FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2001
Contact: David Monti, Media Consultant
Susan Manko, Media Coordinator
Larry Grollman, Race Director
RONO AND KRYZA TAKE SOLO WINS AT UPMC HEALTH SYSTEM/CITY OF PITTSBURGH
International Athletes Dominate Race
PITTSBURGH (May 6) -- With a pair of quick miles two-thirds of the way into
the race, Elly Rono, a Kenyan living in Chapel Hill, N.C., broke away from
his compatriot, Gilbert Rutto, to earn his first victory at the UPMC Health
System/City of Pittsburgh Marathon. Under clear skies with temperatures in
the 50's, he ran 2:17:15 and became the third Kenyan man to win the race in
its 17-year history.
"At mile 20 I was confident that I was going to win the race," said the 31
year-old who was an NCAA Division-II champion at the University of Southern
Indiana in both track and cross country. "The last miles I was trying to
push. It was not really fun at all."
Rono, 31, rebounded from a disappointing race last Saturday at the Country
Music Marathon in Nashville, Tenn. He only ran nine miles before dropping
out. "It was my stomach," said the six-foot, three-inch runner with
resignation. "Probably I had some bad food."
The early leader was Dan Held of Waukesha, Wisc. He spurted ahead at the
sound of the starting gun, and quickly built up a 30 second lead. But the
34 year-old athlete, who finished fourth at last year's IAU World 100-K
Championships, was absorbed by the pack at the end of the seventh mile. He
would later fade, eventually finishing ninth.
By the half-way point the lead pack was down to four athletes: Rono, Rutto,
Nelson Ndereva of Kenya --who like Rono had dropped out of the Country Music
Marathon-- and veteran Gennady Temnikov of Russia. As the pace quickened,
Temnikov was the first to fall back. Ndereva was next to lose touch when
Rono and Rutto covered the 17th mile in 4:56.
But Rono wasn't finished. He pressed even harder in the next mile, running
4:51, and put three seconds on the tiring Rutto. Rono's lead grew with each
successive mile, quickly putting the race out of reach. He came into Point
State Park alone, looking only slightly tired, and scored his second
marathon victory in five months.
"The weather was perfect," said Rono who thought the course was difficult.
"The fans, the music along the way. Everything was great."
Like Rono, Violetta Kryza of Poland --whose last name rhymes with pizza--
made her Pittsburgh debut in commanding style. A veteran of 30 marathons,
Kryza led the race after only two miles, joined by Olga Kovpotina of Russia
and Margaret Kagiri of Kenya. In the third mile, Kryza and Kovpotina pulled
away from Kagiri. The pair ran together through seven miles, when Kryza
dropped the faltering Russian, who would later drop out.
"My motivation was to win for my father who died in January," said Kryza.
"I tried to run faster. I tried to run for the personal best."
But Kryza, who lives in Olsztyn, had another motivation. If she won the
race in under two hours and 35 minutes, she would win an additional $2500
bonus. "After 30-K I tried to run under 2:35 for the bonus," she said
adding, "the course is not so easy."
Although she was accompanied by the one of the slower men for a few miles,
Kryza ran most of the last 18 miles alone. Her blonde ponytail bobbing
behind her, she monitored her progress with frequent checks of her watch.
She passed the 26 mile mark in just over 2:33, and began to accelerate.
Powering over the footbridge in Point State Park, she pushed over the finish
line in 2:34:16 to win $10,000 and her first Pittsburgh victory.
Kagiri came home second, in a personal best time of 2:36:42, despite
battling alergies and a severe head cold. She had only arrived in the U.S.
from Nairobi on Friday.
Nearly 6000 runners and walkers registered for the Marathon, UPMC Health
Plan 5-K Run/Walk and Mellon Marathon Relay Team Competition, representing
the second-highest participation level in the history of the event.
Results (42.195 km, certified course):
1. Elly Rono, Kenya, 2:17:15 ($7,500)
2. Gilbert Rutto, Kenya, 2:17:53 ($5,000)
3. Nelson Ndereva, Kenya, 2:19:08 ($2,500)
4. John Mwai, Kenya, 2:20:04 ($2,000)
5. Nicholas Kioko, Kenya, 2:21:18 ($1,500)
6. Randy Ashley, Brevard, N.C., 2:22:34 ($3,500*)
7. Gennady Temnikov, Russia, 2:22:41 $500
8. Craig Lawson, Sandy, Utah, 2:23:30 ($2,000*)
9. Dan Held, Waukesha, Wisc., 2:24:07 ($1,500*)
10. Dennis Simonaitis, Draper, Utah, 2:24:41 ($1,000*)
*Prize money includes U.S.-only award
1. Violetta Kryza, Poland, 2:34:16 ($10,000#)
2. Margaret Kagiri, Kenya, 2:36:42 ($5,000)
3. Tatiana Maslova, Russia, 2:37:40 ($2,500)
4. Tatiana Pozdnyakova, 46, Ukraine, 2:37:44 ($2,500m)
5. Mary Alico, Pittsburgh, Pa., 2:45:02 ($4,000*)
6. Michele Simonaitis, Draper, Utah, 2:50:46 ($3,000*)
7. Jenae Strader, Lansdale, Pa., 2:51:38 ($2,000*)
8. Deirdre Shearer, Gainesville, Fla., 2:53:14 ($1000*)
9. Kristin White, Fayetteville, N.Y., 2:55:32
10. Marina Jones, 49, Palm Deseret, Calif., 2:59:00 ($250m)
#Prize money includes $2,500 bonus for sub-2:35 winner
m = Prize money includes masters award
*Prize money includes U.S.-only award