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RUNNING NOTEBOOK / LINDA WHITMORE

Mahon Not Bothered by Being Left Out in Cold

October 20, 1998|LINDA WHITMORE

Former La Habra High runner Terrence Mahon has discovered cold weather agrees with him.

Mahon, who graduated from La Habra in 1988, now lives in Haverford, Pa. On Labor Day weekend, he was the top American finisher at the U.S. 20K Road Race Championships in New Haven, Conn. Later that month, he was second at the Cow Harbor 10K in North Port, N.Y.

In 1997, he posted the third-fastest marathon time that year among American men (2 hours 13 minutes 2 seconds) at the Chicago Marathon.

His long-term goal is to qualify for the Olympic team in 2000.

Mahon, 28, runs for the Washington-based Enclave running club. Twice a week, he drives 150 miles to train with the club, where he's coached by former Olympian Matt Centrowitz. Other days, he's in the Pennsylvania elements, which is quite a change for a runner raised in Orange County.

"I think the major difference would be focus," said Mahon, The Times Orange County boys' cross-country runner of the year in 1987. "Like with California, the weather is always nice, and it's easy to take for granted. The change of season tests your perseverance. You're running in snow and freezing weather. You hope it makes you tougher."

Mahon won the Orange County Championships and the Southern Section 3-A individual title his senior year. He attended Oregon, which he calls "the premier track school on the West Coast," for two years, then transferred to Villanova.

"It was partly for financial reasons," he said. "I was able to get a full scholarship to Villanova. And I come from a big family. Ten kids. I'm the fourth. So there were lots of kids behind me."

He ran cross-country and track (5,000 and 10,000) at both schools, and was an All-American at both. After graduating from Villanova with a degree in English in 1993, he stayed in the Philadelphia area. He met his fiance at Villanova, where she was a runner. He's currently in the master's program at Temple, works in an office and coaches part-time.

His parents and a younger sister still live in Orange County, but his training schedule isn't conducive to many trips home. He competed in the Los Angeles Marathon in 1994 but had tendinitis in his knee and didn't finish. In 1996, he ran the 10,000 at the Mt. Sac Invitational.

He chooses to compete in road races and marathons primarily in the East.

"You look at the racing schedule, and sometimes it's not productive to fly all the way to the West Coast for a race, because you end up spending three or four days there for one race, and it breaks up training."

In 1996, he finished 11th at the Olympic marathon trials in Charlotte, N.C. He had also competed at the 1992 marathon trials but had to drop out because of an Achilles' heel injury.

Earlier this month, he competed in the Chicago Marathon but had to drop out at the 18-mile mark because of a hamstring problem.

"You get little things here and there that sideline you," he said. "I've never had anything take me out for a long time."

He won't be out for long this time either. He's planning to run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1.

*

The 1998 Heart and Sole Walk/Run will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, starting at the Irvine Spectrum Center.

Race-day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. The 1K children's fun run begins at 8.

The 10K is scheduled to begin at 8:30. At 8:45, the 5K walk beings.

The event will benefit the American Heart Assn. Runners can register individually or as a team. Corporate and community teams from 10 to 500 are welcome. Fees are $10 for the children's run; minimum $20 sponsorship for the 10K run and 5K walk, and minimum $40 family sponsorship for the 10K and 5K.

Last year, about 7,500 runners raised $300,000 for heart disease. This year, more than 8,000 are expected.

Sponsorship forms can be picked up at the American Heart Assn., 4600 Campus Dr., Irvine; both Snail's Pace Running Shops (8780 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley; and 24741 Alicia Pkwy., Laguna Hills), and local El Torito restaurants and Juice It Up stores. For more information, call the AHA at (949) 856-3555.

Upcoming:

* Run for Angels 5K run/walk and 1K children's run. 8 a.m. Nov. 14, Aliso Niguel High School. For information, call (714) 557-8375.

* 11th Orange County Half Marathon and 5K run/walk. 7:30 a.m. Nov. 15 in Irvine. For information, call (714) 476-7076.

* Dinosaur Dash 5K and 10K run, 2K and 5K in-line skate. 8 a.m. Nov. 15 at Tustin Marketplace. For information, call (909) 678-6663.

*

No go: The Monster Mash Dash 5K Run/Walk, originally scheduled for Oct. 31 in Newport Beach, has been canceled.

The fourth La Salida del Sol 5K and 10K run, originally scheduled for Nov. 7 at Cal State Fullerton, has been canceled.

The sixth Run for Cover, originally scheduled for Nov. 8 in Newport Beach, has been postponed until next year.

Suggestions are welcome. Call (714) 966-5904, fax (714) 966-5663 or e-mail linda.whitmore@latimes.com.

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