HELENA — Cesar Mireles isn’t originally from Montana.
But he is certainly making a name for himself in the running scene.
Mireles, who resides in Richey, won the Governor’s Cup 10K race with a time of 33:15.16 on Saturday in Helena.
“It’s really nice (to win),” Mireles said. “I’ve never run in the Governor’s Cup before. It was a great experience.”
While he has run marathons and half-marathons in the past, Mireles wanted to run in a smaller race as he prepares to run in the New York City Marathon in November.
“It’’ll be the first time,” he said. “I’ve done three marathons in my life and they were all pretty small.”
Mireles was born in Mexicali, Mexico, but moved to Bakersfield, California, where he ran track during high school and his two years at Bakersfield Community College. He then transferred to Rocky Mountain, where he ran track and cross country and then graduated in 2013.
“It was just a blessing to get a scholarship and get through college for free and doing what I love to do, and that is running,” Mireles said.
Though he only spent two years in Billings, he credited the talent of the competition in the Frontier Conference in pushing him to get better.
“The Frontier Conference is underrated,” Mireles said. “There is a lot of talent in Montana and we all do well competing at the national level.”
After graduating, he found himself coaching track and cross country in Richey, a town of just under 200 people.
So what does a track coach think about running through the streets of Manhattan among other 50,000 NYC Marathon runners?
“I decided I wanted to go big for the next marathon,” Mireles said. “There is nothing bigger.”
In the women’s division, Missoula’s Allison Barnwell won the race, finishing in 41:10.82, while Rebekah Read from Spokane, Washington, finished second in 42:05.69 and Helena’s Hannah Rohrer-Fitzhugh, a recent Capital High grad, finished third in 43:27.54.