Mission runner speeds ahead of competition at McAllen Marathon

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Christian Martinez of Mission emerged victorious at the McAllen Marathon Scott Crane Run at the McAllen Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in McAllen. (Courtesy of the city of McAllen)

McALLEN — Mission’s Christian Martinez only started running competitively four years ago, now he is the McAllen Marathon winner after outpacing the field Saturday morning.

Martinez, 31, finished the 11th annual McAllen Marathon and Scott Crane Run with a time of 2 hours, 48 minutes and 24 seconds. Ramirez finished seven minutes faster than Mexico’s Francisco Casillas.

“I am super proud about that performance,” Martinez said. “I have been training with my coach since August, I believe. We executed every month, and every week. Our goal was to hit a sub 2:50.”

Martinez finished sixth in 2023 with a time of 2:56.

The Mission native qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2025 by winning Saturday, but missed out on the chance of qualifying for the New York City Marathon by a little over three minutes. A runner needs a sub-2:45 marathon to qualify for the NYC Marathon.

Martinez and other runners battled a cold windy day. The Mission runner said going North on Col. Rowe Boulevard was a challenge because of the wind, but Martinez ran the race without a shirt — proving it was not cold enough for the 31-year-old from Mission.

“You adapt, you go a little bit slower on those parts and then gain when you come back and have the win at your back,” Martinez said.

Martinez does not have a background in distance running and said he will back next year to defend his title.

McAllen’s Gabriela Cavazos finished as the fastest woman Saturday with a time of 3:14.40. Nora Ruiz and Maria Scurry came in second and third respectively.

Full results can be found at MyRGV.com.