FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: David Monti, Media Consultant
Larry Grollman, Race Director
ELITE ATHLETES ANNOUNCED FOR UPMC/CITY OF PITTSBURGH MARATHON
Increased Prize Money Draws Best Field In Race History
PITTSBURGH (April 25) -- Drawn by a new prize money structure which could
make the winners $15,000 richer, the UPMC/City of Pittsburgh Marathon has
assembled the best international field in the 19 year history of the
competition. Athletes from Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Russia,
Ukraine, and the United States are expected to take part in the Sunday, May
4 race, leading nearly 6,000 recreational runners who will compete over a
variety of race distances in a multi-event festival.
"I'm really proud of our elite field," said race director Larry Grollman.
"We expect great head-to-head racing, but with our new winner's bonus, we
could also see fast times."
Under the 2003 prize money structure the male and female race winners will
receive $15,000 if they break the Olympic Games "A" qualifying standard
times of 2:12:00 for men and 2:32:00 for women, a doubling of last year's
guaranteed first place prize. Race winners falling short of those times
will receive $12,500. In all, $71,250 in prize money will be on offer,
including $7,500 for wheelchair athletes, $1,750 for masters runners and
$3,500 set aside for residents of Pittsburgh and the State of Pennsylvania.
LEWY LEADS WOMEN
Leading the elite women's field is defending women's champion, Magdalena
Lewy of Oakland, Calif. Lewy, 29, who set her career best time here last
year of 2:36:48, is a 1997 graduate of the University of Calfornia where
she was a four-time All-American in the 5000 meters. Coached by her
husband, Richie Boulet, a former elite miler, Lewy won the Stanford
Invitational 10,000m last month in 32:41.76. Already qualified for the
U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon next year, Lewy is looking to get the Olympic
Games "A" standard time of 2:32:00 which will allow her easy entry into the
Olympic Games should she finish in the top-3 at the U.S. Trials next April.
Lewy will be facing a strong challenge from Lioudmila Kortchaguina, a
Russian citizen based in Toronto, who will be making her first run at
Pittsburgh. Kortchaguina, 31, finished second at the 2003 City of Los
Angeles Marathon in a personal best time of 2:30:18. She's the dominant
woman road racer in Ontario, winning the Around the Bay 30-K in Hamilton
last month, and the Dupont Spring Runoff 8-K earlier this month. Her other
marathon credits include victories at the National Capital Marathon in
Ottawa last May (2:33:14, course record) and Hartford (2:35:37, course
Also making her first appearance at Pittsburgh will be Ukranian Tatyana
Gladyr, recent Marseille Marathon champion. Gladyr, 28, has a marathon
career best of 2:34:40, but it is her 1:12:09 half-marathon best which
points to possibly faster times in the longer distance, according to her
German manager, Gunther Vogl.
Other contenders include Janna Malkova and Alevtina Naumova of Russia, with
personal best performances of 2:35:56 and 2:29:49, respectively. Naumova
will be the top contender for the masters crown, for women of at least 40
years of age. Leteyesus Berhe, an Ethiopian living in Peekskill, N.Y. will
also take part (2:43:00 personal best), plus former two-time Pittsburgh
champion Tammy Slusser of Monroeville (2:37:14) and Pittsburger Mary Alico
(2:32:42) who was sixth last year.
CHELULE IS TOP MAN
Wesley Chelule, 28, of Kenya leads the men's field with a 2:10:14 career
best time. Another first time Pittsburgh Marathoner, Chelule was a narrow
second at the Twente Marathon last May in Enschede, Netherlands in 2:12:35.
Most recently, he acted as a special pacemaker in the women's race at the
London Marathon where he accompanied Jelena Prokopchuka of Latvia to a
national record (2:24:01).
Andrey Gordeyev of Belarus will also make his Pittsburgh debut, carrying a
2:11:44 career best time. He's won the Hannover Marathon in Germany two
years in a row (2001 and 2002), and took third at Grandma's Marathon in
Duluth last June in 2:12:43. The 29 year-old is looking for his second
marathon victory in the United States; he won in San Diego in 2000.
Andrej Naumov of Ukraine, a 2:12:31 marathoner, is coming to Pittsburgh with Tatyana Gladyr. He raced two marathons last fall, winning in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2:14:30) and finishing 11th at the Ford Köln Marathon in 2:16:47. In late March, he was fourth in the Dresden Citylauf 10-K in 29:38. He's 29 years-old.
James Karanja, 24, a Kenyan, has been improving steadily in the marathon,
lowering his personal best in three of his last five marathons. His best
time is 2:13:54 achieved at Austin last February where he finished third.
From south of the Border, Juan Camacho Pina, 30, comes to Pittsburgh from
Mexico looking for his first marathon victory. He looks strong on time
with a 2:11:14 career best achieved in Seoul last November, his most recent
marathon where he finished 11th.
The other two contenders include Mikhail Khobotov, 30, of Russia (2:15:14
personal best), Amos Gitagama, 24, of Kenya (debut), and Kassahun Kabiso,
19, of Ethiopia (2:16:55).
WORLD'S BEST WHEELERS TO TAKE PART
The two best wheelchair racers in the world, Ernst van Dyk and Krige
Schabort, both South Africans, are also expected to compete. The two went
1-2 at the 2003 and 2002 Boston Marathons where van Dyk won for the third
year in a row. The two switched places from New York City last November
where Schabort got the best of van Dyk. van Dyk was the Pittsburgh
champion last year.
The UPMC/City of Pittsburgh Marathon begins at 7:00 a.m. with the walkers,
the wheelchair competition begins at 7:35 a.m., followed by the able-bodied
runners at 7:45. The start will be adjacent to Heinz Field, home of the
Pittsburgh Steelers and the race will finish within the stadium on the 50
yard line. At 8:00 a.m. the Mellon Relay Team Competition will begin,
followed 15 minutes later by the UPMC HealthPlan 5K Run/Walk. Complete
registration information, including on-line registration, is available at
the race website: http://www.pittsburghmarathon.com.
2003 UPMC/City of Pittsburgh Marathon Elite Athletes, with personal best
1. Wesley Chelule, 28, KEN, 2:10:14
2. Andrey Gordeyev, 29, BLR, 2:11:44
3. Juan Camacho Pina, 30, MEX, 2:11:14
4. Andrej Naumov, 29, UKR, 2:12:31
5. James Karanja, 24, KEN, 2:13:54
6. Amos Gitagama, 24, KEN, debut
7. Mikhail Khobotov, 30, RUS, 2:15:14
8. Kassahun Kabiso, 19, ETH, 2:16:55
19. Scott Strand, 35, Birmingham, Ala., 2:16:52 (pacemaker)
51. Magdalena Lewy, 29, Oakland, Calif., 2:36:48
52. Lioudmila Kortchaguina, 31, RUS, 2:30:18
53. Tatyana Galdyr, 28, UKR, 2:34:40
54. Janna Malkova, 36, RUS, 2:34:44
55. Alevtina Naumova, 42, RUS, 2:29:49
56. Mary Alico, 39, Pittsburgh, PA, 2:32:42
57. Maddy Tormoen, 41, Colorado Springs, CO
58. Tammy Slusser, 38, Monroeville, PA,
59. Leteyesus Berhe, 24, ETH, 2:43:00
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