FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Patrice Malloy
Malloy Marketing Group
Champions Return to the Maui Marathon
33rd Maui Marathon set for September 21st
KAANAPALI, MAUI, HI (September 14, 2003) - Kalid Abdalah, the quiet
unassuming last-minute entry who ran away with the 2002 Maui Marathon
title, will return to the scenic seaside course this Sunday, September 21,
In his first attempt at the marathon distance, Abdalah not only clinched
last year's title, but dethroned two-time champion Greg Wenneborg in the
process. A native of Somalia now living in Oakland, CA, Abdalah ran
2:19:50 in his marathon debut and came within 28 seconds of the course
record set by Eddy Hellebuyck in 1999.
A relative newcomer to the road racing circuit, Abdalah frequently
surprises his competition and race officials with his unrelenting pace.
Just last month Abdalah showed up at the America's Finest City Half
Marathon in San Diego as an unseeded runner. The unknown spry 23-year-old
led the international elite-laden pack for the race's first six miles and
finished in the money, fourth overall in 1:06:16.
"Kalid's training has come along so well that it's scary," said Aaron
Pierson, Abdalah's coach and friend. "His goals for this Sunday are to run
in the low 2:18's, claim the course record and win the race." A chemistry
and biology major at Merritt College in Oakland, CA, Abdalah, is focused on
many goals. "Kalid came to the United States for a better life, not
necessarily just to run," said Pierson. "He does, however, have
aspirations to run in the Olympics for either Somalia or the United
States." This Sunday's Maui Marathon will be Abdalah's second marathon.
Also returning to Maui is last year's third place male finisher, James
Sheremeta, of La Jolla, CA. Sheremeta has run the Maui Marathon twice,
finishing fourth in 2000 (2:39:29) and third in 2002 (2:33:11).
In the women's field 2002 champion Akiko Sekiya of Japan will be back to
defend her title. Competing in just her second marathon, Sekiya led the
2002 women's division wire-to-wire, winning in 2:57:39. Cheryl Sheremeta,
43, wife of James Sheremeta, is also expected to be one of the top women
finishers. Sheremeta (then Cheryl Brady) won the women's division in 1995
and finished second in 1996 and 2000. Mari Tanigawa who the 1998 and 1999
races will run the marathon but is expected to run at a "people's pace."
The Maui Marathon is the oldest continuously held running event in Hawaii
and one of the oldest marathons in the United States. Recognized as one of
the most scenic marathons in the world, the point-to-point course boasts 17
miles of oceanfront running.
For more information about the Maui Marathon call 808-871-6441 or visit the
Maui Marathon web site at www.mauimarathon.com.
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