CJ Albertson photo via Clovis Community College

published on October 11, 2021 - 11:44 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A Fresno man is making waves in the world of running Monday with his performance in the Boston Marathon.

CJ Albertson led by as many as two minutes at the halfway point of the race but fell behind. Albertson, who is the world record-holder in the 50K (42.2 miles), finished 10th.

A Fresno, California, native, Albertson said he tried to keep things interesting during the pandemic by binging on Peloton classes; he finished atop the leaderboard 57 times and also set a record by running a 2:09 marathon on the treadmill.

“I was just bored and unmotivated, trying to find something to do. I just made stuff up,” he said. “Having a race like Boston … actually racing and competing with the world’s best in one of the best atmospheres there is to run in – second to Fresno – nothing else compares. This was an amazing day.”

He ran the race on his 28th birthday, according to news reports.

Albertson is the head men’s cross country track coach at Clovis Community College, according to the Clovis Crush team website. He attended Buchanan High School and Arizona State University, and is a record-holder at both schools, according to his bio.

In his first year as the college’s inaugural coach he led both the Men’s and Women’s teams at Clovis Community College to the state championships. In year two, the Women’s team achieved a 3rd place finish at the Northern Regional Championships and won their 2nd Conference Championship — leading Albertson to become the two-time Central Valley Conference Women’s Coach of the Year.

While he didn’t win, his performance Monday elicited a number of headlines indicating he captured the imagination of the world of running.

Who Was That Guy Leading The Boston Marathon For So Long? CJ Albertson Makes A Name For Himself

Former 50K World Record Holder CJ Albertson Led the 2021 Boston Marathon for 20 Miles

Held annually since a group of Bostonians returned from the 1896 Athens Olympics and decided to stage a marathon of their own, the race has occurred during World Wars and even the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. But it was first postponed, then canceled last year, then postponed from the spring in 2021.

It’s the first time the event hasn’t been held in April as part of the Patriots’ Day holiday that commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War. To recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, race organizers honored 1936 and ’39 winner Ellison “Tarzan” Brown and three-time runner-up Patti Catalano Dillon, a member of the Mi’kmaq tribe.

Police were visible all along the course as authorities vowed to remain vigilant eight years after the bombings that killed three spectators and maimed hundreds of others on Boylston Street near the Back Bay finish line.

As far as winners go, Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei completed a Kenyan sweep – the eighth since 2000 at the world’s oldest and most prestigious 26.2-miler.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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