Ideal Weather, Big Field for Redding Marathon

Family, friends and other spectators line the Sundial Bridge as runners complete the marathon.

Sunday’s Redding Marathon attracted its biggest field ever, as 178 individuals and 78 three-runner teams completed the 26.2-mile distance from the Shasta Dam overlook to the Sundial Bridge. Another 139 participants completed the 5-kilometer run/walk.

Reyna Fisher of Xtreme Fitness loosens up race winner Brian Sebastian.

The weather was ideal for running, with a light overcast, no wind and temperatures mostly in the upper 40s to upper 50s. As always, runners raved about the scenery of the point-to-point marathon course. Complete marathon results are available on the SWEAT running club website.

Oregon runners Leigh Church (left) and Amanda Davidson are all smiles after the race.

Here is what some of the front runners had to say.

Brian Sebastian speeds across Sundial Bridge to claim victory.

Twenty-five-year-old Brian Sebastian, from Klamath Falls, Oregon, had never run a marathon before winning Sunday’s race in a time of 2 hours, 45 minutes and 35 seconds.

“I could always tell I’d do well at longer distances,” he said. “I actually misunderstood my pacing during training and was shooting for sub-3:30. Then my friend corrected me, and I started shooting for sub-2:50.”

“It was a good day. I’m glad the weather cooperated,” Sebastian continued. “The last week or two, it’s been in the single-digits in Klamath Falls. It made for some cold morning runs.”

Stephanie Finelli, 41, of Sacramento, won the women’s race and finished fifth overall in a time of 3:10:31. She has finished “over a dozen” marathons but was unable to remember if she had ever won before.

“I liked the course. I liked the rolling-ness of the hills and the scenery,” she said. “I might come back.”

“I was bringing my kids back home from college last spring and we stopped in Redding,” she recalled. “I thought, it’s so pretty. I wonder if they have a marathon.”

Marty Rindahl woke up Saturday morning at home in Fresno and decided to enter a race 300 miles away. He was glad he did, as he took second place.

“It was a perfect day – overcast and kind of cool,” Rindahl said while gobbling post race offerings from Marie Calendar’s. “And you’ve got pie here. That makes a marathon.”

“I’d never even been across the bridge,” Rindahl said. “I had no idea this was here.”

Amanda Davidson, of West Linn, Oregon, ran nearly the entire race with two teammates from the Portland-based squad. She finished fifth in the women’s race and first in the 35-39 age group.

“The course is gorgeous,” said Davidson, who grew up in Shingletown. “The aid stations were amazing. They had lots of everything.”

“And now we’re going to go do an ice bath with tequila shots,” she giggled. “I’m not kidding.”

-Slideshow photographs by Jeremiah Coffey.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and a two-time Redding marathon finisher. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.