FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ilsa Paulson Wins 2010 Country Music Marathon
Colombians take top two spots in men's race, new course record for
women's half marathon
Nashville, TN - April 24, 2010 - For the first time in its 11 year history,
an American has won the Country Music Marathon. Ilsa Paulson, of New York
City, was the first woman to break the tape on the 26.2-mile course with a
time of 2 hours, 33 minutes and 41 seconds.
Ilsa Paulson became the first American winner in the event's 11-year
history. Paulson had previously been scheduled to run in Sunday's Saint
Anthony Marathon in Padua, Italy. The 2009 USA Women's Marathon Champion
changed plans after the eruption in Iceland forced flight delays and
cancellations throughout Europe.
"I was scheduled to run Los Angeles but I got sick, and then Italy, but I
couldn't travel with the volcano, so I guess the third time was the charm,"
said Paulson. "I just enjoy running, so as long as I'm physically able to
get out the door, then I view it as a wonderful blessing and opportunity."
The men's champion, 31-year-old William Najanjo of Colombia, was neck and
neck with countryman Juan Carlos Cardona until the last leg of the race,
when he sprinted ahead to victory with a time of 2:15:38. Westly Keating of
Edinburg, Texas was the top American, finishing sixth overall in 2:20:46.
"This year, I run very fast. It's my second experience here," said Najanjo,
who finished fifth at the Nashville race last year. "I won, and I am very
The women's half marathon winner Sharon Thompson of Franklin, TN was in a
bathroom and caught off-guard by the race's early start. Despite the delay,
she won with a time of 1:15:45 in her debut half marathon, a new course
"I didn't have time to warm up and just kind of saw the crowd leave, and I
was supposed to be in that crowd," said Thompson, a two-time Olympic trials
qualifier for 10,000m. "I hopped over two fences and just started running
really fast to catch up with the group. So I probably went out too hard."
Josh Cox, the 50k American Record Holder, won the men's half marathon in
The 12th Annual Country Music Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, April 30,
1. William Najanjo, 31, Colombia, 2:15:38, $5,000
2. Juan Carlos Cardona, 35, Colombia, 2:15:50, $3,000
1. Ilsa Paulson, 21, New York City, 2:33:39, $5,000
2. Serkalem Abrha, 22, Ethiopia, 2:35:19, $3,000