For Immediate Release:
2001 Brooks Pharmacy Ocean State Marathon
October 8, 2001
Rono Battles Wind, Pozdnykova Slices Her Record
In a fierce struggle against a stalwart autumn headwind Elly Rono, 31 of
Kenya and Tatyana Pozdnykova, 46, of Ukraine led 747 finishers in the 9th
Annual Brooks Pharmacy Ocean State Marathon run on October 8 from Warwick
to Providence, Rhode Island. Rono, who placed 4th here in 1999 with a
2:16:33, was clocked at 2:17:50 and Pozdnykova smashed her own overall
women's and women's master event records from 1999 of 2:31:54 with a
From the start, at the Community College of RI, Rono was in the midst of a
quickly formed group of a dozen runners that passed the mile in 5:29. For
another mile the group shifted places but Mikhail Khobotov, 27, of Russia
and Ceslovas Kundrotas, 40, of Lithuainia seemed eager to urge the pace
along. By four miles at 20:46 they had pulled the pace down to just over
five minutes per mile and had forged a small break. Then the following
pack regained and a group of nine men, including Bassinma Soro of Ivory
Coast and Kenyans Gilbert Rutto, Jacob Kirwa, Daniel Kihara, Hezron Otwari
and Joseph Kibor passed five miles at 25:51.
Once past six miles, however, the freshening wind began to take a toll and
the group formed a conga line with runners trying to use each other for
By the halfway point at 1:08:55 it was clear there would be no new men's
record as Khobotov, Kundrotas and Otwari led together with Rutto slightly
Meanwhile the lead women were being buffeted as well with all the
favorites in contention. They passed five miles at 29:36 with Pozdnykova
in charge of a pack that included: Alena Vinitskaya of Belarus, Violetta
Kryza of Poland and Russians Tatiana Titova, Olena Plastinina, Natalia
Volguina and Tatiana Zolotareva.
Much like the men, the women encountered the wind after six miles and
formed three pairs one behind the other. They passed ten miles at 58:00 in
that fashion with Pozdnykova forging an ever more intense pace.
In the men's race Rono and Khobotov gained a distinct advantage as they
went through 15 miles at 1:18:54. But the break was short-lived as both
Otwari and Rutto regained contact at 17 miles. In another mile Rono and
Khobotov made another surge to try to split the quartet but by 20 mile at
1:45:30 they were closely knit.
After the first of two hills in the final six miles, Rono went again on
his own and the last of his pursuers, Khobotov fell off.
It was all Rono the rest of the way as he finished 1:29 ahead of Rutto's
first master performance of 2:19:19. Kibor was next at 2:19:31 with Otwari
4th with a 2:19:34 and Kundrotas regaining form to place 5th as second
master with a 2:21:27. Khobotov, clearly spent from his race long effort
with the lead, fell to 6th with a 2:23:26 and Soro completed the seven
deep prize money list with a 2:24:14.
At 13 miles into the race the half dozen women were pared to quartet with
Pozdnykova, Titova, Plastinina and Kryza together. In another two miles at
1:27:00 for 15 miles Plastinina faltered and slipped back.
By 20 miles, at 1:36:40, Pozdnykova had dispatched all competitors and was
running allalone. Even with the knowledge that the race was won she
hurtled along to "break my course record,"she said later.
And that, she handily did with an awesome display of raw talent that left
her closest rival. Kryza, at 2:34:17, nearly four minutes adrift.
Plastinina regained form to place 3rd at 2:37:41 and Volguina increased
her pace to finish next with a 2:39:12. Zolotareva came on to finish 5th
at 2:41:24 with Titova next at 2:42:08 and Fadeyeva rounding out the women
prize money list with a 2:42:37 in her first marathon finish.