Local 16-year-old makes wrong turn, ends up running 1/2 marathon

Israel Mantano

An ordinary 5k run, at the 2017 Springfoot El Paso Marathon, turned into a 91-minute trek across the Sun City when 16-year-old Israel Mantano veered right at a fork in the road; he was supposed to continue straight.

"(Israel) says he looked down at his watch and saw 39 min, so he thought he was running for a long time already," Sigi Lopez told CBS4 Sports' Eric O'Brien.

In addition to acting as Mantano's translator, Lopez is also his running coach. Lopez was waiting at the finish line with the rest of Mantano's family but started to worry as time went by.

"We kept wondering, 'Where's Israel?' They kept telling me he probably did a wrong turn so we just kind of assumed he did the ½ marathon," Lopez chuckled.

Not only did Mantano finish, but he did so in the top 2% of all 1/2 marathoners - leaving more than one thousand other runners in the dust.

"He says he felt relieved and proud because Israel's never run that distance before." Lopez said. "He just fell asleep for 8 hrs and ate pizza."

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