FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Glover Bryant
Bobrowski, Portilla Claim Wins At 5th Annual Little Rock Marathon
LITTLE ROCK, AR – (March 4, 2007) – Przemek Bobrowski, a native of Poland
and a student at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and Maria Cleofe'
Portilla of Albuquerque, New Mexico, won the men's and women's categories
of the fifth annual Little Rock Marathon held today in Little Rock.
The event, attended by runners from all 50 states and 11 countries,
featured a slightly revised finishers medal and a $2,000.00 cash purse for
the top winners. The Little Rock Marathon holds bragging rights for not
only the world's largest finisher's medal, weighing in at one pound, but
starting this year it is the only marathon in the world to offer a male and
female version of the finisher's medal.
Bobrowski, 26, separated himself from the rest of the pack between the
eighth and ninth mile of the Little Rock Marathon on Sunday and never
looked back posting a time of 2:27:09. Bobrowski, a student at Harding
University in Searcy, Arkansas, beat fellow Polish runner Krzysztof Baldyga
by more than a minute.
Portilla, 34, who separated from the pack in the third or fourth mile,
finished the race well ahead of the rest of the field with a time of
2:47:12. The native of Peru and a former Olympian is currently training
for the Pan American games and described today's marathon as part of her
ongoing training regime. During post race interviews, she described the
experience as motivating in light of the vast number of people who lined
the race course to cheer the competitors forward.
Race officials announced Friday evening that Larry Choate, Chairman and CEO
of Arvest Bank-Central Arkansas will follow Greg Hatcher as Little Rock
Marathon race chairman. "Greg has provided the City of Little Rock with a
tremendous gift for the last five years," said Choate. "The Little Rock
Marathon is an amazing way to showcase all that is fantastic about
Arkansas. I am honored to be the Little Rock Marathon's next chairman and
look forward to welcoming marathoners from around the state, the country
and the world to Little Rock."
About 8,000 runners took the streets in 36 degree weather that eventually
reached the mid-50s. More than 4,000 participants ran either a full
marathon, half marathon or four-person relay marathon, with the remainder
participating in a 5K.
In the half marathon, first place received $750 each, second place received
$500 each and third place received $250 each. In the master's marathon (age
40 and older), first place received $500 each, second place received $250
each and third place received $100 each. In the master's half marathon,
first places received $250 each, second place received $200 each and third
place received $100 each.
Second place finishers this year were Kryzysztof Baldyga, 35, of
Albuquerque, New Mexico, at 2:28:50 in the men's category, and Christy
Nielsen of Omaha, Nebraska, at 2:59:03 in the women's category. Placing
third were Justin Gillette, 24, of Niles, Michigan, at 2:31:14, and Melissa
Lehman, 24, of Niles, Michigan, at 3:01:17.
Winning the men's marathon masters division was Dan Hay, 45, of
Battlefield, Missouri, in a time of 2:42:19, followed by Albert Manzanares
Elias, 40, of San Sebastian, Spain at 2:45:56 and Thomas Whalen, 41, of St.
Louis, Missouri, at 2:52:02.
The women's marathon masters division winner was Becky Lowrance, 49, of
Branson, Missouri, at 3:18:36, followed by Marla Rhoden, 51, of Topeka ,
Kansas at 3:20:20 and Wendy Pruitt, 44, Hot Springs, Arkansas at 3:34:17.
The men's marathon grand master division was won by Mark Plucinski, 52 of
Joplin, Missouri at 2:57:25, followed by Brad Rhoden, 54, of Topeka, Kansas
at 3:05:02 and Gary Grierson, 56, of Chandler, Arizona at 3:09:40.
The men's half marathon was won by Jason Warick, 33, of Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan, at 1:07:42, followed by Robby Leblanc, 29, of Little Rock ,
Arkansas, in a time of 1:09:32, and by John Aerni, 27, of St. Louis,
Missouri, at 1:10:11.
The women's half marathon was won by Lesley Hocking, 26, of Columbia,
Missouri at 1:22:57, followed by Wendy Ragle, 26, of Memphis, Tennessee at
1:26:47 and Melissa Davis, 32, Springfield, Missouri at 1:27:34.
The men's half marathon masters division was won by Dennis West, 46, of Mt.
Gilead, Ohio at 1:17:30, followed by David Watkins, 45, of Birmingham,
Michigan at 1:17:41 and James Bresette, 46, of Clinton, Arkansas at
The women's half marathon masters division was won by Betsy Meachan, 42, of
Little Rock, Arkansas at 1:31:41, followed by Margo Braud, 48, of Austin,
Texas at 1:33:17 and Terri Johnson, 44, of Greenbrier, Arkansas at 1:35:30.
The men's half marathon grand masters division was won by Al Guevara, 52,
of Texarkana, Texas at 1:26:33, followed by Larry Graham, 54, of Little
Rock, Arkansas at 1:28:51 and Robert Bloom, 51, of Little Rock, Arkansas at
The women's half marathon grand masters division was won by Jane
Hutchinson, 61, of Webb City, Missouri at 1:39:32, followed by Karen Call,
53, of Little Rock, Arkansas at 1:51:34 and Marla Howerton, 51, of Memphis,
Tennessee at 1:52:33.
The men's 5K was won by Wil Norris, 12, of Mountain Home, Arkansas at
19:02, followed by Stephen Clement, 17, of Little Rock, Arkansas at 19:10
and Jonathan Buzzitta, 14, of Jacksonville, Arkansas at 19:43.
The women's 5K was won by Haley Filat, 12 of Little Rock, Arkansas at
20:22, followed by Beverly Smith, 40, of North Little Rock, Arkansas at
21:26 and Rachel Garrett, 15, of Little Rock, Arkansas at 21:40.
The marathon wheelchair division was won by Christopher Lamps, 38, of
Little Rock, Arkansas at 1:57:22, followed by Dick Pace 57, of Monette,
Arkansas at 2:13:42 and Holly Koester, 47, of Cleveland, Ohio at 3:53:01.
For more information go to www.littlerockmarathon.com.