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Posted: March 21, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Ventura Resident to Run Her 90th Marathon at the Pasadena Marathon presented by Kaiser Permanente This Weekend

Becoming a marathoner has completely changed Tawni Gomes life and she has become an inspiration to others

Pasadena, Calif. (March 21, 2009) -- In 1996, Tawni Gomes had hit a low point in her life. At age 32, she was out of shape, weighed over 300 pounds and was very unhappy. Now 45, Gomes is about to run her 90th marathon this weekend -- The Inaugural Pasadena Marathon presented by Kaiser Permanente. She works out six days a week, is happy, healthy and weighs 140 pounds. Gomes explains, "I never had surgery. I lost my weight through lots of blood, sweat and tears. It was a slow, deliberate process. A few pounds a month."

What caused Gomes to change her life? "I was watching Oprah and she inspired me to join the Arthritis Foundation "Joints in Motion" Training Program," said Gomes. As a result she walked her first marathon, the Honolulu Marathon, in 1997. In that first year alone, she lost approximately 100 pounds. The next year, she did the Portland Marathon. In 1998, she did the Dallas White Rock Marathon and in 2000 she did about six marathons. That was the start of her amazing journey and passion for running.

Tawni is not an elite marathoner but the typical "back of the pack" runner. Tawni mused, "I'm about a 6-hour marathoner. It’s not about competing, but keeping healthy. It brings me joy -- it's my social network. I've completely changed my lifestyle."

This weekend, the Pasadena Marathon presented by Kaiser Permanente will be number 90 for Gomes. That represents 2,358 miles total, not counting the additional thousands of miles completed during the training process. "I've come full circle. I started training in the Arthritis Foundation Joints in Motion program and now work as a development manager for Joint Juice - Glucosamine Fitness Water." As a result of Tawni's passion, Joint Juice will be donating about 10,000 bottles of water for finishers in Pasadena.

Tawni is an avid health proponent and loves to share her success to motivate others. You can find more information about Tawni at her own website www.NoMoreExcuses.net.

Over 8,000 runners, walkers and cyclists will converge on Sunday morning to compete in the Marathon, Half Marathon, Bike Tour, 5K and Fun Run/Walk. The Full and Half Marathon will start at 6:30 AM. Elite runners should complete the full marathon in approximately two hours, with elite half-marathoners completing the race in just over an hour. The bulk of the marathon finishers should have completed the race by noon. The Start/Finish Line is located directly in front of Pasadena City College on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. The Finish Line Festival is from 6 AM -- 2 PM on the college campus, and is free to the public. Thousands of spectators will gather at the Start/Finish Line and along the course.

All athletes are expected to pick up their race packets at the Health & Fitness Expo located at the Pasadena Convention Center which will be open on Friday, March 20, from noon - 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Participants' friends and family are also encouraged to attend the Expo which features a variety of health and fitness related vendors.

Event sponsors for 2009 include: Kaiser Permanente, Think Marketing, The Westin Pasadena, Tiffany & Co., Pasadena Star-News, Crown City News, 100.3 The Sound, Gel Communications, Pasadena City College, Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Ridelinks, Tieman's Fusion Coffees, Nesquik, FRS, PowerBar, Ultima, Whole Foods, Vons, California School of Culinary Arts, Joint Juice, PMX, Coyle Reproductions, Inc., Smartbox, and Ware Disposal Co., Inc. For more information, visit www.pasadenamarathon.org.

About Pasadena Forward: Pasadena Forward was founded in 2004 by Executive Director, Israel Estrada. The organization's mission is to promote enhanced quality of life for those who work, live, or attend school in the Pasadena area. By offering financial and logistical support to local civic and charitable agencies, Pasadena Forward aims to have a broad impact on the nonprofit community's ability to deliver services. The Pasadena Marathon was conceived as a large-scale fundraiser to further the mission of Pasadena Forward.

About Kaiser Permanente--Kaiser Permanente, the nation's leading integrated health plan, was founded in 1945, and is a nonprofit, group practice prepayment program with Southern California headquarters in Pasadena, California. Serving the health care needs of 3.3 million members in Southern California, Kaiser Permanente encompasses the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Southern California Permanente Medical Group, including nearly 58,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 6,800 physicians representing all specialties. For more information visit www.kaiserpermanente.org.

About International City Racing--Led by Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Seagren, International City Racing, Inc. (ICR) specializes exclusively in the development, management and implementation of endurance, health, fitness and other special events. Besides the Inaugural Pasadena Marathon, ICR events include the Avia OC Marathon held in May 2009, the Pacific Open Water Challenge to be held in Long Beach in August 2009, Long Beach International City Bank Marathon that will host over 20,000 runners in October 2009, the Dana Point Turkey Trot 10K, 5K and Kids Fun Run that hosts over 12,000 runners and walkers on Thanksgiving Day, and the and the Annual Long Beach Belmont Shore Christmas Parade in December.


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