The More Marathon made history on Sunday, March 21, 2004 as the world's first marathon (and half-marathon) for women over 40. In all, more than 1,500 masters women completed one of the two events, with an additional 450 sub-40 year old women joining them in the Half Marathon. With 370 finishers in the marathon, this will not rank as one of the larger marathons of the year. But, to put it in perspective, this number of finishers will rank the more Marathon as the 5th largest Spring marathon in the USA - in the number of masters women finishers. And, based on the accounts of all runners, from the youngest (40 years young) to the oldest, Helen Kline (81 years young) and for those of all speeds, the runners considered the event a success in celebrating women's achievements and the prospect that age doesn't need to slow one down or limit one's achievements.
On a tough course, the women put on a tough fight. Proudly wearing a singlet that read "Team Nebraska," the favorite, Roxi Erickson, (winner of the last four Lincoln Marathons and others), led the race, accompanied by Long Island runner, Susan Skidmore. At mile 15, Erickson took off, and in the next five miles she had extended her lead to nearly two minutes over Marie Murphy who had moved up to 2nd place. A gap of another couple of minutes separated Murphy from Skidmore, Beth Moras and Monika Lukas. At that point in the race, it appeared that Erickson would win the race easily - but the next set of hills and a lack of preparation for this race caused Erickson so slow and by mile 23, Murphy had moved ahead of Erickson who was continuing to slow. At the end, Murphy cruised into the finish in 3:04:03, more than 6 minutes ahead of second place Erickson (3:10:18). Beth Moras of Ridgewood, NJ, arrived in third place, 3:11:15. Monika Lukas from Brecksville OH was fourth in 3:12:47.
We applaud the spirit of the More Mararathon and the women who ran it. From winner Marie Murphy, a teacher and track coach from California; to local athlete and third place finisher Beth Moras, 45 and a mother of 3, who runs for the New Jersey Masters and helps organize the Ridgewood Run in New Jersey; to Helen Kline, 81, who has been running marathons for 25 years and finished in 4:49 (wow!); to the hundreds of other runners who each had their story and reason for running. The race was inspirational and, we hope, will encourage women to never stop running.
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The Start of the More Marathon.
Front row, left to right (and finishing position):
Beth Moras (3rd), Susan Skidmore (5th), Marie Murphy (1st), Monika Lucas (4th), Unidentified, Roxi Erickson (2nd)
The leaders in the marathon at mile 4 - Roxi Erickson and Susan Skidmore.
Eventual third place finisher Beth Moras running just ahead of the eventual winner, Marie Murphy.
The final sprint to the finish and victory (3:04:03).
Having lost 7 minutes in the final 5 miles, Roxi Erickson holds on to finish in second place (3:10:18).