FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two Runners Set Race Records in the
2nd Annual ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
More Than 10,700 Participants Embarked on New Course for 2nd Year Event
(March 30, 2008, ATLANTA) – Two champions in the elite field of runners and
wheelchair racers of the second annual ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
set race records on the marathon course today. Oleg Marusin of Russia won
the men's open division of the marathon in 2:18:50, cutting off 27 seconds
of the time set last year by Kenyan Joseph Chirlee. Chirlee, who lives in
Acworth, Ga., opted not to defend his marathon title and won the men's open
division of the half marathon this year in a time of 1:06:43.
Lawrenceville, Ga. resident Janet Cherobon successfully defended her title
as the women's open division of the half marathon, winning in 1:13:48.
Setting a race record, she trimmed 2:48 from her mark in the inaugural half
marathon last year. "The weather was perfect except the wind. The course
was a little hillier than last year but there were more down hills. I ran a
good time so that was good," she said in chilly, overcast conditions
following her race.
The women's open division of the marathon was won by Alena Vinitskaya
(Belarus) in 2:41:13. She was 12 seconds faster than the time set last
year by Valentina Levushkina of Russia, who finished second today in the
marathon, 2:06 behind Vinitskaya.
The event had 10,711 total athletes finish both the marathon and half
marathon courses today. Of that total 2,142 marathoners completed the
26.2-mile course that went east from Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta to
downtown Decatur and back through a number of scenic in-town neighborhoods.
The half marathon had 8,569 finishers. Unlike the heat in the inaugural
race, chilly temperatures in the 40s and gusty 10-20 mile-per-hour winds
greeted the runners and wheelers Sunday. In 2007, the ING Georgia Marathon
was run under blue skies and summer-like temperatures that reached a record
87 degrees Fahrenheit.
"I'm impressed that so many runners came out; they came from all over the
country," said Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, referring to participants
who came from 48 states and the District of Columbia. "ING does a great job
of partnering with the city and the local business community. So we are
thrilled about that too. This promotes health and wellness and community
engagement in a way that very few races do. So congratulations to ING."
Both of the wheelchair half marathon champions, Kirge Schabort (men's open
division) and Amanda McGrory (women's open divison) successfully defended
their titles from 2007. Schabort, who resides in Cedartown, Ga. came in at
51:16, while McGrory, from Champaign, Ill., finished with a time of
The men's marathon winner is a 10,000-meter runner who was competing in
just his fourth marathon. Marusin took the lead beyond the 13-mile mark in
Decatur and coasted to the record finish. "I was sure of myself that no one
would follow to closely. I was comfortable. I am very happy that I won,
but I am not completely satisfied with my time. I thought I would do
Vinitskaya was unsure of her ability to run in the ING Georgia Marathon,
initially, due to a recent injury to her Achilles tendon. "I was injured
in Sacramento, but now I am better," said Vinitskaya, who ran today's race
with special inserts in her shoes to alleviate the pain. "It's a good
course for running. The crowds were great; they give you a lift to keep
Race organizers made a last-minute modification to the course this weekend,
changing the direction that runners and wheelchair athletes entered
Centennial Olympic Park for the finish line of the ING Georgia Marathon &
Half Marathon. The change, affecting just the final two-tenths of a mile
of the race course, was based on continued safety concerns related to
tornado damage to downtown buildings that occurred two weeks ago. Runners
and wheelers turned into Centennial Olympic Park at the West entrance,
following a new series of s-shaped fencing to the finish line on Andrew
Young International Boulevard. While the finish stretch was more technical
than originally planned, it was re-certified by race officials and the
event remained a Boston Marathon qualifier.
Results of ING Neighborhood Challenge competition for the best cheering
zone along the 26.2-mile marathon course will be announced in early April.
The top three Cheering Zones will be awarded grants of $10,000, $5,000, and
$2,500 from ING to support neighborhood fitness initiatives. For more
information on the results to the inaugural marathon or half marathon,
please visit www.inggeorgiamarathon.com. Next year's ING Georgia Marathon &
Half Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, April 5, 2009.
14,000 Total Entrants
10,793 Total Starters and 10,711 Total Finishers
2,142 athletes finished the marathon (34% were female)
8,569 athletes finished the half marathon (56% were female)
Total Prize Purse: more than $30,000
Age of youngest participant (half marathon): 8 years
Age of oldest participant (half marathon): 85
U.S. states represented: 48
Countries represented: 25
Number of volunteers: more than 2,000
Temperature at the start (7 a.m.): 44 F (overcast)
Temperature at the finish (2 p.m.): 46 F (overcast with winds 10-20
700 schoolchildren from 19 Atlanta and Decatur middle schools
participated in the Final Mile as part of ING's Run for Something