Eight Runners First to Complete Catalina Island Triple Crown

March 14, 2023

In addition to their Catalina Island Marathon finisher medals, these athletes also earned belt buckles

AVALON, Calif. /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – After launching their Catalina Island Triple Crown challenge last year, the Hi-Tec Run Catalina series awarded its first eight belt buckles to trail runners at the Catalina Island Marathon this weekend. The athletes earned these unique awards for completing the Avalon 50M/50K, Catalina Island Half Marathon and Catalina Island Marathon all within a 12-month period. In addition to the belt buckles, they were also given finisher jackets, custom sustainable socks, and a pair of Hi-Tec trail running shoes. The inaugural Catalina Island Triple Crown finishers were:

  • Miguel Chavez
  • Giovanna Gogreve
  • Jorge Hernandez
  • Jimmy Hurst
  • Jamie Kirk
  • Denise Mesdjian
  • Laura Minuto
  • Frank Minuto

“Trail runners will know the belt buckles are a highly coveted award in our sport and only go to athletes who take on the toughest challenges,” said Mike Bone, President and CEO of Spectrum Sports Management, which produces the Run Catalina series. “While our island setting is gorgeous, it is no doubt home to challenging terrain that tests even the most experienced off-road runners. We created the Catalina Island Triple Crown to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishment that is completing our whole series in just one year!”

Nearly 1200 participants took part in California’s oldest trail marathon, 10K, and 5K on Saturday. Marathoners departed from Two Harbors, a small community on the far side of the island and made their way to Avalon, navigating the island on dirt roads and trails. With a net elevation gain of over 4300 feet, the course offers sweeping vistas, ocean views, and the occasional sighting of an American Bison. This year, the race celebrated its 46th anniversary.

Victors of each race included Trevor Pai in the men’s marathon and Katya Meyers in the women’s marathon, with times of 3:27:33 and 4:06:45 respectively. Pai was followed by Paul Winfield who took second with a time of 3:48:52 and Justin Figueroa who took third with a time of 3:51:38. In the women’s division, Helen DeGennaro took second with a time of 4:29:28 and Heather Gollnick took third with a time of 4:34:27.

In the 10K, top finishers were Christina Saffran with a time of 49:33 and Logan David with a time of 39:23. In the 5K, top finishers were Gracie Johnson with a time of 25:39 and Cayman Lanzone with a time of 24:01.

Finishers were awarded medals that were locally sourced and handcrafted by Catalina native Robin Cassidy, who owns Silver Canyon Pottery. The 2023 designs feature the American Bison, Eagles Nest, and a wagon wheel.  Eagles Nest is a historic building that used to be the weigh station for the stagecoaches traveling from one side of the island to another. It is also a beloved aid station location during the marathon featuring food, drinks, and games. Cassidy has designed medals for the Run Catalina races for six years.

The Hi-Tec Run Catalina series returns to the island in the fall for the Catalina Island Half Marathon on Nov. 11. For more information on the 2023 Hi-Tec Run Catalina series, visit www.RunCatalina.com. Follow the series on Instagram and Facebook.

About Run Catalina and Spectrum Sports Management

Created and managed by Spectrum Sports Management, Run Catalina is a series of endurance races on Southern California’s beautiful and rugged Catalina Island. A recognized leader in endurance and sporting events in Southern California, Spectrum Sports Management & Timing Services creates a wide range of events and has over 50 years of collective industry experience. Spectrum Sports Management emphasizes delivering a premiere, professional and world-class service to their clients, their participants, and the communities in which they work. To learn more, visit www.SpectrumSports.net.