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Posted: October 5, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Ilsa Paulson Wins USA Women's Title at Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Hartmann men's Open champion in PR; De Reuck, Lokken USA Masters champions; 29 women qualify for 2012 Olympic Trials

By Charlie Mahler, Running USA wire

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - (October 4, 2009) - On an ideal Sunday morning for racing, and on a day when race fans were wondering if a new oldest USA Marathon champion in history might be crowned, a 20-year-old stole the show at the 28th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, becoming the second-youngest USA Women's Marathon titlist in the championship's 35-year history.

20-year-old Ilsa Paulson of New York City caught 45-year-old Colleen De Reuck of Boulder, Colo. in the event's final miles and raced on to win her first national title, and $25,000 in national championship prize money, in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 49 seconds.

De Reuck, already the oldest female USA Marathon champ (2004), could have become the oldest USA Marathon champion of either gender with a victory, but finished runner-up in 2:32:37. The four-time Olympian earned some measure of consolation by winning the USA Masters title ($7500) with her effort.

As it was, John A. Kelley's 1950 USA title won when he was 42 years, 257 days-old remains the overall record. Kim Merritt's 1975 U.S. title won when she was 20 years, 161 days-old stays the record for youngest female national marathon champion, since Paulson is but 45 days away from her 21st birthday.

"This is really, really rewarding," Paulson said. "You just hang in there and grind it out, and it felt so good today, particularly the last 10 kilometers."

Indeed, Paulson looked so strong at the finish and felt so energetic in her American flag-draped victory trot up the course from the St. Paul finish line, race announcers joked that she might be running back to the starting line in Minneapolis.

Paulson's path to the Twin Cities Marathon winner's circle was both fast and unique. In 2007, Paulson took the unusual step of leaving Northern Arizona University during her freshman year in order to become a professional road racer. Since the decision, the devout Christian - Paulson sports a crucifix-and-praying-hands tattoo on her right arm - has moved to New York City.

De Reuck, who won the 2004 USA title at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials at a record 39-years-old, led the diminutive Paulson by 1:40 at the 20 mile stripe, but the Oregon native stormed the races final - uphill - miles to seal the win.

Team USA Minnesota's Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle finished third in a debut 2:35:09. Twenty-nine U.S. women qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials in the event by running faster than 2:46:00.

In the Twin Cities Marathon men's Open race, which was not a USA Championship event, Jason Hartmann of Grand Rapids, Mich. grabbed his own come-from-behind victory in 2:12:09. Hartmann caught 2004 Twin Cities Marathon champion Augustus Kavutu at 23 miles and motored on to a 54 second victory and a personal record.

Tracy Lokken of Marquette, Mich. won his second USA Masters men's title in 2:22:34, while Reuben Chesang of Kenya was the overall masters winner (2:15:24) and 6th overall.

28th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon: USA Women's & USA Masters Championships
Minneapolis, MN, Sunday, October 4, 2009

1) Ilsa Paulson (NY), 2:31:49, $26,500 
2) Colleen De Reuck, 45, CO, 2:32:37, $24,750 
3) Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle (MN), 2:35:09, $11,100 
4) Nicole Blaesser (WA), 2:35:09, $7400
5) Sally Meyerhoff (OR), 2:35:49, $5300 
6) Robyn Friedman (IA), 2:36:44, $4200 
7) Sheri Piers (ME), 2:37:24, $3350 
8) Camille Herron (IN), 2:38:23, $2100 
9) Mary Akor (CA), 2:38:51, $1000 
10) Wendi Ray (WI), 2:38:58, $500 

1) Jason Hartmann (MI), 2:12:09, $27,000
2) Augustus Kavutu (KEN), 2:13:03, $15,000
3) John Njoroge (KEN), 2:13:26, $10,000
4) Joseph Mutinda (KEN), 2:13:47, $7000
5) Grigoriy Andreev (RUS), 2:13:59, $5000
6) Reuben Chesang, 46, KEN, 2:15:24, $5500
7) Luke Watson (PA), 2:15:29, $4250
8) Antonio Vega (MN), 2:15:45, $3600
9) Tyler Sigl (WI), 2:17:28, $1900
10) Mario Macias (CO), 2:18:34, $1300 

MASTERS Men (40+)
1) Chesang, see above
2) Tracy Lokken, 44, MI, 2:22:34, $8500

Deeper results and more at:

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