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5.18.08 - Ethiopian Elite Feyissa Wins Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon


Ethiopian Elite Feyissa Wins Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

Participation passes 10,000 mark for marathon, half marathon and 10K

CLEVELAND (May 18, 2008) – Retta Feyissa of Ethiopia won the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in 2:33:34 today.

Feyissa was on a 2:20:00 pace past mile 20.  In cool, damp conditions and with no other marathon runners within striking distance, he slowed and cruised to the finish. Second and third place in the marathon were taken by two Ohio master’s-age runners: James Beyer, 40, Dayton, with a time of 2:34:52; and Rob Juergens, 44, Avon Lake, in 2:35:43.   

The 10K race, which annually attracts elite international runners, was dominated by three Kenyans who raced side-by-side from start to finish. John Itati, 34, won the race with a time of 29:30. Second was Robert Letting, 21, in 29:32, and third was George Misoi, 24, finishing in 29:33. Misoi won Cleveland’s 10K last year.

The women’s 10K also was swept by elite runners from Kenya. Jane Murage won with a finishing time of 33:12. Second was Florence Jepkosgei, 24, in 33:21, and third was Evelyne Lagat, 28, in 33:33.

The women’s full marathon had national flavor. Donna Palisca, 30, from Norristown, Penn., won the race in 3:07:27. Second was Connie Gardner, 44, from Medina, in 3:09:26, and third was Jenni Culbertson, 23, Detroit, Mich., in 3:09:58.

The increasingly popular half marathon attracted almost half the participating runners. The top male finishers were three Ohio residents: Jake Dialesandro, 19, Ravenna, who won in 1:15:18; Grant Rotunda, 21, Stow, who was second with a time of 1:16:49; and Matthew Paullin, 26, Cleveland, who was third with a time of 1:17:02.

The top woman half marathon finisher was Tasha Wheatley, 22, Saltsburg, Penn., in 1:25:06; second was Liz Trapp, 23, Pickerington, in 1:25:33; and third was Mandy Yates, 30, Medina, in 1:26:24.

As of Sunday morning, more than 10,400 participants were registered for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K, though rain before and during the early part of the race may have kept some registrants from participating.  

Official race results of all finishing runners are available on the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Web site at www.clevelandmarathon.com.

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