Brandon Jauregui is a recent graduate from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and the 2015 Santa Clarita Valley Marathon Champion! The SCV Marathon was his first marathon and he ran it in 2:35:18, winning by 13 minutes. Brandon did this while battling cancer. Brandon has since ran SCV Half-Marathon in 1:13. We are happy to say that he has gone into full remission since. Brandon’s goal for Mountains 2 Beach is to win his second marathon.
When and why did you start running?
I started running in sixth grade because I love it. When I was nine I hiked Half Dome in Yosemite National Park with some family members and remember running all the way down (eight miles one way!). I guess you could say my running career was born in that moment ... It wasn't until sixth grade, when I saw a poster for cross country on the gym door at Castaic Middle School, that I started competing though. At first, running began as something to treat my ADHD and anger problems but turned into so much more as I learned more and more about the sport. Today, my passion towards running is special. I love everything about it, but mostly the freedom that comes with running. I run because you can do it anywhere, at any time, with anyone, and run as fast or slow as you want. It's the only sport without restrictions; the only sport where I can just go out and do what I love -- run.
There's a lot of reasons I love the marathon, but I think the biggest one is because they take an inordinate amount of hard work, dedication, and passion to be successful. Marathons are unique because you can't get away with just talent like you can in cross country or on the track. The motto, "You get out of it what you put into it," truly represents the marathon. The 26.2-mile race really embodies my character and story, too, having gone through so many obstacles and difficulties throughout my life. I'm actually currently writing a book, "The Marathon and Me," because I think the marathon is an event that really defines my struggles outside of the sport.
How are you training for Mountains 2 Beach?
I've actually just started training for Mountains 2 Beach, but plan on doing a similar build-up as my first marathon, the 2015 SCV Marathon. I wouldn't be racing if I didn't think I could do something special. Now that I'm done with school, I'm hoping my weekly mileage goes up to 90-100 miles per week with a lot of longer tempos and taking care of the "little things" (stretching more, drills, core, etc.).
What drives you to run marathons?
My drive to be the best I can be motivates me to run marathons. Plus, I think I have a great story to tell with beating cancer and winning my marathon debut. I always knew I'd race marathons. As a kid, I could run for hours. As a freshman at Saugus High School, I'd go out and run for 2-3 hours at a time on Sundays because I just loved to run. There's nothing that compares to running a marathon!
Do you have any tips for training and race day?
Be patient. Nothing is going to happen overnight. Over the last couple years of my running career and my fight with cancer has taught me a handful of things. More than anything, though, it's taught me patience. I wake up every day asking myself, "What can I do to better myself and move forward?". This is a life lesson I apply towards both life and training. It's easy to get frustrated when training for the marathon, so make sure to be patient, do all the "little things" (stretch, eat healthy, sleep right, etc.), and most important, have fun doing it.
My long-time friend and former national high school record-holder, Jeff Nelson, once told me a quote called "The Soda Machine vs. the Slot Machine." I say to myself all the time, especially when I'm going through a tough training day or low point in my life. "With a soda machine - you put several quarters into the slot and out pops a soda. Instant gratification! With a slot machine - you put quarter after quarter in and never know when you will hit the jackpot. The only thing that is certain is that you will only hit a jackpot if you continue to put quarters into the machine. If you quit and walk away - you will never hit the jackpot and all the money you invested will be wasted." This is training every day. This is life.