Record participation in 32nd annual race
CLEVELAND (May 17, 2009) -- U.S. runners dominated the men's and women's marathon and half marathon races today at the 32nd annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K.
Joel Stansloski, a 23-year-old runner from Tulsa, Okla., was the first to cross the marathon finish line with a time of 2:27:37. Stansloski, who was raised in nearby Wooster, Ohio, finished first in his first-ever Rite Aid Cleveland event.
In cool, dry and sunny conditions, he kept pace with a group of runners until about mile 16. He led the race the final 10 miles.
"I thought I would have a pretty good chance," Stansloski said. "The weather was beautiful and the race was really well orchestrated and well organized."
Andy Martin, 34, of Bend, Or., came in second with a time of 2:31:20, followed by 32-year-old David Mooney of Peninsula, Ohio at 2:33:21.
Twenty-five-year-old Jackie Baumgartner of New York City won the women's marathon, finishing in 2:57:49. Like Stansloski, Baumgartner also has Ohio roots, having lived in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
Kent, Ohio resident Shanna Ailes, 30, finished second in 3:08:17. She was followed by Melanie Lenk of Wilmington, N.C. Lenk, 27, finished in 3:08:36.
Ohio runners also led the men's half marathon, with 25-year-old Christopher Paulett of Columbus crossing the finish line with a time of 1:13:57. Aaron Apathy, 23, of Parma and Heath Boylan, 23, of Mount Vernon, followed Paulett with times of 1:14:29 and 1:16:11, respectively.
Another Wilmington, N.C. runner, 24-year-old Melissa Milstead, finished the women's half marathon first in 1:27:14. She was followed by Ohioans Elizabeth Hansen of Euclid and Corey Randall of Cincinnati. The 27-year-old Hansen finished in 1:27:52 and 24-year-old Randall finished third in 1:29:08.
The half marathon victories were particularly significant as the winners had more competition than ever in the event's history. The ever-popular half marathon sold out this year with approximately 5,000 registrants.
As has become common with the 10K race, elite international runners dominated the top spots for the men's and women's events. Ethiopians Dereje Tadesse and Emebet Bacha won the men's and women's races, respectively.
Tadesse, 22, finshed in 28:55. Bacha, 28, won the women's race with a time of 32:28. Tadesse was followed by Kenyans Ernest Kebenei and Samual Ndereba. Kebenei, 25, finished in 29:07. Ndereba, 32, finished in 29:31.
Kenyan Jane Murage, placed second in the women's 10K with a time of 33:07. She was followed by 27-year-old Marina Ivanova of Russia, who finished in 33:18.
A record 12,400 runners participated in 2009 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon &10K running events, including a new 5K on Saturday that drew 500 runners, the We Run This City partnership that had 500 school-aged participants, and another 300-plus children who participated in the Kids' Run.
"New events, a new course and new start and finish areas were very well received by the participants," said Ralph Staph, race director. "We also had thousands of spectators lining the start and finish of the course to cheer on the runners. The new set up really allowed for increased spectator participation."
Official race results of all finishing runners are available on the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Web site at www.clevelandmarathon.com. Registration opens today for the 2010 race, scheduled for Sunday, May 16, 2010.