FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark Winitz
TILSON, CODY RECORD VICTORIES
AT KAISER PERMANENTE NAPA VALLEY MARATHON
NAPA, Calif. - March 5, 2006 - Alex Tilson, 35, of Burlingame, Calif. and
Shannon Cody, 36, of Redwood City, Calif. earned challenging wins at
today's 28th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon. Both victors
registered convincing titles despite rainy, and occasionally windy,
conditions that dampened finishing times among 2,000 entrants and 1,438
Tilson's winning time of 2 hours, thirty-two minutes, and 17 seconds was
over two minutes slower than his previous best marathon, but Cody's time
of 3:02:08 was her best ever for the 26.2-mile marathon distance. Each
winner took home titles as 2006 Road Runners Club of America (RRCA)
national marathon champions The event served as RRCA's National Marathon
Championship event. Tilson won five cases of premium wine donated by the
Napa Valley Silverado Trail Wineries Association and Cody earned four
cases. Each winner also carried home a specially produced, etched bottle
of Napa Valley wine.
Cody used her experience in ten previous marathons to run a tactically
well-paced race. For about 16 miles of the course that runs the length of
the scenic Napa Valley, Cody was accompanied by Suzanne Segesta (Redwood
City, Calif.), Cody's West Valley Track Club teammate and training
partner. Once leaving Segesta behind, Cody swept past women's leader
Elizabeth Ben-Ishai (Ann Arbor, Mich.) at 21 miles and proceeded
unchallenged to the finish line at Napa's Vintage High School.
Ben-Ishai hung on for second place in 3:04:56. Segesta was third in
"I really didn't go into this race thinking about place," said Cody, a
fourth-grade teacher, who also won the Avenue of the Giants Marathon in
far Northern California last May. "I had my own goal of running a
personal record and breaking three hours. So, this was exciting for me, a
For pre-race favorite Alex Tilson, who owns the U.S. 50-Kilometer road
record (2:51: 48), topping the men's field was far from a forgone
conclusion. The race was Tilson's first at the Napa Valley Marathon, and
his first marathon after several years of reduced training.
Yet, Tilson shed a loose front pack composed of several men by five
miles, quickly forged a half-mile lead, and ran in fine form to an
unchallenged finish. Duncan Larkin (Exton, Penn.) captured the runner-up
spot in 2:36:48, over four minutes behind the winner. David Monk
(Vacaville, Calif.) was third in 2:37:10.
"It wasn't that cold or windy, but the times seemed to be off," said
Tilson, who was bothered by a tight calf during the race. "The marathon
is always humbling, It always hurts and always beats you up. But you
rarely win in running, so when you do, it's nice."
Jim Scattini, 42, of Salinas, Calif. topped the masters men's age group
in 2:44:24. Becky Backstrom, 48, from Sammamish, Wash. won the women's
masters race in 3:11:53.
Among senior competitors, marathon and ultramarathon standout Helen
Klein, 83, of Rancho Cordova, CA finished in 5:17:07.
Chris Houde, 46, of Carmichael, Calif. topped wheelchair competitors in
The rain didn't seem to dampen the spirits of many runners.
"All things considered, it wasn't a bad day," said Randy Rau, 42, of San
Francisco, a cross country coach at St. Mary's College (Moraga, Calif.)
who finished in 3:30:38.
Full race results are available on the event's web site at
All proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit organization)
are donated to local charities in the Napa Valley.
The Napa Valley Marathon appreciates generous sponsor support from Kaiser
Permanente/Thrive, Calistoga Mineral Water Company, Gatorade, ASICS
America Corporation, Silverado Trail Wineries Association, Marathon &
Beyond, Road Runners Club of America, USA Track & Field, MarathonFoto,
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, GU, CBS 5 and UPN Bay Area, KVYN/99.3
The Vine, KVON 1440 AM, the Napa Running Company, and KCBS 740 AM.
(See www.napavalleymarathon.org for full results.)
28th Napa Valley Marathon
Napa, CA, Sunday, March 5, 2006
1) Alex Tilson, Burlingame, CA, 2:32:17
2) Duncan Larkin, Exton, PA, 2:36:48
3) David Monk, Vacaville, CA, 2:37:10
4) Bob Shebest, Windsor, CA, 2:41:07
5) Josh Small, San Jose, CA, 2:41:16
MASTERS MEN (40+)
1) Jim Scattini, Salinas, CA 2:44:24
1) Shannon Cody, Redwood City, CA, 3:02:08
2) Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, Ann Arbor, MI, 3:04:56
3) Suzanne Segesta, Redwood City, CA, 3:07:03
4) Joy Ulickey, Larkspur, CA, 3:07:50
5) Sarah Agsten, Winchester, OR, 3:12:21
MASTERS WOMEN (40+)
1) Becky Backstrom, Sammamish, WA, 3:11:53
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