KINGMAN - There are many different kinds of people who run marathons, and Kingman residents Anna Shuffler, Amy Elsbury and Patrick Auer added to the mix when the trio ran the San Francisco Marathon Sunday.
Shuffler, 40, is a personal trainer who has completed many marathons. Elsbury crossed off a bucket list entry with her first marathon, and Auer has ran in about 25 of the 26.2-mile races and enjoys them.
Shuffler finished the race in 3 hours, 44 minutes, and 52 seconds, good enough for 11th place of 135 entriers in the women's 40-44 division. Her time met the standard to qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon. Not bad considering the hills of San Francisco have to make it one of the most grueling marathons on the circuit.
"My goal when I saw the course was just to survive," Shuffler said. "But it's pretty neat. Boston is a big deal."
Qualifying for Boston wasn't on Shuffler's radar prior to Sunday's race, but now that she's done that, Shuffler is giving the thought careful consideration in light of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
"I think I should do it as a runner to honor that race," she said. "We did the Boston run support when they came through Kingman. That was pretty empowering and motivating. If you qualify and can do it, you should honor it."
Amy Elsbury makes it clear she is not a marathon runner. She describes herself as a typical person, just a mother with two children. Elsbury hopes she can motivate others with her run.
"My goal was to finish," Elsbury said. "I'm proud I did that, but I'm even more proud that people can see it doesn't take a perfect body to do something amazing."
She has run several half-marathons in the past at sea level and figured San Francisco would be the perfect place to run her one and only full marathon because of its proximity to the sea.
"I was excited that it was going to be in the 60s, at sea level and I would get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge," she said. "I didn't even consider the hills of San Francisco."
That proved to be a serious obstacle for Elsbury, but she overcame it to complete the race in less than seven hours.
"Those hills killed me," she said. "My left knee did not like it. For about five miles, I had to tell my knee and myself to pick it up. There were some hills so steep going down, I saw people running them backwards."
Auer's second trip to SF
It was Patrick Auer's second time running the San Francisco Marathon. He was the only one of the three who knew what to expect.
"It's very scenic and pretty," Auer said. "It's a challenging course with plenty of hills. And, I like to eat there, too."
Auer, 52, finished 123rd out of 321 runners in the male 50-54 division. As a competitor, he keeps his eye on his time but it's not the end all for why he's out there.
"I love running because it keeps me healthy," he said. "It makes me feel good when I do it."