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Posted: June 22, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Harroufi, Smith Defend Steamboat Classic 4 Mile Titles

By Gary Childs

PEORIA, Ill. - (June 20, 2009) - Ridouane Harroufi and Kim Smith defended their titles Saturday morning at the 36th Steamboat Classic.

And how? (Or in Smith's case, And how!)

Men's 4-mile winner Harroufi, from Morocco, waited until the closing seconds to overtake John Yuda of Tanzania.

Smith, on the other hand, stalked only Steamboat ghosts. The New Zealander finished in 19 minutes, 38 seconds, third-fastest women's time in race history, and a whopping 1 minute, 18 seconds ahead of runner-up Millicent Gathoni of Kenya.

"I drove the course last year beforehand, but didn't really know it," said Smith, 27, who won her Steamboat debut a year ago in 20:00. "This year I jogged it the day before. It definitely helped (knowing the course)."

The women's course record (and world record) of 19:27 was set by Delillah Asiago in 1995. Lornah Kiplagat ranks second all-time with her 19:33 in 2001.

Harroufi, 27, didn't take control until navigating Steamboat's signature Corner - the hard right turn about 50 yards from the finish.

Harroufi finished in 17:44, two seconds ahead of sacrificial leader Yuda.

"I know this athlete (Yuda)," Harroufi said. "He run with me many races."

Beijing Olympic women's marathon gold medalist Constantina Dita of Romania was inducted into the Steamboat Classic Hall of Fame after making her eighth appearance in the race in nine years. Dita, who won Steamboat in 2003 and '05, placed seventh in 21:52.

Overall, in the Midwest summer tradition, there were 2,824 finishers in the 4 mile and another 726 finishers in the accompanying 15K.

36th Steamboat Classic 4 Mile
Peoria, IL, Saturday, June 20, 2009

1) Ridouane Harroufi (MAR), 17:44, $4000
2) John Yuda (TAN), 17:46, $2500
3) Boaz Cheboiywo (KEN), 18:02, $2000 
4) Jason Hartmann (USA / CO), 18:20, $1500
5) Philemon Terer (KEN), 18:22, $1000
6) Martin Fagan (IRL), 18:27, $400
7) Justin Young (USA / CO), 18:42, $200
8) Pat Rizzo (USA / MI), 19:05
9) Luke Humphrey (USA / MI), 19:05
10) Ryan Sheehan (USA / MI), 19:07

1) Kim Smith (NZL), 19:38, $4000
2) Millicent Gathoni (KEN), 20:56, $2500
3) Meskrem Legesse (ETH), 21:08, $2000
4) René Kalmer (RSA), 21:09, $1500
5) Jane Gakunyi (KEN), 21:19, $1000
6) Adriana Pirtea (ROU), 21:21, $200
7) Constantina Dita (ROU), 21:52
8) Kelly Fox (USA / IL), 23:31
9) Allison Arndt (USA / WI), 23:55
10) Joy Guardia (USA / IL), 24:36

Complete race results at:

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