FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Abdirahman, Paulson Win USA Titles in Twin Cities
MINNEAPOLIS - Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.) won his fourth USA 10 Mile
title and Ilsa Paulson (New York, N.Y.) won her first ever U.S. title in
winning the USA Women's Marathon Championship Sunday as the Medtronic Twin
Cities Marathon hosted the championships for the USA Women's Marathon,
Masters Marathon and Men's 10 Miles. Abdirahman ran 46:35 for his second
championship of the year as Paulson ran 2:31:49 to become the second
youngest women to ever win the women's marathon crown.
The men's 10 mile championship started the day of racing with Max King
(Bend, Ore.) leading Abdirahman, Anthony Famiglietti (Knoxville, Tenn.), a
trio of Minneapolis-based Team USA Minnesota teammates Jason Lehmkuhle,
Josh Moen and Patrick Smyth through the first mile in 4:31.
At two miles, Moen took charge of the pace with Abdirahman, Famiglietti,
Lehmkuhle, Smyth and King close behind. An uphill third mile covered in
4:38 saw Moen and Abdirahman open a 10 meter gap on the rest of the field
and by four miles the gap had grown to 40 meters.
As they passed five miles in 22:56, Abdirahman had a five meter lead on
Moen, while Smyth and Lehmkuhle were about 75 meters back. Though the pace
slowed to 4:52 for the sixth mile, Abdirahman's lead grew slightly but the
4:53 seventh mile saw Moen catch and pass Abdirahman, taking a small lead.
At eight miles, Abdirahman moved to the front for the final time but Moen
fought to stay in contact. Over the final mile Abdirahman managed to pull
clear of Moen to win his second U.S. title of the year by three seconds.
Moen's team USA Minnesota teammates Smyth and Lehmkuhle took the next two
spots, running 47:09 and 47:16 respectively while Ian Burrell (Flagstaff,
Ariz.) took fifth in 47:41.
The championship offered $25,000 in total prize money with the Abdirahman
earning $10,000 for the win.
In the women's marathon championship, four-time Olympian Colleen De Reuck
was the overwhelming pre-race favorite but had company early in the race
from Paulson, Nicole Blaesser (Seattle, Wash.) and local favorites Kristin
Nicolini and Michelle Frey.
At halfway, De Reuck had an 18 second lead on Paulson and by 20 miles, with
her lead growing to 40 seconds, De Reuck looked to be on her way to a both
the open and masters women's crown.
As Paulson rallied, she managed to catch De Reuck and made her move to the
lead at 24 miles, steadily pulling away to a 48 second win. De Reuck's
2:32:37 second-place performance was also good for the women's masters
title and a pending American record for the 45- 49 age-group.
Nicolini managed to hold on for third, running 2:35:06 in her debut at the
distance. Also in her debut, Blaesser took fourth in 2:35:09 as Sally
Meyerhoff (Eugene, Ore.) rounded out the top-five in 2:35:49.
The women's marathon featured $72,500 in prize money with Paulson taking
home $25,000 for the win.
The men's masters championship saw 2007 champion Tracy Lokken (Marquette,
Mich.) reclaim the title, dominating the field with a 2:22:34 performance
to finish 3:07 ahead of Carl Rundell (Birmingham, Mich.). Robert Weiner
(Evergreen, Colo.) was third in 2:27:09.
Susannah Beck (Brunswick, ME) finished as second masters woman behind De
Reuck in 2:43:18 and Mary Coordt (Elk Grove, Calif.) was third in 2:45:00.
The USA Masters Marathon Championships paid over $50,000 in prize money
with the overall men's and women's masters champions earning $7,500 each.
Olympic Trials qualifying begins
The women's marathon championships was also be the first and only day in
2009 for women to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials with 29 women
running 2:46:00 or better.
The open men's race saw five men run 2:19:00 or faster to qualify for the
2012 Olympic Trials, including Jason Hartmann (Boulder, Colo.) who won the
overall title in 2:12:09. Lists of both men's and women's 2012 qualifiers
will be maintained at www.usatf.org/groups/RoadRunning/elite.