Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kenyan Mark Chepses wins Richmond Marathon

Mark Chepses, 34, of Kenya took first place at the 2010 SunTrust Richmond Marathon, his first marathon title in the United States, with a time of 2:19:13. Also, 30-year-old Tezeta Dengersa of Turkey was the first female to cross the finish line, clocking in at 2:49:10.

In the third year of the McDonald’s Half Marathon, two new course records were set. Kenya’s George Towett, 26, won the men’s division in 1:03:44, breaking the course record of 1:06:02 set in 2009 by Nicolas Kurgat. Richmond’s own Maria Elena Calle, 35, claimed her first McDonald’s Half Marathon title in front of thousands of cheering fans with a record-breaking time of 1:16:05.

Daniel Kipkoech, 23, of Kenya won the men’s division of the HCA Virginia 8k (23:07), while 28-year-old Samia Akbar of Herndon, VA, captured first place in the women’s division (27:00).

An all-time record of 16,106 runners participated in this weekend’s events. The 26.2-mile SunTrust Richmond Marathon drew in 4,952 runners, while the McDonald’s Half Marathon had 6,605 and the HCA Virginia 8k had 4,549 participants.

Among the SunTrust Richmond Marathon and McDonald’s Half Marathon participants were nearly 150 participants in the Runner’s World Challenge. The Runner’s World Challenge offers an exclusive opportunity to train with the Runner’s World Magazine. The training plan was created by Runner’s World’s Chief Running Office, Bart Yasso. This marks the second consecutive year that Runner’s World has chosen Richmond, VA, as a site for the challenge.

In addition to a record-breaking number of participants, spectators also crowded the streets cheering and handing out water and snacks to the runners. There were 28 bands and musical performers lining the courses as well as 26 official cheering stations and four SunTrust/NBC 12 Party Zones.

The 2011 SunTrust Richmond Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, November 12.