Posted by: Joe English | October 6, 2008

Racing: Cabada takes men’s USA Marathon title, Goucher wins women’s 10 mile championship

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Fernando Cabada (Boulder, Colo.) topped a competitive men’s field to win the USA Men’s Marathon Championship in 2:16:32 at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Sunday in Minneapolis, Minn. The weekend’s events also included the USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship where 2008 Olympian and 2007 World Outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist Kara Goucher (Portland, Ore.) cruised to her first USA road title in 53:16.

The weather turned out to be a major factor in the race for Cabada and the field as light showers turned to a driving rain at eight miles to combine with light winds and 48 degree temperatures that quickly chilled the air in the middle miles of the race.

Nearly 30 men passed the first mile in a leisurely 5:30 when Chris Lundstrom (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Justin Young (Boulder, Colo.) took charge and pulled the field through the next two miles in 5:20 and 4:50.

At four miles Simon Sawe (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Celedonio Rodriguez (Flagstaff, Ariz.) joined the leaders to share the pacing duties in an attempt to keep the pace honest. However, the worsening conditions caused the leaders to maintain caution.

At 14 miles, Cabada, the American Record holder at 25 km moved to the front of the lead pack where he waited to make his move which came on a short uphill just before 18 miles. By 19 miles he had opened a 60 meter lead which would grow to 1:07 by the finish despite being on his own to battle the wind and rain.

Behind Cabada, Rodriguez and Sawe looked to be on their own to fight for second and third but Mike Morgan (Rochester Hills, Mich.) overtook the pair just past the 21 mile mark and although he seemed to have momentum on his side, Ed Torres (Boulder, Colo.) and Matt Gabrielson (Minneapolis, Minn.) were on the move, steadily closing the gap to eventually pass Morgan during the last mile.

Gabrielson won the duel for second, running 2:17:38 to finish 16 seconds ahead of Torres. Morgan held on to finish fourth in 2:17:54 and Mike Sayenko (Bellevue, Wash.) moved up to finish fifth in 2:19:18. Additionally, the championship offered a one-day qualifying opportunity for the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon with the top-ten men meeting the qualifying standards.

Cabada and Gabrielson also earned berths on the U.S. team for the 2009 IAAF World Championships marathon in Berlin, Germany next August.

Women’s 10 Mile Championship

With a 7:05 a.m. start, the Medtronic TC 10 Mile field managed to stay ahead of the weather that would plague the marathon, providing more favorable conditions for the USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship with an invitation-only women’s wave start.

As anticipated Goucher and hometown favorite Katie McGregor (St. Louis Park, Minn.) made their way to the front early. Going through an aid station near three miles, Goucher went to take water and unexpectedly found herself alone in the lead but maintained the tempo to carry on to a 1:48 win and a new course record.

McGregor easily took second in 55:04 and Kelly Liljeblad (Niwot, Colo.) rounded out the top-three in 57:06.

The championship offered a total of $25,000 in prize money with Goucher earning $10,000 for the win.

Masters Marathon

For the 18th consecutive year, the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon hosted the USA Masters Marathon Championship where Dennis Simonaitis (Draper, Utah) won his second masters marathon title in 2:27:23 over Carl Rundell (Birmingham, Mich.) by 44 seconds. Defending champion Tracy Lokken (Marquette, Mich.) finished third in 2:30:24.

The women’s masters division was won by Susan Empey (Mercer Island, Wash.) in 2:50:05 with Meghan Arbogast (Corvallis, Ore.) taking second in 2:51:34 and Doreen McCourbrie (Malvern, Pa.), taking third in 2:53:29.

Source: USATF
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