FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leigh Greenfelder
A RECORD NUMBER OF RUNNERS COMPETE IN 4th ANNUAL ROAD RUNNER AKRON MARATHON
& CHASE TEAM RELAYS
Race founder Steve Marks runs marathon for first time this year
AKRON, Ohio (Sept. 30, 2006) – Nearly 6,000 kids and adults took to
the streets of Akron today to participate in the 4th Annual Road Runner
Akron Marathon & Team Relays. It was the largest number of runners in
the race's history.
Alene Reta, originally from Ethiopia, living New York City, captured
the men's marathon title after a neck-and-neck race throughout the 26.2
mile course. The 24-year-old won the individual men's marathon with a time
of 2:22:02. Reta was four minutes shy of last year's record set by Kenyan
runner Charles Kamindo. Leteyesus Berhe, 28, also from Ethiopia
representing Bronx, NY won the individual women's marathon with a time of
Cleveland's Fred Kieser, 35, who was on pace with Reta until falling
behind at the 25 mile mark, finished second with a time of 2:22:31.
Kieser, the 2005 winner of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, is a girl's
cross country coach at St. Joe's Academy in Cleveland. Julie Varner, a
31-year-old runner from Apple Creek finished second among the women
marathoners with a time of 3:04:04.
John Piggot, 41, of Williamsburg, Va., set a new course record in
men's masters division – the division of runners aged 40 and over – with a
time of 2:37:31. Karen Collins of Tampa, Fla. took the crown in the
women's masters race with a time of 3:17:28
Steve Marks, founder of the Road Runner Akron Marathon ran in the
race for the first time this year. The 47-year-old running enthusiast
finished with a time of 4:12:25.
The number of participants in this year's race increased by
nearly 30 percent, and finishers in the full marathon increased in 2006 to
a record 1,036, due in part to the partnership between the Road Runner
Akron Marathon and Etonic to provide each marathon finisher with a free
pair of Etonic running shoes.
Almost 3,800 runners competed in the race on a team. Team relays are
a full marathon distance race (42.2K/26.2M) divided into five legs (10K,
5K, 10K, 5K and 12.2K) or two legs (25K and 17.2K). Additionally,
approximately 950 children participated in the Kid's Fun Run, a 1K run
along the Ohio & Erie Canal.
The winning five-person men's relay team was "Team Good River"
comprised of Dave Dobos, Jim Chaney, Rich Wisneski, Al Casagranda and Mike
Seymour with a time of 2:29:51. The winning female five-person team, the
"Inspired 1," included Jeannie Ritchie, Debbie Pagano, Shannon McConville,
Bonnie McClure and Tracy Meder, who finished with a time of 2:51:22. The
winning mixed team was "Team Nettles" with a time of 2:51:16. The team
members were Chris Miller, Mike Miller, Dick Nettles, Ron Nettles and Rick
The men's two-person relay was won by "Running with Scissors" with a
time of 2:45:23. Team members were John Nakel and Greg Kearney. The winning
female team, "Paige and Nomes" completed the course in 3:37:22. Team
members were Naomi Ducharme and Paige Albright. Connie Gardner and Vince
Rucci of "Vertical Runner" was the winning mixed team with a time of
The fourth Road Runner Akron Marathon and Chase Team Relays started
near the National Inventors Hall of Fame and concluded in Olympic fashion
inside the Canal Park Stadium in downtown Akron. A complete list of race
results is available online at www.akronmarathon.org.