saiki said he lost track of how many marathons he has raced, but he estimated he’s run about 14.

“We train together and came to race together,” said Farrow, a retail manager and father of four, who won the 29-35 age group, while also coming in second overall with a time of 2:56:32.

“It turned out exactly as planned I think,” Farrow laughed, saying both friends ran their personal record times. “I was just trying to hold on to him [Saiki]. It was a beautiful race. On the way out, the hills didn’t seem that bad. The hills at the end seemed twice as big even though they were the same hills.”

Saiki said the hills were spread out though, so they were able to recover on the downhills.

Pepe Gonzalez, 25, of Paso Robles, represented the local talent, winning first place in the marathon in the 21-28 age group and third overall, with a time of 3:10:42.  

Homan Kian, 45, of San Luis Obispo, came in first in the 43-53 category with a time of 3:22:32.

The marathon began at 6:30 a.m., before sunset, with an out-and-back style course that began at the Atascadero Printery building on Olmeda Avenue, meandered down Templeton Road past several wineries, turning onto El Pomar Drive and winding back to the finish line at Sunken Gardens.

A 10K and 5K race began at 7:30 a.m. with another out-and-back style course. All races were announced by Atascadero School Board Member Donn Clickard, with Paloma Creek High School Chris Balogh helping with the RFID chip (race bib activated) timing. All finishers received medals, a swag bag and free shaved ice from Paradise Shaved Ice, as well as free post mileage yoga with Arielle. A complimentary massage tent was also provided to the athletes. The APD was on hand to help with traffic close-offs and a paramedic was on site as well. Altogether, 367 runners participated in the various races.

The event also included a 0.0 “None-Run,” where non-runners could drink their choice of a complimentary beer or eat a cupcake at the finish line in a lawn chair. Clickard announced that fellow School Board Member Ray Buban declared himself the unofficial winner of his age group in the None-Run.

You may reach Reporter Beth Giuffre at [email protected] for questions and/or feedback.


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