FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Schricker
Asnake Fekadu waltzes to SunTrust Richmond Marathon win
Local favorite wins women's race
NTELOS 8k men's and women's course records shattered
as race boasts record field
RICHMOND, VA - Ethiopian Asnake Fekadu was alone by mile one and
breezed to a runaway win in Saturday's 29th running of the SunTrust
Richmond Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 23 seconds.
Enduring warm weather that saw afternoon temperatures approach 80 degrees,
the 26-year-old Fekadu was unchallenged the entire race and beat Ukrainian
Andrii Toptun by over 7 minutes. Twenty-one year-old Richmonder Ryan Deak
was third, followed by Chris Toepfer and Josh Irwin.
On the women's side, Richmonder Maureen Ackerly captured her first
marathon title with a gritty win over Russian Elvira Kolpakova. Ackerly
trailed by over a minute early in the race before finally taking the lead
past the halfway point. Her winning time of 2:53:14 was almost three
minutes faster that Kolpakova, who was hampered by a knee injury. Johanna
Allen, Michelle Mudge-Riley and Tammy Slusser rounded out the top five.
For the third year in a row, the NTELOS 8k provided special excitement
for the thousands of spectators on hand at the finish. The top 5 men's
finishers all beat the 5-year-old race record, lead by Kenyan Samuel
Ndereba's mark of 22 minutes and 20 seconds. That was 2 seconds ahead of
countryman Valentine Orare and 5 ahead of Emmanuel Chamer. Joseph Chirlee
and Fasil Bizuneh finished fourth and fifth. All five broke the race
record of 22:36 set by Shadrack Kosgei set in 2001.
The 8k race record also fell multiple times on the women's side.
Kenyan Madgdalene Mukunzi set the new standard of 25:24, two seconds ahead
of Asmae Leghzaoui and 5 better than Emily Chebet. All three broke the old
mark of 25:36 set by Svetlana Zakharova in 2000. Florence Jepkosgei and
Caroline Cretti rounded out the top five.
A total of 5,393 runners registered for this year's NTELOS 8k, smashing
last year's record of 4,698. There were a total of 10,059 combined
registrants in the SunTrust Richmond Marathon, NTELOS 8k and Richmond
Times-Dispatch Kids Run, the second straight year the event has attracted
over 10,000 participants.
Eleven pages featuring the top overall, masters and age group finishers
in each race are attached. For more information, please contact Scott
Schricker at (804) 218-9689 (mobile).