Contact: Des Moines Marathon
Executive Vice President
Des Moines Marathon Writes Many Stories
October 7, 2002 - Des Moines, Iowa - The Inaugural Alliance Technologies
Des Moines Marathon has been run, but the stories from the weekend will
inspire people for years to come.
"People came to Des Moines from 47 states and 6 foreign countries, and Des
Moines hosted a great event for a weekend," stated the executive director
of the event, Helene Neville. "Every person that came out has a story to
tell, whether they ran, walked or watched. We can declare this a very
successful marathon, and we look forward to bringing people back for years
to come. This is truly a people's marathon."
By the Numbers
Over 1,800 runners and walkers registered to participate in this first
running of the Des Moines Marathon, with over 1,600 of those finishing.
The official registration and finisher counts for the Des Moines Marathon
are as follows:
Registered Started Finished
Marathon 1,240 1,138 1,058
Half-Marathon 570 608 566
Cindy Savino, 41 from Trenton, New Jersey, posted a half-marathon time of
1:27:44 to win the women's half-marathon division. She was 15th overall for
Todd Houge, 32, took the men's division with a finishing time of 1:11:38.
More Than Just Crossing the Line
The first finisher to cross the finish line was a half-marathoner at around
8:10 a.m. The last to cross was flag-bearer Jose Nebrida. This was
Nebrida's first marathon since triple-bypass surgery in April, following
the Oklahoma City Marathon. He rang the early start bell crossed the start
line at 5:30 a.m. with the early starters, walking and running the entire
course. Gusty winds in Water Works Park and Grey's Lake slowed him down.
But he was undaunted. By the time he approached the finish line, all the
other contenders had crossed the line. In fact, the Kid's .2 Mile Marathon
had even finished. It was the kids that help make his finish poignant. As
Nebrida approached the finish line, still holding Old Glory high, the 50 or
so kids lined the street. As he crossed the finish line, the kids swallowed
Nebrida in a giant hug. Few people saw the final participant cross the
line, but few there will forget the scene.
Helen Klein, the 79-year-old woman, posted a time of 4:46:58. Klein started
the race by ringing the start bell for the 1,800 participants. Helen and
her husband Norman, who each have been organizing marathons and other races
for decades declared the Des Moines Marathon a success. "This went off like
a race that has been around for many years, not a first-time event," stated
Hajime Nishi, the 53-year-old runner from Tokyo and found of Ecomarathon,
spent the day running the course and stopping each mile to make notes for
his Ecomarathon International Evaluation system. The evaluation system
rates marathons on "ecological points of view." At the post-race
celebration, Nishi declared that his rating for the Des Moines Marathon
will likely place it above both the Boston Marathon and the Twin Cities
Don Owens, the 44-year-old visually-impaired runner from Des Moines,
bettered his previous marathon time by more than 45 minutes by posting a
time of 3:46:20. Owens was lead on the course by his brother, and broke
the finish line tape held by his sister and his girlfriend.
Ed Burnham was the event's oldest participant at 83. Burnham, from Kansas
City, posted a finishing time of 7:02:40. In total, there were more than
seven finishers over the age of 70, and two over the age of 80.
An Early Start
In the pre-dawn dark at 5:30 a.m., a group of 112 walkers set out on the
marathon course, led by a single cyclist with a headlamp. Jose Nebrida
started the group with the ringing of the bell as hundreds of spectators
looked on. Among the early starters were Team In Training walkers. Their
coach, Kevin Otte showed up to encourage them on their way, before
preparing for his own marathon run. Otte returned at 7 a.m. for the start
of the marathon and posted a time of 3:20:05.
All for the Runners
"Runners were able to go out and enjoy the day because of all the
volunteers and workers," said Neville. To provide on-course support, an
8-person scooter patrol, 30-person course cycling team rode the route
throughout the day, supported by a network of more than 20 HAM radio
operators with the Des Moines Radio Amateur Association. For safety, 85
civilian course marshals and the largest police deployment for an event
"since the Pope's visit" lined the route, manning crossing and closed
streets. In addition, thousands of people volunteered at water stations
and medical stations, and lined the route to cheer on participants.
Event organizers were approached by Leanne Dorton who drove from West
Virginia for the event. "Leanne told me she's run 50 marathons, including
the Twin Cities, Boston and New York City," said Neville. "She told me
we're in the top five, and the whole package was better than any marathon
she's ever run."
Being Good Neighbors
The Des Moines Marathon organizers instituted a Good Neighbor Policy for
the event that states, among other things, that "We will leave the streets
and roads we use cleaner then they were before the marathon passed by. We
will remove all litter we find along the course." Because of the volume of
cups and other garbage used throughout the marathon, director Neville says,
"we were out until midnight cleaning up throughout the city. It made a long
day even longer."
About the Alliance Technologies Des Moines Marathon
The Inaugural Alliance Technologies Des Moines Marathon will be held October
4-6, 2002. The marathon will start in downtown Des Moines at 7 a.m., Sunday,
October 6. Marathon weekend will be a three-day celebration of sports,
fitness, health and wellness, including a Marathon expo, pasta dinner, kids'
.2-mile marathon and post-race celebration. To find out more about the
Alliance Technologies Des Moines Marathon check out
http://www.desmoinesmarathon.com on the Web or call (515) 710-8343.
About Alliance Technologies
Alliance Technologies is in the business of helping other businesses do more
through the application of technology. Alliance Technologies offers a wide
range of services that include connectivity (wide area and local area
networks), hosting services in our data center, software solutions and Web
services. On the Web at http://www.alliancetechnologies.net.