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Contact: Elite Racing, Inc.
Tolossa Makes U.S. Debut Memorable with Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Victory
Chelangat captures second musical marathon title
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (June 4, 2006) – Ambesse Tolossa of Ethiopia made the
most of his first visit to the United States as he won the ninth annual
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Sunday in San Diego. Tolossa, 27, covered the 26.2-
mile course in a time of 2:10:08. On the women’s side, Kenya’s Alice
Chelangat captured her second Rock ‘n’ Roll title, winning in 2:28:21.
Tolossa, who was running on U.S. soil for the first time, captured his
second title this year, having also won the Tokyo Marathon in January.
Chelangat’s victory marked her second in San Diego as she also won the Rock
‘n’ Roll Marathon in 2002.
After running a conservative first 13 miles, the men’s field cruised thru
eight straight sub-five minute miles. The pack was down to five men by 16
miles and last year’s champion, Christopher Cheboiboch, had fallen back at
that point. By mile 20, it was a two man race, down to Tolossa and Simon
Bor of Kenya. The men ran side- by-side before Tolossa made his move just
after passing mile 23. Known for a strong finishing kick, the Ethiopian
gradually increased his lead en route to crossing the finish line all
alone. Bor finished second in 2:10:37 and another Kenyan, Stephen Kiogora,
was third at 2:11:45.
"I’m covered by happiness," Tolossa said with a large smile. "I am very
happy and would like to come back next year. Everyone was concerned about
the weather, so we were slow in the beginning. But we went by the halfway
point and it was alright. Then everyone wanted to win."
In the women’s race the field was down to three women by mile 18;
Chelangat, her countrywoman Hellen Kimutai and Russia’s Lyubov Morgunova.
The trio slowed the pace dramatically thru miles 18, 19 and 20, trying to
wear each other down and no one wanting to pull away. Chelangat finally
made her move at mile 21 and gradually pulled away for the victory. Kimutai
was second in 2:28:44 and Morgunova was third at 2:29:39.
"I like this race," exclaimed Chelangat. "The people are so nice. I hear
them cheering, ‘Go ladies! Go ladies!’ and I think they are saying ‘Go
Alice! Go Alice! It makes me run fast."
More than 20,000 runners and walkers registered for the ninth annual Rock
‘n’ Roll Marathon. A total of $12.5 million (net) was raised by more than
4,000 Team In Training participants for the official charity, The Leukemia
& Lymphoma Society. The evening was capped off by a post-race concert by
Grammy-award- winning group Ozomatli at the Coors Amphitheatre in Chula