Wins U.S. 5-K Title
David Monti (Race Results Weekly)
1 June 2002 – Albany, New York - Prevailing in a battle of speed versus strength, Marla Runyan won her first U.S. road racing title at today’s Freihofer’s Run for Women beating marathon ace, Colleen De Reuck, by nine seconds.
Runyan, the first legally blind athlete to ever compete in an Olympic Games, responded well to De Reuck’s mid-race surges, and took the lead for good late in the fourth kilometer. De Reuck knew that she couldn’t let the race come down to a sprint finish.
“I knew that was my only chance to work her through that second mile,” said De Reuck who set a pending U.S. record for 12 km on the road last month.
By the half-way point of the race, Runyan and De Reuck were clear of all their rivals as Cheri Kenah had dropped back to join the second pack. They passed the half-way mark on the course in 7:17, and ran side-by-side through 3-K in 9:24. Runyan then stepped up the pace and took the lead. Passing through 4-K in 12:24 she was on pace to break the course record of 15:24, given the downhill nature if the last kilometer.
“I was hoping I was close (to the record),” said Runyan. “I was just dying a little bit. I couldn’t hold the speed that I thought I could. My legs were burning pretty bad.”
In the dead-straight final kilometer on Madison Avenue, Runyan wasn’t threatened, getting over the line in 15:27. De Reuck maintained her position to take second in 15:36, while Sylvia Mosqueda won a thrilling duel with former Freihofer’s champion, Libbie Hickman, to get third in 15:58. Hickman was given the same time.
“I was glad it was Sylvia,” commented Hickman who was competing in her first race since having a daughter last November. “She’s tough and has got a good sprint. This was a pretty difficult race to put myself in for the first one. I love Freihofer’s.”
Defending champion Collette Liss finished fifth while 1996 Olympian, Joan Nesbit Made took the race, and U.S., masters title in 16:54.
Top Results (more detailed results in Monday’s RRW):
1. Marla Runyan, 33, Eugene, OR, 15:27
2. Colleen De Reuck, 38, Boulder, CO, 15:36
3. Sylvia Mosqueda, 36, Los Angeles, CA, 15:58
4. Libbie Hickman, 37, Fort Collins, CO, 15:58
5. Collette Liss, 29, Indianapolis, IN, 16:02
6. Amy Rudolph, 28, Providence, RI, 16:02
7. Carrie Tollefson, 25, Minneapolis, MN, 16:08
8. Cheri Kenah, 31, Reston, VA, 16:10
9. Nicole Jefferson, 26, Aravada, CO, 16:15
10. Priscilla Hein, 25, Indianapolis, IN, 16:17
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