FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chris Siemers Smashes Colorado State Marathon Record
30-year Old Runs 2:18:48, Taking 44 Seconds Off Old Mark
Denver, CO - October 9, 2011 - A brisk, fall morning transformed into a
thrilling afternoon at the 2nd annual Sports Authority Rock 'n' Roll Denver
Marathon & ½ Marathon, where a new state record was set. More than 15,000
entrants lined up in downtown Denver, touring the city's beautiful parks
under perfect running conditions before a finish under sunny skies in Civic
As the clock ticked toward 2:19:32, the state marathon record held by Juan
Salvador of Mexico since 1993, excitement began to build in the crowds
lining the finish line. 30-year-old Chris Siemers of Arvada, Colorado
appeared in the final stretch, finishing to roaring applause in 2:18:48.
Siemers was followed by Andrew Smith of Denver, Jonathan Ndambuki of Kenya,
and American record holder Josh Cox, who placed fourth.
Having achieved his main goal of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials,
the state record was an emotional achievement for Siemers, who grew up in
Chicago but lives and trains in Colorado, calling it "the best state for
"I wanted to do it here," he said, referring to his qualifying time. "I
love Colorado and I used to watch guys like Alan Culpepper run here and it
motivated me," he said. "Mentally, this is huge for me. I wanted to prove
it to myself and I have."
Siemers ran side by side with the half-marathon men's winner, Josh Eberly
of Gunnison, until the two courses split. The two men ran together at
Western State College and parted ways with a fist bump and words of
"I told him to pace himself," laughed Eberly, who also won his race handily
in 1:06:57, beating Bernard Langat of Kenya. "It was a great course. There
were some hills but I run here often and it's great to go through all the
parks." Eberly will join Siemers at the Olympic Trials in January.
In the women's full marathon, Heather Utrata of Englewood struggled in the
final miles, but was victorious over Trisha Miller of Missoula, Montana,
winning in 2:50:38. Utrata placed second here last year and was brought to
tears by the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Olympic Trials,
but also the joy of the win.
"It was a really difficult race," she said. "I was having a hard time
around mile 24, but then I saw so many friends along the sidelines cheering
and yelling for me and that pushed me through. I'm really happy with the
win - this was a big race for me." Utrata plans to compete next at the
Zappos.com Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in December.
Romania's Lidia Simon and Nuta Olaru dominated the women's half-marathon,
with 38-year-old Simon ultimately taking first in 1:14:54. Olaru placed
behind her in 1:15:16, followed by Brianne Nelson of Fort Collins, CO.
Olaru currently holds the Colorado state record in the half-marathon.
The wheelchair race saw six participants in the full marathon, with Sean
Haggard of Denver dominating in 2:01:01, followed by Denny Gordon of
Longmont, CO in 2:06:23.
More than 300 participants were running for a cause, raising upwards of
$390,000 for 11 different charity organizations. The Sports Authority Rock
'n' Roll Denver Marathon && ½ Marathon will return for a third run on
September 23, 2012.
Place, Name, Age, Hometown, Time, Prize Purse
Full Marathon - Men
1 Chris Siemers, 30, Arvada, CO, 2:18:48, $1,000
2 Andrew Smith, 35, Denver, CO, 2:29:29, $500
3 Jonathan Ndambuki, 35, Kenya, 2:29:50, $250
Full Marathon - Women
1 Heather Utrata, 29, Englewood, CO 2:50:38, $1,000
2 Trisha Miller, 31, Missoula, MT, 2:51:43, $500
3 Nicole Chyr, 33, Englewood, CO, 2:52:06, $250
Half Marathon - Men
1 Josh Eberly, 31, Gunnison, CO, 1:06:57, $1,000
2 Bernard Langat, 29, Kenya, 1:08:59, $500
3 Nicholas Sunseri, 25, Steamboat Springs, CO, 1:10:43, $250
Half Marathon - Women
1 Lidia Simon, 38, Romania, 1:14:54, $1,000
2 Nuta Olaru, 41, Romania, 1:15:16, $500
3 Brianne Nelson, 30, Fort Collins, CO, 1:17:12, $250