FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stacey Ellis or Alexis Anzalone
The Blaze Company
"The Challenge" and Defending Champion Return to the
City of Los Angeles Marathon
$75,000 Bonus to the First Runner Across the Finish Line
LOS ANGELES - (February 24, 2005) - In 2004, David Kirui of Kenya would
have been the first runner to cross the finish line of the City of Los
Angeles Marathon XIX were it not for Tatyana Pozdnyakova of the Ukraine,
but he had to settle for finishing first among the elite men.
How could it be that a woman won the race when natural differences in
speed, strength and muscle mass would almost guarantee a male victor?
Last year, in an exciting new format created by the L.A. Marathon, elite
men and elite women were pitted against each other on a level playing field
for the first time in the history of running a marathon, to see just who
would be King or Queen of the 26.2-mile road. "The Challenge," which allows
the elite women to start roughly 20 minutes ahead of the elite men, is on
again for 2005 and will determine who will be King or Queen of the L.A.
On Sunday, March 6, Pozdnyakova, who turns 50 on March 4 and ran 2:30:17
last year, returns to defend her women's and Challenger titles against a
top international field including past race champions Simon Bor (1999),
Benson Mbithi (2000) and Lyubov Denisova (2002), top 2004 finishers Simon
Wangai (2nd), Matthew Birir (3rd), Tatiana Titova (2nd) and Zivile
Balciunaite (3rd) and Australian Kerryn McCann. Will the masters superstar
Pozdnyakova keep her Challenger title and also become the race's first
three-peat winner? Will a new face emerge?
"The Challenge" victor earns a $75,000 bonus ($25,000 more than in 2004),
and each winner receives $25,000 and a Honda Accord EX V-6. The overall
prize purse exceeds $300,000.