FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Peter Nantell
Chronicle Marathon Event Producer
KAMAU, CARR TOP SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE MARATHON
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (July 27, 2003) - Among runners participating in
five different road racing events offered by race organizers, Patrick
Kamau of Kenya and American Lucy Carr both cruised to victories in the
featured marathon race through the scenic streets of San Francisco today.
Kamau topped the men's field in a winning time of 2 hours, 35 minutes,
and 8 seconds. Carr recorded the women's victory in 3:01:56.
In addition to the annual 26.2-mile marathon -- which celebrated its 26th
running -- race participants chose between a 4-person marathon relay, two
half marathons, and a 5-kilometer run/walk. There were 1,925 marathoners
who crossed the finish line at the city's historic waterfront on San
Francisco Bay in a crowd of over 5,000 finishers in all races.
Kamau, 29, who lives and trains in Mountain View, CA, is the first Kenyan
to win the resurgent marathon in San Francisco in recent memory. He did
it by taking an early lead and ran a virtually unchallenged race under
mild conditions punctuated by San Francisco's trademark coastal overcast
and partly sunny skies. Vitas Ezerskis, 42, of San Francisco finished
second in 2:35:54. Tom McGlynn, 30, of Burlingame, CA placed third in
It was Kamau, however, who owns a personal marathon best of 2:14, who
dominated the day over the intermittently hilly, city-wide course.
"I chose this race as a comeback," said Kamau, whose training was
interrupted three months ago by a back injury. "This course has a lot of
ups and downs so it's really good (to test out the back) as a comeback.
In the second half of the race I was all alone, so I decided to slow down
because I didn't feel like pushing so hard. If I had someone to push me,
I probably could have done better."
Ezerskis, who won this race two years ago, earned top masters (40
year-olds and older) honors. "I knew my pace pretty well, and by 19 or
20 miles, I knew that I was near the front," he said. "But the Kenyan, he
was way out there."
For Carr, 35, a U.S. citizen (originally from Maine) who resides in
Juanlespins, France, the women's race ended in a decisive victory. Valor
Hopes, 27, of Portland, OR placed second in 3:11:42. Sarah Hallas, 23, of
Petaluma, CA was third in 3:12:09. Carr enjoyed a victory margin of
almost 10 minutes -- an eternity over 26.2 miles.
"I wanted to get under three hours, but there were too many hills," said
Carr who ran a personal best of 2:57 at the Paris Marathon last year.
"But the whole way I said 'I want to win.' I had my heart set out for it.
My objective was to go under 2:58 or win."
For their winning efforts, Kamau and Carr each collected $1,000 of the
$10,000 prize purse that was distributed to first overall, first masters,
and top San Francisco-resident finishers in the marathon and both half
Alica Britt, 40, of Seattle, WA placed fourth overall in 3:15:52 while
capturing the women's masters crown.
This year's new and unique "choose a half marathon" option yielded solid
fields and impressive results. The format allows half marathon
participants to choose which half of the marathon course they want to
run-the first 13.1 miles or the second 13.1 miles. The winners of the
"first" half marathon were Kalid Abdulah (1:08:10), 23, from Alameda, CA
and Paula Morrison (1:22:52), 30, of Tucson, AZ. Peter Gilmore (1:07:24)
of Menlo Park, CA and Linda Somers Smith (1:17:36), 42, of San Luis
Obispo, CA emerged victorious in the "second" half marathon.
Somers Smith's race was particularly notable since the 1996 U.S. Olympian
was using it as a tune-up for the prestigious IAAF World Track & Field
Championships in Paris where she will represent the U.S. team in the
women's marathon event on August 31.
"I would have liked to have been a little faster," said Somers Smith,
whose best half marathon is six minutes quicker than her San Francisco
race. "I felt great all the way through Golden Gate Park although I'm not
really very good at uphills. But, all of a sudden at mile seven I just
felt horrible, and that's when the downhill started. I didn't cut back on
my training at all for this race, so maybe that was part of it."
In the 4-person marathon relay race, the team of Young Guns won the men's
division in 2:30:30; Ex-Hoy's topped the women's race in 3:07:56; and
Team Lee-Hillter-Hart-Lee captured the co-ed division in 2:57:39.
In the 5-kilometer run/walk, San Franciscan Sean Drake, 19, a sophomore
at Stanford University, topped the men's competition in a time of 16:09.
Among women, Luanne Coulter, 42, of Charlotte, NC broke the 5K finish
tape first in 19:05.
The Chronicle Marathon's unique "Cause to Run" program allows
participants to pledge support to a number of local charity
organizations, raise funds, and earn pledge prizes by participating in
any of the running/walking events. Last year, race participants raised
over $100,000 for local charities that provide valuable and much-needed
services for the community.
The featured cause for 2003 is the California/Bay Area Breast Cancer
Research Program. Since 1994, the organization has generated more than
$130 million for California scientists and community researchers to find
better ways to prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer.
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