Nov. 7, 2012
Thirteenth in a series of the top 30 moments from the California International Marathon’s colorful history. The 30th anniversary race is on Dec. 2. By John Schumacher
The rallying cry at the 1991 California International Marathon was all about pizza.
Pete Treleven, co-founder of Original Pete’s Pizza, offered a free large pizza to any runner beating him in the CIM.
A group of his employees formed a committee to get the word out on the promotion, even taking out a full-page ad in the race program. So pizza was undoubtedly on many of the runners’ minds as they made the 26.2-mile trek from Folsom to the state Capitol.
Treleven planned to improve on his personal best of 3 hours, 17 minutes and 20 seconds, a mark he set in the 1989 CIM. But the marathon can undo the best of plans; Treleven finished in 3:47:33, behind 800 men and 161 women.
Pete’s took a hit, but received some good publicity and undoubtedly a few new customers during the giveaway.
“I remember it well,” said Auburn’s Cynci Calvin, an 18-time CIM finisher. “I beat Pete and absolutely got a pizza.”
Calvin recalled only having to show her name in The Sacramento Bee’s results to earn her pie.
“My husband was so thrilled,” she said. “He’s a big hunter. He prides himself at bringing the meat home. He’d always say, ‘You just go out running; you never bring any food home.’”
She did at the 1991 CIM. Thanks to Pete.
The CIM is put on by the Sacramento Running Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.
Other SRA events include the recently concluded Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon, the Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run on Feb. 3 and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 7.
SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.