Runner's Web
Runner's and Triathlete's Web News
Send To A friend Know someone else who's interested in running and triathlon?
Send this Runner's Web Story's URL to a friend.   Comment on this story.
Visit the FrontPage for the latest news.   |     View in Runner's Web Frame

Posted: April 15, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Ladies First At The 10th Annual Country Music Marathon

Online Registration Closes Sunday April 19, Expo Registration Available

Nashville, TN -- April 15, 2009 -- It's ladies first in Nashville with the women's professional field starting approximately 15 minutes ahead of the men on Saturday, April 25 at the 10th anniversary of the Country Music Marathon and Half-Marathon. For the first time in its 10 year history, the 2009 race will match the elite women against the elite men in a special "Battle of the Sexes" format that awards the first runner to cross the finish line a bonus of $10,000.

"The gender challenge is a unique twist we implemented for the 10th anniversary of the event," said Adam Zocks, General Manager. "Ideally, with the lead male runner closing on the lead female runner, it adds a special touch and provides extra entertainment at the end of the elite race for the thousands of spectators who come out to watch. I'm certain everyone will want to see the race to the finish line."

The men's field is lead by Joseph Chirlee, 27, who currently resides in Georgia, but is originally from Eldoret in Kenya. Chirlee, owner of a top-5 finish at the 2007 New York City Half Marathon, is better known on the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series for his unfortunate fall mere steps before the finish line in 2007 at San Diego. The incident cost Chirlee third place, but he picked himself up and staggered home for finish in fourth overall with a time of 2:12:10. The same year he also won the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Ala.

Alirio Carasco of Colombia has made two Colombian Olympic teams off the strength of his Country Music performances -- 4th in 2000 and 3rd in 2004 -- and owns a PR of 2:12:09 set at the Chicago Marathon in 2003. Abebe Yimer, two-time winner of the Las Vegas Marathon, and Amos Matui, PR of 2:12:14 set in Brussels in 2004, round out the favorites on the men's side.

The women's field will be highlighted by Anne Jelagat Kibor, of Kenya, who finished 2nd at the Country Music Marathon in 2006. 2008 Beijing Olympian Yuliya Arhipova of Kyrgyzstan owns a PR 2:34:10 from Frankfurt in 2007. Russia's Tatiana Pushkareva finished 4th at the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio with a PR of 2:34:55 and Tigist Abidi, of Ethiopia, has a PR of 2:33:01 set at the Enschede Marathon in Holland.

Other race favorites include American Michelle Suszek, who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the Women's Marathon. Suszek was seeded 135th and finished 60th with a time of 2:45:16, out-running 75 of America's top distance runners. She has gone on to place in the top-10 women finishers at every race she's run since the Olympic trials.

The elite women will begin the race first, getting an approximate 15-minute head start. Once the time gap has passed, the elite men will take off with the rest of the marathon field and try to chase down the elite women. The first person to break the finish tape will earn a $10,000 bonus over and above the first place prizes of $10,000.

The exact time difference will be based on several factors to insure that both male and female runners receive a fair opportunity to compete in this special arrangement. These will include time difference between the men's (2:12:55) and women's (2:28:06) course records, as well as the most recent performances of the elite athletes in attendance.

The final time differential will be announced, along with the entire professional field of elite runners, at the athlete press conference on Thursday, April 23 at 2:00 pm in the clinic location of the Health and Fitness Expo. The expo is located at the Nashville Convention Center.

Online registration for the Country Music Marathon closes Sunday, April 19. This is the last opportunity for participants to receive the lower online registration price of $105 for the marathon and $100 for the half marathon.

"With the new course changes this year, it is still not too late to register for the half or full marathon races," added Zocks. "In-person registration for will be available at the race expo on Thursday and Friday. Adding distance to the course prior to the Belmont neighborhood, will allow extra space for all participants to run or walk more comfortably from start to finish."

Race registration for both events will be available at the Health & Fitness Expo from 11am - 6pm Thursday, April 23 and 10 am - 7 pm Friday, April 24. For more information or to register for the Country Music Marathon or Half-Marathon, visit or call (800) 311-1255.

About Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon
Celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2009, the Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon will attract over 30,000 runners and 100,000 spectators to Music City on Saturday, April 25. The event is a weekend celebration complete with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo, YMCA Country Music Kids' Marathon and a post-race concert featuring Billy Currington.

Subscribe to the Runner's Web Weekly Digest

Check out our FrontPage for all the latest running and triathlon news.

Top of News
Runner's Web FrontPage

© 1996 - 2009 - All rights reserved.
  Google Search for: Q: size=31 maxlength=255 value="" style="font-size:8pt; background-color: #FFCC33; color: #000000">   in   Web Site       Translate