Mark Dean trains for 2013 Boston Marathon running in Idyllwild. Photo by JP Crumrine

The 2013 Boston Marathon is only a month away, on April 15. Pine Cove’s Mark Dean has nearly completed his preparation for the premier marathon.

He ran the San Diego Half Marathon (13 miles) Sunday, March 10, and plans one more long run before boarding his plane to Boston. In two weeks, he’ll run for 23 miles. After that, he’ll do shorter runs and let his body recover from the long distance.

Dean trains on the Hill and in San Diego, but he believes the Hill’s altitude has helped his body expand hemoglobin to carry more oxygen.

He’s noticed that running the hills here often increases his breathing and sense of fatigue, but when he repeats the distance at the coast, his body feels fine and his times are improved.

He ran Sunday’s race in about 1 hour and 40 minutes, although he did slow down on the final hills. While he’s running, Dean concentrates on his pace and tries to maintain consistency.

“After the first three or four miles, you end up with people doing the same pace,” he said. “There’s less passing and being passed, so there’s time for mere conversation and looking around.” On Sunday, Dean saw and listened to the Point Loma High School band for several paces.

Nevertheless, Dean has time to watch the fans and listen to music along the course.

Later, as he passed the San Diego airport, Dean watched a plane taxi out onto the runway, take off and bank back over the city. “As it took off, I began thinking it’s only a month until Margie and I are on a plane going to Boston,” he said.

Besides the marathon, going East will also be a return to his roots, Dean related. He’s from Massachusetts and has been gone for 20 years. He’s from Framingham and the Boston Marathon course passes through it.

He connected with a family member recently in a bittersweet way. Trying to find them online, he discovered an obituary for his aunt. However, this identified many of his other relatives. Dean contacted a cousin and they’ll be on the course in Framingham cheering him on, and after the race there’ll be a family reunion.

Two other Pine Cove residents ran in the San Diego Half Marathon last week. Ken and Heather Mello competed. Ken finished 401 out of more than 5,700 runners and 19th in his age group. His total time was 1:40:16.

Heather was right behind, running the course in 1:42:42. She finished 117 out of more than 3,000 women and 518 out of all runners.