This season, Mario Macias has been en fuego. He has been dominating the Colorado racing scene all year, most recently winning the Boulder Half Marathon and the Denver Half Marathon. The former All American runner from Adam's State, took some time to answer a few question from RunColo. Congratulations on your recent win at the Rock 'n" Roll Denver Half Marathon. Can you tell us how the race unfolded and what your strategy was going into the race?
Just like any race you never know who is going to show up until you line up and see who is there. I recognized Shadrack Biwott who had ran sub 62 twice earlier this year in the half along with Andrew Letherby and another Kenyan and knew they would be the main competition.
I'm a front runner and like to take it out hard so that's what I did and passed the first mile in 4:43 with the unknown Kenyan and not to long after that he dropped. Shadrack caught me around mile 2 but never really wanted to take the lead so he kept himself 2-3 seconds behind me. There was a little breeze and he tried to draft off of me and I don't like it when a runner tries to use me in that way, so I kept zigzagging across the road for about 2 miles.
I felt comfortable as we approached City Park since that section was similar to the Park to Park 10 mile course that I ran in September. I usually try and break the competition early on but knowing how great of a runner Shadrack is I decided to wait until mile 9, but at mile 8 he slowed down and that's when I made my move and just kept pushing until the finish line. Overall it was a very well organized race and a big success. How did you get into running?
Growing up I was always the fastest in my class and spent most of my spare time outdoors. I was encouraged to try out for the cross country team by my P.E teacher after running a fast mile my freshman year. I didn't join until my sophomore year when a friend of mine who was on the team convinced me. You grew up in California, how did end up at Adams State?
I transferred from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where things didn't work out down there. Having one year of eligibility I knew I would have to make the best of it. As a result of NCAA rules I would have to sit out a year if I transferred to another D1 school so my only other option was to look into some D2 schools and after doing some research Adams State was the best choice. What's life like in Alamosa? Last time I went through there, the only thing open on a Sunday night was Sonic.
Alamosa is not for the faint of heart, I would describe it as a Savage Beauty. There's not much to do around here, people only come to Alamosa to either run or attend Adams State. But once school is over everyone can't wait to leave except for the runners because the summer and fall is the best time of the year to be training here. As for social life most people tend to hang out at Wal-Mart, as sad as that is, it's true. But if your a runner and want to improve this is the place to be because there are no distractions. You currently train with Fernando Cabada correct? Are you being coached any anyone? Do you have another job besides running?
He came up for some altitude training late July to prepare for his fall marathon and was originally supposed to spend 4-6 weeks, but after talking to him about the possibilities of training together and what Alamosa could offer he decided to stay. He actually came up last summer to prepare for the World Marathon Championships but was only able to stay for 2 weeks as a result of an Achilles injury that forced him to give up his spot on the team. We have known each other since our sophomore year in high cchool and I would have never imagined that we would become great friends, and training partners.
I've been self-coached for the past 4 years, but Fernando and I will begin training with the Adams State Team next year and will be on the same training and racing schedule.
Up until a couple months ago I was working at a Residential Treatment Center for troubled youth as a way to be able to pay for my travel to some of the race, but the long hours and behavioral issues affected my training and I decided to move on. You won the Vail Pass Half Marathon and Teva Mountain Games 10K on consecutive days this summer, beating some of the country's top mountain runners. Given your success climbing and on the trail, did you give any thought to competing at the Mount Washington Road Race or Pikes Peak Ascent?
I've always considered myself a good mountain runner and the Vail Pass Half felt pretty comfortable but the 10k Trail run was a totally different story. That was one tough event! There were sections of the course that all you could do was hike up while pumping your arms. Lets not talk about the down hills, It was like being dropped from a cliff. One of my friends told me after the race how he was passed by the top women on the downhill section like he was standing still. After that experience it made me respect trail runners even more. I actually thought about running the Pikes Peak Ascent but it didn't fit in my schedule, we will see about next year. You won the Southlands 5K, taking home a $500 gift card to the Southlands Mall. What’s Mario Macias spend $500 on at the mall?
Well I have an empty 30 gallon aquarium that needs to be filled up since the fish that I had were killed by my friend, he was drunk at the time. I won the race in 2008 and never used the gift card so I'm thinking about using them to get my nephews and nieces Christmas presents. Were you disappointed that Dathan was not able to run the Denver Half Marathon? What was your strategy going to be, running against him?
I was so excited when I read on RunColo that Ritz would be running and sure there's no question that at sea level I wouldn't stand a chance but I'm a confident racer when it comes to competing at altitude. I'm a very aggressive runner and like to take it out hard, and the original goal was to make Dathan HURT! Unfortunately I didn't get that chance since he pulled out of the race due to lack of competition. You had a great battle with Simon Cheprot at the Garden of the Gods 10m, is that the last time you lost a race in Colorado? You finished 12 seconds behind Cheprot and ran with him for 8 miles and he made some comments about not having any competition. Did that fire you up; I’d love to see a rematch between you two.
Yeah the guy beat me by 12 seconds and my legs were still banged up from the Vail Trail 10k the week before. Things would have been different if I was well rested and had tapered for the race. So far every race that I have competed in this year have been used as workouts without tapering during 105-107 mile weeks. When I read his comment it just made me laugh, next time I race him I'll bring that up. You’ve run some marathons, what is your PR and any future marathon plans?
I ran my debut marathon last year at Twin Cities in 2:18.33, the goal going into the race was 2:12 but due to my work schedule I wasn't able to log in the miles and I couldn't use my own fluids so I had to take whatever they had out on the course and make some rookie mistakes. I was on pace until mile 18 and ended up running close to 37 minutes for the last 10k. I was hoping to run a fall marathon but things didn't work out so I'm going to wait until next year and go for a fast time. What are the rest of your racing plans for 2010?
I'll be going back home to California after the Rock 'n' Roll Denver Half to spend some time with my family and will continue to log the high mileage and run a couple of half's down there. The plan is to start getting ready for Track next year and improve on my PR
'S from 2006.