FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Champions Malakwen, Tadesse-Bifa Crowned
at Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
Warm Weather, Record Finishers Mark the 30th Running on Sunday, October 2
St. Paul, MN (October 2, 2011) - What started out as record-setting pace in
the women's race slowed shortly before the half-way point. The women were
on pace to break the course record of 2:26:51 set by Zinaida Semenova (RUS)
in 2001 and then tied by Irina Permitina (RUS) in 2004. But the back half
of the course surprised women's champion Yeshimebet Tadesse-Bifa, who
finished in 2:28:24. "I had initially planned to run under 2 hours, 26
minutes," Tadesse-Bifa said through an interpreter, "but I am grateful to
have run in as much time as God allowed me to run. I was bothered by the
headwinds throughout the race and the hills. Without the hills I would've
broken the record. My training had prepared me to run faster than I did
While Tadesse-Bifa ran unchallenged the last ten miles of the race, Russian
Nadezdha Leonteva and American Emily Harrison found themselves in a battle
down the home stretch, with Leonteva outkicking Harrison to secure second
place with 2:32:53, just two seconds better than Harrison's 2:32:55.
In the men's race, a pack of fourteen men ran together for much of the race
before beginning to break apart at mile eighteen. By mile 22, the pack had
dwindled to four, with eventual winner Sammy Malakwen breaking the tape in
2:13:11. Joseph Mutinda finished 13 seconds back in 2:13:24 while Weldon
Kirui finished third in 2:13:31.
"When I started I was feeling comfortable," said Malakwen of the pace.
"Then I was trying to get the pace up and was trying to drop some guys from
the pack. That was very important."
Malakwen's plan worked and he gained control of the pack at mile 24 before
breaking away a mile later. "You have to run the race well," he said, "but
have a strategy to win the race."
Tracey Lokken claimed the USA Men's Masters Marathon crown for the third
time, finishing with a time of 2:24:44. Lokken commented, "I've always
loved this course and the weather. I trained for this." Malcolm Campbell
ran 2:25:58 and Tony Torres rounded out the podium with 2:27:08.
In the women's race, Sheri Piers won the USA Women's Masters Marathon title
with a time of 2:37:42. Susan Empey came in at 2:45:27 and Shannon McHale
finished third with 2:45:48.
A familiar name was announced as the champion in the wheelers' race as Saul
Mendoza claimed a record eighth victory in 1:42:35. The women's champion
was Tracy Tabaka from Rogers, Minnesota with a time of 2:47:10.
"We were thrilled to have returning and new champions this year," said
Virginia Brophy Achman, Executive Director for Twin Cities In Motion,
referencing wheeler Mendoza and the women's masters champion, Piers. "We
had a record number of finishers this year in the race and we're excited to
see what the future will bring as interest in the sport continues to grow."
For a complete list of today's results, please visit www.tcmevents.org .
About Twin Cities In Motion Twin Cities In Motion (formerly Twin Cities
Marathon, Inc.) is the non-profit organization that organizes running
events throughout the year, including the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon,
as a community service for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Visit
www.tcmevents.org for more information.