David Monti, media consultant
PHONE: (212) 752-2666
PHONE: (412) 647-3555
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES ANNOUNCED FOR
UPMC HEALTH SYSTEM/CITY OF PITTSBURGH MARATHON
Violetta Kryza to Defend Her Title
PITTSBURGH, April 26 - On her first visit to Pittsburgh last year, Violetta
Kryza of Poland decided to take a tour of the city. Starting in front of
the City/County Building, downtown, and guided only by a blue line painted
on the roadway, she ran by herself to Point State Park, covering 26.2 miles
of city streets in two hours, 34 minutes and 16 seconds. In the process she
won the UPMC Health System/City of Pittsburgh Marathon by nearly two and
"My motivation was to win for my father who died in January," said Kryza
who makes her home in Olsztyn. "I tried to run faster. I tried to run for
the personal best."
Although she didn't run under her career best time of 2:33:44 set in
Edinburgh, Scotland in 1999, she did break 2:35:00, making her eligible for
a special bonus which brought her total payday up to $10,000. "After 30-K I
tried to run under 2:35 for the bonus," she said, adding "the course is not
The 33-year-old Kryza - whose name rhymes with pizza - will be back to
defend her title on Sunday, May 5 when the 18th edition of the race steps
off from its new starting point adjacent to Heinz Field, home of the
legendary Pittsburgh Steelers. Kryza will take a slightly different tour of
Pittsburgh this year on a revised course, finishing inside the football
stadium on the 50-yard line. No matter what place she finishes, she will
see herself on the stadium's huge Jumbotron® video display as she enters
the stadium, just like all the other marathon, marathon relay and 5-K
"We know that finishing a marathon is one of the great triumphs of a
person's life, and being able to watch oneself on the big screen just like
the Olympic marathoners will heighten the experience even more," said Race
Director Larry Grollman.
In addition to the leading U.S. athletes announced last month (Alison
Holinka, Magdalena Lewy, Wendy Nelson-Barrett and Tammy Slusser), Kryza
will also be challenged by several international entrants.
Larisa Timkina, of Moldova - a land-locked republic sandwiched between
Romania and Ukraine-- will be making her Pittsburgh debut. Timkina, 35, has
a career best time of 2:34:06 set at Mainz, Germany last year on the same
weekend as Pittsburgh. She won that race by a wide margin. Timkina has
twice finished third at the Lyon marathon in France and earlier this year
was fifth at the Motorola Austin Marathon in Texas.
Tatiana Maslova, a Russian who lives part of the year in Gainesville, Fla.,
will be returning to Pittsburgh after finishing third last year in 2:37:40.
A veteran of over 30 marathons, Maslova, 35, has twice won the Helsinki
Marathon in Finland and has won marathons in Detroit, Columbus, Ohio,
Meerssen (Netherlands), Como (Italy), and Turku (Finland). She has a career
best time of 2:37:17.
Leteyesus Berhe, an Ethiopian living in New York City, rounds out the list
of international women. Berhe, 23, ran her career best time of 2:43:00 at
New York City last year. Pittsburgh will be her third marathon.
KENYANS LEAD INTERNATIONAL MEN
Kenyan men, led by the enigmatic Nelson Ndereva, should make a strong
showing at Pittsburgh. Ndereva, 34, has a career best time of 2:10:37 set
at Beijing in 1996. Reconfirming his status as a world-class marathoner, at
last year's Beijing race, Ndereva clocked 2:10:58, finishing ninth. He
returns to Pittsburgh after finishing third last year in 2:19:08.
Gilbert Rutto, 41, is the top masters entrant but should also figure in the
overall race. Rutto set his career best time at Berlin in 1996, running
2:10:01. He has run sub-2:13 seven times in his career. He finished second
at Pittsburgh last year in 2:17:53 and was fifth in 1994 in 2:17:42.
Eliud Kering, 27, has done some snappy running in the past few years. He
ran a personal best time of 2:11:11 at Prague last year, a race he won in
1999. It will be his first marathon at Pittsburgh.
Veteran Andrew Musuva, 32, was third at Pittsburgh in 1994, the only year
he has run here. He has won the Twin Cities Marathon three times (1997 -
1999) and has a personal best time of 2:12:01.
Kefah Keraro, who won the Columbus Marathon last year, will also be making
his Pittsburgh debut. The 32 year-old Kenyan has a career best time of
2:13:37 set in Cleveland in 2000.
Reuben Chesang was a gold medal winner in the 1994 Commonwealth Games at
1500m, but now 39 years old, he has turned to longer distances. He has a
personal best time of 2:16:15, and this will be his Pittsburgh debut.
John Mwai, 31, returns to Pittsburgh after finishing fourth last year in
2:20:04 in only his second marathon. He won on his first try at Hartford in
2000, clocking 2:17:00.
In addition to the American men previously announced (Peter Julian, Joe
LeMay, Rob Reeder and Carlos Paradelo), a Moroccan, Abderazzak Haki, will
also challenge the Kenyans. Haki, 31, is a three-time winner of the
Columbus Marathon ('95, '96 and '98) and has twice won the California
International Marathon in Sacramento, Calif. ('97 and '98). He has a
personal best time of 2:15:00.
The overall winner of the race is guaranteed a prize money payment of
$7,500, which will rise to $10,000 for a sub-2:14:00 clocking for the male
winner and/or a sub-2:35:00 clocking for the female winner. The first four
American men and women to cross the finish line will each receive $2,500,
$2,000, $1,500 and $1,000, respectively, in addition to any open prize
money available. An American race winner running under either of the
incentive times would earn $12,500.
The UPMC Health System/City of Pittsburgh Marathon will begin at 7:35 a.m.
with the wheelchair competition, followed by the runners at 7:45. At 8:00
a.m. the Mellon Relay Competition will begin, followed 15 minutes later by
the UPMC Health Plan 5K Run/Walk. Complete registration information,
including on-line registration, is available at the race website:
2002 UPMC HEALTH SYSTEM/CITY OF PITTSBURGH MARATHON
Listed by Bib Number with career best times
1. Nelson Ndereva, 34, Kenya 2:10:37 (Beijing, 1996)
2. Andrew Musuva, 32, Kenya 2:12:01 (San Diego, 1998)
3. Gilbert Rutto, 41, Kenya 2:10:01 (Berlin, 1996)
4. Eliud Kering, 27, Kenya 2:11:11 (Prague, 2001)
5. Kefah Keraro, 32, Kenya 2:13:37 (Cleveland, 2000)
6. Joe LeMay, 35, Danbury, CT 2:13:55 (Sacramento, 1999)
7. Abderazzak Haki, Morocco 2:15:00 (Sacramento, 1996)
8. Peter Julian, 30, Atherton, CA 2:15:54 (Chicago, 2001)
9. Reuben Chesang, 39, Kenya 2:16:15 (Providence, 1999)
10. John Mwai, 31, Kenya 2:17:00 (Hartford, 2000)
11. Rob Reeder, 27, Pittsburgh, PA 2:17:15 (Las Vegas, 2000)
12. Carlos Paradelo, Tempe, AZ 2:18:12 (St. Paul, 1999
14. James Hamilton, 33, Imperial, PA 2:20:38 (Pittsburgh, 1995)
15. Tom McGlynn, Burlingame, CA 2:21:07 (St. Paul, 1998)
16. Chris Ciamarra, McKeesport, PA 2:28:17 (Houston, 2001)
17. Volodymr Buchanov, 41, Russia
18. Rick Brauer, Livonia, MI
51. Violetta Kryza, 33, Poland 2:33:44 (Edinburgh, 1999)
52. Larisa Timkina, 35, Moldova 2:34:06 (Mainz, 2001)
53. Magdalena Lewy, 28, Berkeley, CA 2:37:57 (Sacramento, 2001)
54. Tatiana Maslova, 35, Russia 2:37:17 (Sacramento, 1996)
55. Tammy Slusser, 37, Monroeville, PA 2:37:14 (Pittsburgh, 1994)
56. Wendy Nelson-Barrett, 33, Lebanon, PA 2:39:25 (Columbus, 1996)
57. Leteyesus Berhe, 23, Ethiopia 2:43:00 (New York, 2001)
58. Alison Holinka, 23, Williamsburg, VA Debut (1:15:14 Half-Marathon)
59. Kelly Lusk, 32, Manitou Springs, CO 2:49:29 (St. Paul, 1999)
60. Maddy Tormoen, 40, Pueblo, CO 2:45:25 (Honolulu, 1993)
61. Barbara McManus, 33, Worcester, MA 2:59:39 (Hartford, 2001)
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