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Posted: March 23, 2009  :

(RWire) Athletics: Moulton, Seckinger Win 4th SunTrust National Marathon

Tefera, Mandefro half-marathon champions; event field and three event records set

By Steve Nearman, Running USA wire

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (March 21, 2009) - Not long into the SunTrust National Marathon, Patrick Moulton realized it was going to be a long morning.

"In the beginning, my girlfriend could see that I wasn't feeling so well," said Moulton, a 27-year-old Providence College graduate still residing in Providence whose twin brother Casey also is a national-class marathoner. "I never gave up."

He lost contact with the leaders at 11 miles and again a few times after the half-marathon mark, each time pulling himself back into the mix. By 19 miles, Moulton, a 2:15 marathoner who placed 28th at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City, was more than a minute behind in fifth.

But he came storming back, thrusting himself past Kenyans David Cheromei and David Mosop into the lead shortly before the 23-mile mark and to victory in the fourth running of the SunTrust National Marathon & Half Marathon Saturday at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C.

Moulton's time of 2 hours, 21 minutes, 18 seconds under cool, calm, sunny conditions eclipsed the previous event record of 2:24:59, set by Michael Wardian last year.

Jeannette Seckinger, one of Moulton's Boston Athletic Association teammates, completed the BAA sweep by capturing the women's title in 2:48:39. Seckinger, 26, said it was nearly a six-minute personal best, but it took all the energy she had to overhaul 39-year-old Elena Orlova of Russia in the last 200 meters. Orlova crossed the finish line just five seconds behind.

It was first-time National triumphs for Seckinger and Moulton, and second marathon victories for both as well, hers at the 2007 Reggae Marathon in Jamaica and his at the ING Hartford Marathon last fall.

Before Moulton, the only male marathon champion here has been Wardian, a 34-year-old jack of all trades who will run from five kilometers to 100K, nearly all quality times. And it was Wardian who shouted encouragement to Moulton after a turnaround at 22.5 miles, telling him that Mosop and Cheromei were dying.

Wardian was right. The Kenyans had covered the first half of the race in 1:09:44, but were slowing. Wardian was able to catch Cheromei in the last half mile for second in 2:22:15 with the Kenyan following 10 seconds back.

In the accompanying half-marathon, Demesse Tefera broke up a pack of five on the uphills of Adams Morgan after five miles to lower the event record by 62 seconds in 1:05:15.

"After five miles, I was feeling pretty easy," said the 26-year-old Ethiopian with a 1:02 personal best at the 2007 3M Half Marathon in Austin. Like a fine-tuned watch, he rattled off near-exact five-minute miles for all but one mile - the 10th downhill one on North Capital Street where he poured on a 4:45.

Washington resident Christopher Raabe also ran under the event record with a 1:06:07, while Ethiopian Hirut Mandefro took the women's half-marathon in 1:15:36, also a new event record, by 55 seconds.

Registration for the half closed out at 5,000, while the marathon nearly filled with 3,000 entries - an event record total. Finishers for the half totaled 4,151 and the marathon 2,094.

4th SunTrust National Marathon
Washington, DC, Saturday, March 21, 2009

1) Patrick Moulton (USA / RI), 2:21:18*, $2000 + Fashion Time Watch 
2) Michael Wardian (USA / VA), 2:22:15, $800
3) David Cheromei (KEN), 2:22:25, $700
4) Solomon Too (KEN), 2:23:40, $500
5) Charles Bedley (CAN), 2:24:03, $300
*event record (previous record, 2:24:59, Michael Wardian, 2008)

1) David Principe, 42, RI, 2:47:17, $250 + Fashion Time Watch
2) Matt Wilson, 46, PA, 2:52:18, $150
3) Joerg Schroeder, 41, GER / MD, 2:55:37, $100

1) Jeannette Seckinger (USA / MA), 2:48:39, $2000 + Fashion Time Watch
2) Elena Orlova (RUS), 2:48:44, $800
3) Miluye Gurma (ETH), 2:49:25, $700
4) Michaela Driscoll (USA / RI), 2:53:13, $500
5) Michelle McCreary (USA / MA), 2:54:23, $300

1) Laura Skolozdra, 42, NJ, 3:09:34, $250 + Fashion Time Watch
2) Diana Widdowson, 42, PA, 3:25:44, $150
3) Ellen Komesarook, 45, MD, 3:25:48, $100

4th SunTrust Half-Marathon
1) Demesse Tefera (ETH), 1:05:15*, $1000 + Fashion Time Watch 
2) Christopher Raabe (USA / DC), 1:06:07, $500
3) Luke Watson (USA / PA), 1:07:11, $250
4) John Henwood (NZL), 1:07:12, $200
5) Cesar Lizano (CRC), 1:09:13, $100
*event record (previous record, 1:06:17, Ezkyas Sisay (ETH), 2008)

1) Hirut Mandefro (ETH), 1:15:36*, $1000 + Fashion Time Watch 
2) Carolyne Komen (KEN), 1:16:10, $500
3) Katarina Janosikova (SVK), 1:16:21, $250
4) Phebe Ko (USA / MD), 1:17:09, $200
5) Michelle Fowler (USA / MD), 1:18:19, $100
*event record (previous record, 1:16:31, Samia Akbar (USA / VA), 2008)

Complete results at:

Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director
(805) 696-6232; Fax = (805) 659-0016

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