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November 6, 2002:
Notice: Check Out Our New News Index Page:
As of November we have started putting our Runner's Web content stories into a new format. Each story is contained on it's own page. An index of all such articles is contained on the News Index page.
November 13, 2002:
Athletics: 2003 World Championships Marathon Team Selection Procedures Announced
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (November 13, 2002) - The Men's and Women's Long
Distance Running Committees of USA Track & Field announced today the
selection procedure for the U.S. marathon teams for the 2003 World
Championships in Paris, France.
FOR U.S. MEN
1) The top three finishers at the 2003 USA Marathon Championship hosted by
the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama on February 8 will receive
2) The top finisher from the 2002 USA Marathon Championship (Twin Cities)
also will receive an automatic berth: Dan Browne.
3) The fifth spot on the USA men's marathon team - and any berths declined by
automatically qualified runners - will be selected, based on rank order, from
the top times run by American men on certified courses from January 1, 2002
through April 21, 2003.
FOR U.S. WOMEN
1) From the 2002 USA Marathon Championship (Twin Cities), the national
champion (Jill Gaitenby) has an automatic berth on the team and an additional
spot is available for the next top finisher under 2:40:00 who accepts a berth
on the team.
2) From the 2003 USA Marathon Championship hosted by St. Louis on April 5,
the national champion receives an automatic berth and an additional spot is
available for the next top finisher under 2:40:00 who accepts a berth on the
3) As needed, the remaining team member(s) to complete the five-member team
will be based on rank order of marathon performances on certified courses
from January 1, 2002 through the 2003 USA Marathon Championship on April 5,
Paris hosts the 2003 World Championships from August 23-31. The Men's
Marathon will be contested on Saturday, August 30 (2:20pm start) and the
Women's Marathon on Sunday, August 31 (2:20pm start).
November 6, 2002:
NYC Officials: Only Private Funds Used For Olympics
NEW YORK During a visit by members of the U.S. Olympic committee Wednesday, city officials reiterated their pledge not to spend taxpayer money on the 2012 Summer Games. ``This will be a games basically done with private money,'' Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. ``And the reason it works is that New York is such a media capital. This will be an Olympics that will generate an enormous amount of sponsorship and television revenue.'' Last week, New York beat San Francisco to become the U.S. candidate to host the 2012 Games.
November 3, 2002:
Triathlon: Cancun Starts Multisports Festival With Aquathlon Worlds:
Cancun, Mexico.- Nearly 250 athletes from 23 countries will race the 5th ITU World Aquathlon Championships on Sunday, starting a multisports festival which will
reach its climax next week with the ITU World Triathlon Championships.
Langosta Beach will be the witness of a very competitive race, consisting of a 2.5km run, 1km swim and another 2.5km run.
In a press conference held at Plaza Caracol, Mexican Triathlon Federation President Jaime Cadaval thanked the government of Cancun and the state of
Quintana Roo for their support, as well as the International Triathlon Union (ITU) for trusting the organization to Mexico.
"The aquathlon will give us an idea of how the competition will be next week with the triathlon", said Cavadal.
Event director Luis Galvez explained all details of the race, due to start at 8.00 for age-groupers and an hour and a half later for the elite, junior and
under-23 year old athetes.
With defending champions, Spain's Ivan Rana and USA's Siri Lindley absent this year, athletes from Europe, South America and Canada have greater chances
Brazil will be represented by Paulo Miyashiro, third in 2002, current Pan American champion Leandro Macedo, Juracy Moreira and Sydney Olympics eleventh
place finisher Sandra Soldan.
Other strong contenders are Argentina's 2001 Pan American champion Daniel Fontana, Canada's Shane Armstrong, Gillian Moody and Jill
Savege, Ukraine´s 1997 world junior champion Andrey Glushchenko and Hungary's Szabolcs Agoston and Csaba Kuttor.
Savege is currently placed fifth in the ITU World Rankings and Kuttor took part in the last two editions of the aquathlon worlds: fifth in Cancun'2000 y
seventh in Edmonton'2001.
The host country will be represented by 1997 Pan American champion Eligio Cervantes, Bruno Arochi, Rodrigo Quevedo y Esther Aguayo.
The Aquathlon Worlds started in Noosa, Australia, in November 1998 and will mark the beginning of a 10-day multisport festival, which will end with the
Triathlon Worlds November 9-10.
Cancun already hosted the World triathlon and duathlon champs in 1995, and the 2000 aquathlon champs.
Past World Aquathlon Champions:
Year Venue Men Women
1998 Noosa, Australia Shane Reed (NZL) Rina Hill (AUS)
1999 Noosa, Australia Shane Reed (NZL) Rina Hill (AUS)
2000 Cancun, Mexico Mathew Reed (NZL) Pilar Hidalgo (ESP)
2001 Edmonton, Canada Ivan Rana (ESP) Siri Lindley (USA)
Cancun will show the very best of triathlon, Les McDonald
Cancun, Mexico.- International Triathlon Union (ITU) president Les McDonald
said that Cancun will show the very best of the sport during the World
Championships, scheduled for next weekend in this Mexican resort.
Upon arrival to Cancun international airport, Canada's McDonald stated that
"it's so nice to be back in Cancun and my favorite state of Mexico, Quintana
He showed his confidence on the organizers and highlighted the work of
Mexican Triathlon Federation president Jaime Cadaval and Pan American
Triathlon Confederation president Antonio Alvarez.
McDonald, who has led the ITU since its foundation in 1989, confirmed that
Association of National Olympic Committees (ACNO) president Mario Vazquez
Rana will atttend the event.
"It was him who helped us get into the Olympics and also into the Pan
American Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina, the biggest step before getting
into the Summer Games", he underlined.
McDonald added that Cancun will serve as a preparation to the Pan American
Games in Santo Domingo´2003.
ITU Executive Director Loreen Barnett commented that "hopefully, we won´t
have the storm that passed trough last year so we are looking to a
tremendous field coming here, both the elite men and women. The best of the
best will be here so we are really excited".
Asked about the ITU congress, he said that "the most important about the
world of triathlon right now is that everyone is completely united. We are
just trying to build the sport, every year it gets better and better,
looking forward to Athens and beyond in Beijing".
In her opinion, triathlon is solidly placed within the Olympic family right
now, since its debut in the Summer Games in Sydney´2000.
According to the organizers, more than 1500 age-groupers and 142 elite
athletes from some 50 countries are alreday registered to contest over 1.5km
swim, 40km bike and 10km run November 9-10 for the world titles.
The 10-day multisport festival in Cancun starts tomorrow Sunday with the
World Aquathlon Championships.
Cancun has been the only Latin American venue to ever host ITU World
Championships: triathlon and duathlon in 1995 and aquathlon in 2000.
November 3, 2002:
Olympics: Theatre Siege Wont't Affect Moscow Bid:
Moscow's theatre siege in which 117 people died last week will not have a negative impact on the Russian capital's bid to stage the 2012 Olympics, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge has said.
The worst hostage drama in Russia's history, when armed Chechen rebels seized a Moscow theatre and held some 800 hostages for nearly three days, highlighted the problems of security in the city.
Moscow, which hosted the 1980 Olympics, is one of several cities set to bid to stage the 2012 Summer Games, the venue of which will be decided by the IOC in a vote in 2005.
It is likely to face competition from several European candidates such as Madrid, London, a German city and Paris as well as from a U.S. city and possibly from Canada's Toronto.
November 3, 2002:
Athletics: Athens Record Grows As Time Elapses:
It was no surprise that Kenyans should take the top five places in the 20th Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday, but even by their own admission, they were shocked to be so far away from the course record of 2hr 11min 07sec, set by Briton Bill Adcocks back in 1969. Mark Saina, who won his first marathon in eight starts, in 2.18.20 said, "It's the toughest course I've ever run, and there was a headwind, but I think we started too fast".
John Moiben, second in 2.18,45, concurred, and Elijah Korir, who was third in 2.18.56 said of Adcocks' time, "I just don't know how he ran that, I don't believe it. Maybe if we hadn't run so fast at the start (5k in 14.48), it would have been better, but going downhill in the second part is just as difficult after all the uphill, it would be better if the second half was flat".
So the bad news for those intending to run this course in the Olympic Games in 2004 is that it's probably the toughest course in the world among the big city marathons, but good news for Adcocks, who was invited back to Athens this week by new sponsor, Alpha Bank.
Adcocks, 60 said, "That was my day of days, I only ran 19 seconds slower than my personal best, set on a completely flat course at Fukuoka (Japan), I had the impression on that day, I could have run up a mountain".
Winner Saina only started running seriously four years ago, at the age of 28, when he realised that he could keep up in training with a colleague at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Bernard Lagat, who is an Olympic bronze medallist in the 1500 metres. "I'd run at school, but I was concentrating on my (sociology) studies, then I realised I could be a professional runner, but I preferred the marathon".
Sonja Oberem of Germany also preferred the marathon to the triathlon, at which she was twice world and twice European senior champion. The German retained her women's title in 2.37.29.
Pos Name Country Time Prize
1 Mark Saina Kenya 2.18.20 6000 Euros
2 John Moiben Kenya 2.18.45 5000
3 Elijah Korir Kenya 2.18.56 4000
4 Wesley Chelule Kenya 2.20.29 3000
5 Josephat Kemei Kenya 2.20.29 2000
6 Vasilis Zabelis Greece 2.20.38 1000
7 Nikolaos Polias Greece 2.20.47
8 Charles Aiyabei Kenya 2.21.21
9 Sergey Zachepa Ukraine 2.24.16
10 Matthew Moran Usa 2.25.46
Zachepa Wins European Police Title
1 Sonja Oberem Germany 2.37.29 6000
2 Giorgia Abatzidou (Greece) 2.47.22 5000
3 Viktoria Zueva Russia 2.49.24 4000
4 Spiridoula Souma Greece 2.51.12 3000
5 Junko Takeuchi Japan 2.53.59 2000
6 Magda Karimali Greece 2.56.44 1000
Alison Crook (GBR), 8th wins European Police title, in 3.00.59
November 2, 2002:
Athletics: Kirkpatrick Wins His First USA Title at Charity Run 10K Against Fast Field:
Dryer three-peats in women's race
By Charlie Mahler, Running USA wire
MOBILE, Ala. - (November 2, 2002) - In defiance of conventional-wisdom, Ryan
Kirkpatrick of Boulder, Colo. won his first U.S. title today with a 28:28
clocking at the Food World Senior Bowl Charity Run. Kirkpatrick built and
lost a 15 meter lead against perhaps the deepest U.S. 10K field ever but
still prevailed in a furious kick to the finish.
Kirkpatrick, a 2000 West Point graduate who now runs in the Army's World
Class Athlete Program, out-kicked 2001 U.S. 25K champion Chad Johnson by one
second officially - and about the width of a pectoral muscle actually. Close
behind the pair was Dave Davis, third in 28:31, Phillimon Hanneck, fourth in
28:32 and 2000 Olympic marathoner Rod DeHaven, fifth in 28:32.
The race's top ten men finished within 16 seconds of one-another, all under
28:45. Defending champion and course record-holder Nick Rogers was sixth in
28:33, Nolan Swanson was seventh in 28:33, Brian Sell of Hansons Team USA
Michigan was eighth in 28:34, Richie Brinker also of Hansons Team USA
Michigan was ninth in 28:40, Teren Jameson was tenth in 28:44 and Clint Wells
eleventh in 28:53.
The race saw the largest number of sub-29 minute performances - eleven - in a
single USA 10K Championship and was arguably the deepest finishing field of
American 10K road runners ever.
What turned out to be such a fast race, held in breezy conditions with
temperatures in the low 50s, began inauspiciously with Johnson and Hanneck
leading the first mile of the flat, loop course in 4:41. With an injection of
pace from DeHaven at the start of the second mile, the tempo quickened to
4:32. Johnson, Rogers and Sell would all have cameos at the head of the
dozen-member lead pack and the pace would keep to the mid 4:30s before
Kirkpatrick made his move just before the four mile mark.
Kirkpatrick, 24, built a lead that stretched to 15 meters but he could never
completely shake his large, lurking following. As the pursuers narrowed the
gap approaching the five mile mark and his form appeared more labored, the
possibility of the bold breakaway turning into a out-of-the-top-10 finish
looked more than likely.
"I was just hoping and praying that no one would catch me from behind," said
the recent Army Ten-Miler winner. "It was more like trying to avoid the
embarrassment of getting tenth when you've led two miles of the race, and
really putting a hard surge in that, based on my credentials, probably was
not very advisable. I don't have the PRs that most of these others guys have
that were racing up there with me."
Instead of getting swallowed and digested by the pack, Kirkpatrick battled
with Johnson and Davis as they caught him and then kicked madly in the final
meters to pull just ahead of Johnson at the line.
It wasn't the first time he and Johnson had raced down a homestretch
"It was a 1500 in Montreal and it was for last place," Kirkpatrick remembered
of the previous encounter. "We were in a race with all 1500 specialists.
Maybe someone was behind us, I don't know, but Chad nicked me at the wire. I
thought about that coming into the stretch today. I thought, 'Oh, not Chad,'"
Today's kick for first place, which earned him $7500 and (along with Johnson
and Davis) an automatic spot on the U.S.'s Ekiden road relay team competing
in Chiba, Japan later this month, was redemptive for Kirkpatrick who broke a
bone his foot in last year's Senior Bowl 10K and then re-broke it again in
February during his comeback.
"Almost jokingly I said if I get through this race without breaking my foot
I've been successful," Kirkpatrick explained. "To beat the jinx of this race
and come here and win it all is very exciting."
Elva Dryer's win in the women's race, which was not a national championship
event despite the solid U.S. field, was her fourth career win here and her
third in a row. She ran 32:28 to edge Katie McGregor of Team USA Minnesota
who clocked 32:34. Olympian Libbie Hickman was third in 33:03.
The win was not unlike her U.S title-winning run here last year over Anne
Marie Lauck. Dryer, a member of Team USA California, opened a gap on McGregor
midway through the race - after initial miles of 5:05 and 5:10 - and held a
strong enough pace to win with a healthy, if not completely comfortable
"I felt Katie's presence," the 2000 Olympic 5000 meter runner said. "I
thought I had a gap on her going into the third mile, but between the third
and fourth mile she closed the gap a bit because I heard her more. At that
point I just sort of relaxed for a mile and then I thought, okay, save a
little bit for the last mile."
The Charity Run 10K also closed the book on the 2002 Men's USA Running
Circuit - a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA Championships from 5K
to the marathon. Before the race, Dan Browne, the 2001 USARC Grand Prix
co-champion, had already secured the overall USARC GP title worth $6000, but
the last two grand prix prize money positions ($4000 and $2500) were
finalized in Mobile as Jim Jurcevich and Meb Keflezighi held their #2 and #3
positions as no one displaced them at the Circuit finale. 54 U.S. men scored
points in the 2002 USARC with $217,300 paid out in prize money.
Food World Senior Bowl Charity Run 10K: USA Men's Championship, Mobile, AL, Saturday, November 2, 2002
1) Ryan Kirkpatrick, CO 28:28 $7500
2) Chad Johnson, OR 28:29 $5000
3) Dave Davis, OR 28:31 $3500
4) Phillimon Hanneck, OR 28:32 $2500
5) Rod DeHaven, WI 28:32 $1500
6) Nick Rogers, OR 28:33 $1000
7) Nolan Swanson, OR 28:33 $800
8) Brian Sell, MI 28:34 $700
9) Richie Brinker, MI 28:40 $600
10) Teren Jameson, UT 28:44 $500
11) Clint Wells, CO 28:53 $450
12) Brad Hauser, CA 29:04 $350
13) Scott Strand, AL 29:07 $300
14) Chris Graff, CA 29:09 $200
15) Henry Dennis, OH 29:15 $100
1) Elva Dryer, CO 32:28 $3500
2) Katie McGregor, MN 32:34 $2500
3) Libbie Hickman, CO 33:03 $1500
4) Sara Wells, MN 33:42 $1000
5) Emily Nay, UT 34:50 $750
6) Kristen Nicolini, MN 34:53 $500
7) Deeja Youngquist, NM 35:00 $250
For more results and race information, go to: http://www.seniorbowl.com
2002 USARC Final Standings: Men
MEN after nine races
1) Dan Browne, 27, Portland, OR 69 $6000
2) Jim Jurcevich, 26, Columbus, OH 46 $4000
3) Meb Keflezighi, 27, San Diego, CA 45 $2500
4) David Morris, 32, Albuquerque, NM 41
5) Kyle Baker, 26, Mason, MI 35
6) Abdi Abdirahman, 25, Tucson, AZ 31
7) Peter DeLaCerda, 30, Alamosa, CO 25
8) Brad Hauser, 25, Palo Alto, CA 24
9) Clint Wells, 27, Boulder, CO 21
10) Ryan Kirkpatrick, 24, Boulder, CO 20
The 2002 USARC, the eighth edition for the men and seventh for the women,
offered over $340,000 in championship prize money plus a $25,000 grand prix
purse. Per USARC race, the first ten U.S. runners earned points (15 for
first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1) with a final
$12,500 grand prix purse for the top three men and women point scorers
overall. Circuit points were doubled at the Twin Cities Marathon.
2002 USA Road Champions:
Meb Keflezighi 42:28 Gate River Run 15K, Jacksonville, FL, March 9
Tim Broe 22:26 NYRR 8000, New York, NY, April 6
David Morris 1:17:15 Fifth Third River Bank 25K, Grand Rapids, MI, May 11
Peter DeLaCerda 1:05:57 UMKC Hospital Hill HM, Kansas City, MO, June 1
Meb Keflezighi 32:36 Quad-City Times Bix 7, Davenport, IA, July 20
Dan Browne 59:21 New Haven 20K, CT, September 2
Meb Keflezighi 13:45 CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K, Providence, RI, September 15
Dan Browne 2:11:35 Twin Cities Marathon, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Sept 29
Ryan Kirkpatrick 28:28 Food World Senior Bowl Charity Run 10K, Mobile, AL,Nov 2
November 2, 2002:
Athletics: Kenyans Gang Up On Adcocks in Athens:
The Athens Classic Marathon course is one of the toughest in the world, but the organisers have got just the man for the job. Kenneth Cheruyiot fell and broke his arm after just 10 kilometres in the Rotterdam marathon earlier this year. Despite the pain, and the fact that he had to hold his right arm up on his chest for the remaining 30 kilometres, Cheruyiot from Kenya finished second in 2.09.43.
Combined with a personal best 2.07.18 for another second place in Rotterdam in 2001, and victory there the previous year, Cheruyiot looks the ideal bet to beat the long-standing course record of 2.11.07, set by Britain's Bill Adcocks in 1969. Added to which, the Kenyan has several training partners and a pacemaker, Ngadi Salacho from neighbouring Tanzania to help him.
"This course is the toughest I've ever seen," said Cheruyiot on Saturday morning. "If the course was flat, we'd try for 62 minutes at halfway, but I think we'll try for 65 minutes. We'll sit down tonight and discuss tactics, but we want to run as a group and improve the time, but the record has stood for a long time".
This is the 20th Athens Classic Marathon, but with the Olympics just two years away, the organisers with the help of sponsors Alpha Bank, one of Greece's biggest companies are building the event into a race worthy of the name. For this is the original marathon course, from the village of Marathon - where a small Athenian army beat a huge Persian invading force in 490BC - to the marble Panathenaikon Stadium, the venue for the inaugural modern Olympic Games in 1896.
The same course will be used in two years' time. Cheruyiot is up to speed on marathon history as well. "Athens was the beginning for the marathon, it all started here in 1896, that's why they call it the marathon. I want to be back here in 2004".
November 1, 2002:
Athletics: Nick Rogers to Defend USA 10K Title at Food World Senior Bowl Charity Run:
Top U.S. Field; USA Running Circuit Finale; $25,000 Championship Purse
MOBILE, Ala. - (October 31, 2002) - For the USA Men's 10K Championship hosted
by the Food World Senior Bowl Charity Run on Saturday, November 2, America's
best including four Olympians and six U.S. road champions are expected to
compete on the streets of Mobile. The men's field, led by a trio of 2000 U.S.
Olympians - Nick Rogers, Brad Hauser and Rod DeHaven, will also vie over a
$25,000 Championship prize purse with $7500 for the national champion.
Rogers, 27, a Team USA California athlete, is the defending USA 10K champion
after winning last year's Charity Run in a course record 28:18.
The race will also feature the last three USA 10K road champs: Rogers, Scott
Strand, who won the 2000 10K title here and 1999 national champion Phillimon
Hanneck. Other elite men include David Morris, the 2002 USA 25K national
champion and former American record holder in the marathon; the 2001 USA 25K
champion Chad Johnson; the 1998 Charity Run champion Andre Williams and the
2002 USA 20K national runner-up Kyle Baker.
"With the Charity Run once again serving as the national 10K championship,
the elite field represents the very best of American distance running," said
Charity Run race director Vic Knight. "When you combine the excellent weather
forecast that we have for Saturday with the quality and depth of this year's
field and our flat course we should see not only a very exciting race, but
one that could easily feature many record-breaking performances."
Saturday's race time forecast includes temperatures in the low 50s and sunny
The championship race is also the ninth and final stop on the 2002 Men's USA
Running Circuit - a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA Championships
from 5K to the marathon and thus, key Circuit points will also be at stake.
Dan Browne has already claimed the overall USARC Grand Prix title worth
$6000, but the final two grand prix prize money positions ($4000 and $2500)
will be determined in Mobile. Top performances by David Morris and Kyle Baker
will earn them a piece of the USARC Grand Prix purse.
The women's field will be led by 2000 U.S. Olympian and Team USA California
athlete Elva Dryer, two-time defending Charity Run women's champion; fellow
2000 Olympic teammate and three-time USA 10K champ Libbie Hickman and 2002
seven mile national runner-up and Team USA Minnesota's Katie McGregor.
The Charity Run offers $25,000 in USA Championship prize money ($7500, $5000,
$3500, $2500, $1500, $1000, $800, $700, $600, $500, $450, $350, $300, $200
and $100) and $10,000 in Open Women's money ($3500, $2500, $1500, $1000,
$750, $500 and $250). In addition, there is a $5000 bonus for a course
The Charity Run, which has distributed over $2 million to area charities
since its inception in 1989, also served as the site of the men's 10K
national championship in 2000, the men's and women's championship in 2001 and
will continue to serve as the men's national championship through 2004.
Over the years, the Charity Run has earned a reputation as one of the
nation's premier running events, annually featuring top U.S. Olympic and
nationally-ranked American distance runners and over 4,000 participants in
its 10K and One-Mile Fun Run races.
The Charity Run is also part of the successful Association Athlete
Development Program (AADP) which is administered by USATF Men's LDR
Committee. Its purpose is to assist upcoming distance runners from local
The fast, flat loop course winds its way through historic downtown Mobile
and, as in past years, PRs are likely to be set. For more information,
contact the Senior Bowl at 251-438-2276 or access the race's website at
November 1, 2002:
Athletics: "Bin There, Done That!":
Sonja Oberem is one of the most successful and elegant marathon runners in Europe. Her success in winning last year's ATHEN'S CLASSIC MARATHON was evident, but the elegance was not, since due to a monsoon rain, she wore a black plastic bag - known as a bin bag or trash bag - for much of the route.
She's hoping for a repeat win on Sunday, without the repeat weather. And the omens on that score are good, with a forecast of 10-12 degrees centigrade for the 08.30 start in the village of Marathon, rising to the high-teens for the finish in the marble Panathenaikon Stadium, built in central Athens for the inaugural Modern Olympics in 1896.
The course will be used again for the Olympics of 2004, hence the 'Classic' title, but it was something of a surprise to see Oberem here this year, since she won bronze in the European Championships marathon just two months ago, and even turned out in the Berlin Marathon five weeks ago, though that was in the guise of a German TV commentator. Even stopping for interviews en route, she still ran 2hr 40min.
"I recovered really well after the Europeans," said Oberem at today's launch press conference, "and Berlin was just like a long Sunday run for me. That's why I decided to come back. It is the classic course, and the whole atmosphere is a particular attraction. As for the weather, we're professionals nowadays, you have to take what comes, but I think it's going to be better than last year".
Oberem began her competitive career as a triathlete, winning two world junior and two European senior titles, but since switching to the marathon in the mid-90s, she has racked up top ten places in the Olympics and world championships, and many of the top city races, such as Boston, New York and London. "I still include cycling in my training, but not swimming," she said. Except last year in Athens.
November 1, 2002:
Triathlon: Deep menıs field to battle for 2002 Ironman Florida crown:
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla.-A deep field featuring three Ironman champions will battle it out on for the 2002 Ironman Florida menıs title.
The event, which takes place on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Panama City Beach, will feature almost forty pro men from around the world.
Leading the charge are 2000 Ironman Florida champion Jamie Cleveland (Canada), 2000 Ironman California champion Chris Legh (Australia) and 2002 Ironman Korea champion Raynard Tissink (South Africa).
Another in a long line of impressive Canadian triathletes, Cleveland won his first Ironman title of his career in November of 2000 by winning Ironman Florida with an overall time of 8:37:58.
The 30-year-old Cleveland also finished fourth at the inaugural Ironman Wisconsin triathlon held in September.
Legh is fresh off of a second-place finish at Ironman Wisconsin, where he posted an overall time of eight hours, 51 minutes and 46 seconds, five minutes slower than champion Chris Lieto.
Legh claimed his first-ever Ironman title at Ironman California triathlon in 2000. The Aussie standout led for the bulk of the inaugural event before coasting home almost 16 minute ahead of the second-place finisher.
Legh has also registered a pair of top-ten finishes at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, as well as four top-three Ironman finishes in his career.
Tissink claimed the first Ironman title of his career at Ironman Korea in August, posting an overall time of eight hours, 50 minutes and six seconds.
The 30-year-old South African has had much success over the past two seasons at the Ironman distance, placing second at Ironman South Africa in 2001 (8:37:30), third at Ironman Malaysia in 2001 (8:56:09) and a strong fourth at Ironman Brazil this past May (8:23:11). His fourth-place finish at Brazil was bettered only by Ironman standouts Lothar Leder, Eduardo Sturla and Spencer Smith.
A trio of international athletes are also expected to be in the mix at the 2002 event.
Jason Shortis (Australia), Matt Stephens (Australia) and Glen Gore (South Africa) have all posted impressive results at the Ironman distance in 2002.
Shortis, 32, has had an impressive triathlon career, posting eight top-five finishes in Ironman events around the world. One of a number of triathlon standouts from Australia, Shortis will be gunning for the first Ironman title of his career at Ironman Florida.
Shortis finished second at Ironman Malaysia in January (8:24:42), second at Ironman Japan (9:10:16) and Ironman Australia (8:41:58) in 2001 and was third at the Australia event in 2002, posting a time of 8:29:34.
The 31-year-old Stephens has also posted some impressive Ironman finishes, including a career best second-place finish at Ironman Korea back in August. Stephens has posted five top-ten Ironman finishes in his career, including a third-place finish at Ironman Australia in 2000 (8:41:10).
Gore, 33, has three top-five finishes including a career best second-place at Ironman Malaysia (8:54:32) back in 2000. Gore was fourth at Malaysia (8:34:53) back in January and fifth at the same event in 2001.
A pair of U.S. athletes, Peter Kotland (Spartanburg, S.C.) and James Bonney (Austin, Texas) are also expected to challenge for the Ironman Florida title.
Kotland has been a staple at Ironman North America events, posting five top-ten finishes over the past three years.
The 29-year-old finished a career-best third at the Ironman California triathlon held back in 2000 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Kotland also posted a fourth-place overall finish at the 2000 Ironman Florida triathlon.
Most recently, he posted a fifth-place finish at the inaugural Ironman Wisconsin triathlon held in September of 2002 in Madison, Wisc.
Bonney has had a strong season in 2002, finishing fifth at Ironman New Zealand and winning the Buffalo Springs Half-Ironman back in June.
Depth is evident throughout the 2002 Ironman Florida menıs field, as no less than 15 athletes in the field have posted top-10 Ironman finishes in their careers.
"Our field keeps improving every year here," said Ironman Florida Race Director Shelley Bramblett. "We are looking forward to a great race."
For more information on Ironman Florida, log onto www.ironmanflorida.com.