The 2nd Annual more Marathon/Half-Marathon continued its tradition of celebrating women over 40. While the number of marathon finishers was down (hey, it's a tough course and inaugural marathons attract extra runners), the total number of participants in both events was up more than 40%. Nearly 2,900 women, including approximately 2,200 masters women completed either the 13.1 mile or 26.2 mile course.
On a beautiful day with temperatures in the low to mid-60s, the second more Marathon unofficially saw two races unfold: one pitting two US olympic trialists, Susan Loken and Janet Robertz, against each other for the title and course record; and a second race consisting of the rest of the field, the best of the local masters runners together with runners from across the country. Susan Loken and Janet Robertz seemed evenly matched and this looked to be a rematch of sorts as the two experienced a tough race at the 2004 Twin Cities Marathon where Robertz's 14th place finish of 2:44:07 was just 19 seconds ahead of Loken's 15th place finish. From the beginning, the two took the lead and ran in lockstep, opening and expanding a gap between themselves and the rest of the field. At mile 20, Loken began to move away from Robertz and never looked back, opening a lead of more than three minutes over the final 6 miles. Susan Loken pushed hard to finish in 2:45:35, not far off her personal best time. Robertz finished in second place in 2:48:59.
At the same time that the race at the front was shaping up, other masters women were vying for places three through five. Two women from the local Moving Comfort team, Corinna Cortes and Christina Bilsky, kept pace with each other through the first half of the marathon before Bilsky dropped back to be caught by Doretha Levine. Cortes, running strong easily took third place in 3:7:44. After running with Levine for a few miles, Bilsky seemed to develop a second wind and surged forward to open a gap and take fourth place in 3:13:21. Monica Lukas gained on the Levine and finished in fifth place in 3:13:59.
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The start of the More Marathon
Visible from left to right: Janet Robertz (2nd), Susan Loken (1st), Angela Gonzalez (11th), Christina Bilsky (4th), Corinna Cores (3rd), Monica Lukas (far right, 4th))
Susan Loken and Janet Robertz running together at the 4 mile mark
Christina Bilsky (eventual 4th place) and Corinna Cortes (eventual 3rd place) from the Moving Comfort team running together
Cortes moves ahead of Levine to move into third place
Spying the finish line, Loken points to the clocks and the direction to a win