FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WARDIAN WINS ING MIAMI MARATHON
MIAMI -- Veteran marathoner Michael Wardian, who arrived in South Florida
less than 24 hours before the race after working an 80-hour week as a
shipping broker, outclassed the field in the ING Miami Marathon and Half
Wardian covered the scenic 26.2-mile course in 2:28:39, which gave him a
comfortable seven-minute, 24-second victory margin over 38-year-old
Brazilian Cesar Martins. Columbia, SC clinical therapist Orinthal
Striggles, 34, was third (2:38:43).
Brett Ely, a Natick, MA . native running under the umbrella of Team
Strands, captured the women's title with a time of 2:45:36 that met the
Olympic Trials marathon "B" standards for women. Belarusian Alena
Vimitskaya was 2:26 behind at 2:48:02. Yolanda Mercado of Puerto Rico, was
In the half marathon, Bloomington, IN runner Justin Young (1:05:57)
outfinished Team Strands teammate Michael Aish (1:06:38) of Arvada, CO
while Meghan Armstrong of Richfield, MN totally outclassed the women's
division with a time of 1:17:50.
The race was run under cloudy skies in Miami which gave the record 18,321
runners some relief from the typical South Florida heat. But humid
conditions kept course records from being broken.
Wardian is a 35-year-old father of two who has completed more than 100
marathons. He finished fourth three weeks ago in the Disney Marathon. An
international shipping broker for Potomac Maritime LLC, Wardian has been
busy handling shipments to earthquake-striken Haiti and was concerned he
might not be in peak form for the race.
"I ran wire to wire," said Wardian. "I was able to dictate the pace,
although it was a little humid and slowed down my time a bit. I was able
to run a fairly good race given the conditions and having to work a lot.
But I love my job a lot and what I do so it's a sacrifice that I can
happily make. I was able to make a good showing for my sponsors and family
and that's what it's all about."
Wardian's biggest client is the largest container carrier in the world.
"It's been quite busy with trying to get cargo to Haiti . I've been working
all weekend and we have to actually get back to the office tomorrow," he
Martins, the fourth place finisher in the 2009 Disney Marathon, recorded
his best finish in the six marathons he has run. "I'm done for the year,"
he said. "I run one a year and my next is in 2011."
Ely, a research physiologist for the U.S. Department of Defense, struck
gold Sunday in just her sixth career marathon.
"I would love to see the photo of me coming across the finish line," she
said. "I was so thrilled. When I saw that finish line tape come up, well,
the feeling of the tape across my chest felt so good."
Vinitskaya, 36, traveled 14 hours by air to run the marathon, and equaled
her finish in here in 2003. "I didn't feel good after the first half mile,"
Mercado, the Puerto Rican national record holder, has won two marathons. "I
tried to run a better time but I don't know what happened," she said. "The
cheering and the clanging bells at Mile 11 helped me and I felt like I was
Teamwork among the Team Strands runners helped them dominate the
"We had a game plan coming in and we were trying to get under 65 minutes as
a team," said Young, a 30-year-old who won his last half marathon in San
Diego last year. "But the pace started to lag. We knew the humidity was
going to be tough. The bridges in the beginning were challenging but the
main thing was the humidity."
"We kept an even pace the whole way," added Aish, 33, a New Zealand native
who lives in Denver . "We got to 12 miles on pace, but we realized that it
just wasn't going to happen. There was too much humidity. Justin went for
it and I started waving to the crowd."
Rizzo, 26, ran a personal best in the Chicago Marathon two weeks ago, but
also felt the warmer weather immediately. "It was abrupt," said the Boulder
, Colorado resident. "I've only been at altitude for two weeks. It's
obviously a little bit different. When I left it was 32 degrees and a
It was a similar story for Armstrong, the former Iowa 4-time All-American
who adjusted to the heat well after leaving temperatures of minus three
degrees back home in Minneapolis .
"It's a 60 degree temperature swing and very humid," said the 24-year old
who considers the 5K her best race.
In celebrating her first half-marathon win, Armstrong credited Brock Baker
of Chapel Hill, NC with helping her to the win. The two ended up at the
same pace, and agreed to trade leads each mile to share the burden of the
wind. "I wish I could find him and thank him," she said in the media tent
after the race. "He finished 20 meters ahead of me."
2007 Disney Marathon champion Gabriela Trana of Costa Rica, 29, was second
in 1:22.20 while Marta Jimenec Portillo, a 26-year old from El Salvador who
came to the United States for the first time Friday, was third in 1:24:06.
Michael Fradera, a 10-year Armed Forces veteran from Lakeland, FL who lost
his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007, won his first marathon in the
men's hand cycle division. "My New Year's resolution was to come in first
in a marathon," said the 32-year-old former Marine and Army staff sergeant.
Fradera participated in his first marathon in Miami a year ago. Earlier
this month, he won the Disney half marathon.
Columbian Orlando Cortez won the Men's Push Rim Wheelchair Division
(1:53:08). Monique Van Der Vorst of The Netherlands (2:05:49) won the
Women's Push Rim Wheelchair division and Kirstie Sykes of Celebration, FL
won the Women's Hand Cycle division (1:59:01).