On the women’s side, Mara Caples took first place in 1:24:22. Like Patananan, the 27-year-old thought her time could have been better. “I’ve run a 1:21 here before and my goal was a 1:20 but I just didn’t feel it today,” Caples said. “My legs are tired and at the end, it was hard to push. “I knew I was in the lead most of the way, but it started to get a little windy and I think that affected my time. But once you see the finish line, none of that matters. You just want to finish in one piece.” Caples ran in the Boston Marathon in April and after Sunday’s race, she said her next goal was to run in the Los Angeles Marathon in March. So why did she compete in the half-marathon instead of the main one that consists of 26.2 miles? “I’m not ready to do a full marathon and I certainly wasn’t expecting to win today but it feels great,” she said. “I love running in Long Beach because the crowd is really great and they support you a lot. “There’s one part of the race where there is no crowd and your time kind of drops but once you start to see people again, you can’t help but get fired up. I definitely plan on coming back next year to defend my title.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Patananan ran the half-marathon in Long Beach in 2003 but last year, he decided to skip it to concentrate on other races. But this year, he entered the half-marathon again, and under windy conditions, Patananan easily outraced the rest of the field, finishing well ahead of his closest pursuer. “I haven’t raced a half-marathon in a couple of years but I wanted to do it again because I wanted to see where I am at because eventually, I would like to run in the men’s marathon,” Patananan said. “I thought I could run 30 seconds faster but really, there was nobody to push me and I was basically running all by myself, which is kind of tough. But I can’t complain, it’s always great to win and I think this is a good step forward.” And when asked if he was going to return next season to defend his title, Patananan said it was a possibility. “I would like to come back and race next year but it depends on my schedule,” he said. “Right now, I’m not ruling anything out, but after this year, it would sure be fun to come back and try and do it again. “Of course, if I think I’m ready for the men’s marathon, I might try that as well. Right now though, I just want to enjoy this win.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week On Sunday, Justin Patananan ran the half-marathon because he wanted to see where he was as a runner. Judging by his results, it’s safe to say he’s not too bad. The 25-year-old from Palmdale took first place in the Long Beach Marathon men’s half-marathon, completing the 13.1-mile course in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 40 seconds.