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Local runners qualify for Boston Marathon

Two Shafter residents have qualified for one of the most prestigious marathons in the country. Missy Espericueta and Peter Frantz will be making the trek east this week to participate in the Boston Marathon, making their way down the historic streets of Beantown.

Both of the runners are part of the Greyhounds running club. Espericueta and Frantz are the only runners from Shafter that are making the trip. Frantz qualified for the race last year and turned in a personal best time at the event.

Newcomer Espericueta will be running in her first Boston Marathon. She has run in 10 marathons in her career, with the Boston race her biggest to date.

Espericueta said that she has been running ever since she was a young girl. “I started running when I was around 10 years old. I have been active in various sports, but running has always been something that I loved to do.”

She also participated in track and cross country throughout her junior high and high school years, continuing to run as an adult. As for the marathons, Espericueta said that she decided to try running in a marathon when her husband, former Shafter City Councilmember Eli Espericueta was active in the military. “At the time, I would compete in 10K and 5K races that the military would host. During one of my training runs, my husband invited me to join his battery, where I met another female runner. She encouraged me to try running a marathon.”

She took three years off when she was getting her bachelors degree, but picked it right back up in 2014.

Espericueta qualified for the big race by running a specific qualifying time in a marathon within her age bracket. She said that participating in the Boston Marathon has always been one of her major goals. She ran a qualifying time of 3 hours, 47 seconds in the California International Marathon in Sacramento.

Her all-time best time in the distance is 3:43:00.

“Running gives me a sense of peace,” Espericueta explained. “Even when I am not competing, I enjoy going on runs because it gives me time to reflect and unwind. I continue to be inspired and enjoy running with my running group.”

Espericueta said that she doesn’t have a specific time she is shooting for in Boston, only that she improves with each race, whether that is bettering a time, or running smarter in a race, or just getting better in general. “I do know that running the streets of Boston, an iconic race, with this amazing team, will be an experience I will never forget.”


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