June 21, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Keenan,
Public Relations Director
RECORDS GALORE DURING GRANDMA’S MARATHON WEEKEND!
Duluth, MN: There’s only one word to describe this year’s Grandma's
Marathon weekend on June 21, 2003 in Duluth, Minnesota – unbelievable. Not
only did the top eight women in the 2003 USA Women’s Half Marathon
Championship break the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course record, but a
new record was also set in the women’s division of Grandma's Marathon.
It all started at 6:15 a.m. this morning with the start of the Half
Marathon Championship. Colleen De Reuck, 39, of Boulder, Colorado and
Christine Clifton of Kirkland, Washington led the field of 65 athletes
right from the gun, and the women ran one and two respectively throughout
the championship race. De Reuck had a strong final kick to the finish,
smashing the former Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon record of 1:14:11, with a
time of 1:10:00, but she wasn’t the only one to beat the record time.
Clifton finished second in 1:11:31 with Jennifer Rhines of Ardmore, PA in
third with a time of 1:11:59. Janet Robertz of Shorewood, Minnesota was
first in the masters division, placing 11th overall in 1:15:36.
A $28,000 total prize purse was offered for the championship race, and De
Reuck will take home $6,000 with an additional $2,000 in incentive money
for running a sub 1:13:00. In addition, she earned a spot on the USA team
for the World Half Marathon Championship along with Clifton and Rhines. The
13.1-mile race will take place on October 4, 2003 in Vilamoura, Portugal.
In Grandma's Marathon, Fira Sultanova of Russia, broke a four-year old
women’s course record, was crowned champion of the 26.2-mile race and won
the women’s masters division. The 41-year-old ran by herself for the
majority of the race, and despite suffering a sore hamstring, she broke the
finish line ribbon in 2:27:05 – setting a new course record by two minutes
and seven seconds.
Elena Makolova, who finished today’s race in 8th place in 2:41:07, set the
former record of 2:29:12 in 1999. Sultanova will go home with $7,000 for
taking first overall, $1,250 for being the first women’s master, $10,000 in
incentives for running a sub-2:29:00 marathon, and a new 2003 Toyota Matrix
for breaking the course record.
Svetlana Tkach-Shepeleva, the 2000 Grandma's Marathon women’s champion, was
second place in the women’s marathon (2:33:53) followed by Albina Gallyamova
in third (2:34:18).
In the men’s division, Joseph Kamau of Kenya claimed victory with a winning
time of 2:11:22. The 2002 Grandma’s Marathon men’s champion, Elly Rono, led
the race for much of the way, but couldn’t hold off Kamau, who eventually
pulled ahead, opening a two minute, seventeen second gap. Kamau will take
home $7,000 in prize money and $2,000 in incentives for running a sub-2:12.
Rono crossed the finish line in second with a time of 2:13:39, and Andrey
Gordeev of Russia grabbed third in 2:14:52.
Fedor Ryjov, 42, of Russia won the men’s masters division claiming his
third Grandma's Marathon masters title and finishing 7th overall with a
time of 2:17:08. He will take home $1,250 in prize money plus $500 in
incentives for his efforts.
In the men’s wheelchair division Saul Mendoza of Mexico City was hard at
work wheeling to his fifth straight Grandma's Marathon victory in 1:32:26,
which will go down in the record books as the fourth fastest Grandma's
Marathon wheelchair division time. Chad Johnson of New Salos Borit, Indiana
was second place with a personal best time of 1:37:45.
Meanwhile, the 2003 race was Candace Cable’s ninth win at Grandma's
Marathon crossing the finish line with a time of 1:50:00. She won’t only be
awarded for this achievement, but will also be inducted into the Grandma's
Marathon Hall of Fame today for her commitment and contributions to the
26.2-mile event. Ten-time champion and Grandma's Marathon Hall of Famer,
Tami Oothoudt, crossed the line second in the women’s wheelchair division
with a time of 2:21:08.
A record 9,578 people registered for the 27th annual Grandma's Marathon,
with 33 countries and all 50 states being represented. Out of 6,968
starters, there were 6,847 finishers.
Jason Lehmkuhle of St. Paul, MN was the first person to cross the finish
line of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. He won with a time of 1:06:32
and was followed by Duluth native, Jeremy Polson who came in at 1:06:54.
Joseph Mahoney of Madison, WI finished third in the men’s division
(1:07:22). Meanwhile in the women’s division of the Garry Bjorklund Half
Marathon, Kimberly Anderson of Chanhassen, MN finished first with a time of
1:22:54. Jen Hess of Paynesville, MN crossed the line second in 1:24:11,
and Amanda Mitchell was third with a time of 1:24:44.
There were 5,368 registered participants in the Garry Bjorklund Half
Marathon, of those 4,778 started the race and 4,756 finishers.
The date of the 2004 Grandma's Marathon weekend is June 17 through June 19,
and will be the site of the 2004 USA Women’s Half Marathon Championship.
For complete results log onto www.grandmasmarathon.com.