FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Franca Gargiulo
Director of Media Relations
Big Sur International Marathon Elite Field Set for April 30 Race
CARMEL, Calif. - (April 25, 2006) - It seems incredible that the fastest
Big Sur International Marathon performance was run nineteen years ago. As
race officials prepare for the Twenty-First Presentation, Brad Hawthorne's
record time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 39 seconds set in 1987, is beginning to
seem unbreakable. Year after year a top field takes aim at this milestone,
but it has only been seriously challenged once in the 18 editions since it
was established. A very talented elite field is set to confront the Big Sur
International Marathon course on Sunday, April 30. Included in this group
is a three-time Big Sur champion, a one-time champion and a capable group
of first time Big Sur participants.
Heading the list is 2005 winner and three-time BSIM champion Jonathon
Ndambuki, who has run the second and fourth fastest Big Sur Marathons in
its history. The Kenyan is joined by 2005 runner-up Ibrahim Limo, the only
runner to win the event other than Ndambuki since 2002. A talented group of
newcomers to the event have designs on dethroning Ndambuki.
After the 2002 race, Ndambuki, whose marathon PR is 2:10, commented that
the course record is unattainable running alone and without competition.
Hopefully the 2006 field will push each other enough to challenge the
course record. In addition to Ndambuki and Limo, others joining the field
include: Conor Holt, originally from Ireland, and currently a track coach
at Oregon State University, is a three-time Oklahoma Distance Runner of the
Year and competed in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials; Charles
Nyakundi, originally from Kenya, who has run 2:17 and was second in last
year's Mexico City Marathon and Efrem Haiile and John Weru, also from
Kenya, are also set to challenge the Big Sur course this year.
The women's field is headed by two first timers at the event. Rosalva
Bonilla, from Big Bear, Calif., is an Olympic Trials participant with a
marathon PR of 2:40:09. Tammy Slusser of Pennsylvania has won several
marathons in the Northeast. Although she has never won the Big Sur
Marathon, Christine Kennedy posted the fourth fastest course time with her
2:46:30 set in 1993 and won last year's Masters title. Finally, Mary
Coordt, who finished second in 2005, will return with the hope of improving
her finish by one spot. If the weather cooperates, this fast group of women
could challenge Svetlana Vasilyeva's course record of 2:41:34 set in 1996.
The most beautiful marathon course in the world is also one of the most
challenging and should provide a real test for this superb group of elite
athletes. The champions will have survived a world-class course and a top
field while pursuing the elusive course record.
More information on this Sunday's Big Sur International Marathon can be
found at: www.bsim.org