International Men Return to UPMC Health System/City of Pittsburgh Marathon On May 6

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from UPMC Health System

    PITTSBURGH, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The UPMC Health System/City of
 Pittsburgh Marathon, which served as the U.S. Men's Marathon Championship and
 Olympic Trials for the past four years, welcomes back international men at the
 17th edition of the race on May 6.  Men from Algeria, Kenya, Russia and the
 United States are expected to start the race.
     "The last year we had an international men's race was 1996," said Race
 Director Larry Grollman.  "Two Venezuelans, Ruben Maza and Carlos Tarazona,
 battled each other to the finish.  Maza got the win by one second, but both
 men qualified for their Olympic team.  It was a very dramatic race."
     The elite field includes the following athletes (listed by career best
 times):
 
     Gilbert Rutto, 35, Kenya (2:10:01): Rutto is a name out of Pittsburgh's
 past.  He has only run the marathon here once, back in 1994.  It was early in
 his marathon career, and he ran a modest 2:17:42, good enough for 5th place.
 But big things were ahead for Rutto.  By 1996, he got his personal best time
 down to 2:10:01.  He went on to finish in the top 7 at the Berlin Marathon
 three times, and he finished twice in the top 10 at Boston.  Over the course
 of his career, he has broken 2:13 seven times, but he has never won a
 marathon.  Many thought he had retired; he hasn't run a marathon since 1999.
 But he has been racing and preparing in his native Kenya, and had a strong
 cross-country season earlier this year.
 
     Nicholas Kioko, 29, Kenya (2:11:39): A veteran of 16 career marathons,
 Kioko has raced the 26.2-mile distance throughout the world.  He has notched
 victories at Mombasa, Montreal, Hong Kong, and Seville, and recorded his
 personal best time of 2:11:39 in Houston in 1996 where he finished 6th.  Kioko
 was also selected for one Kenyan national team, competing in the Commonwealth
 Games marathon in Victoria, Canada in 1994.  He finished sixth.  In Kioko's
 most recent marathons he was seventh in Barcelona (2:18:33) and Long Beach
 (2:17:39) last year.  He is currently residing in Arizona where he takes
 classes at a junior college.
 
     Dan Held, 34, Waukesha, Wisc. (2:13:50): A veteran of two U.S. Olympic
 Trials Marathons who has twice competed at Pittsburgh, Held has evolved from a
 marathoner to an ultramarathoner.  He was honored by UltraRunning Magazine as
 their 2000 runner of the year for taking fourth place at his first IAU World
 100-K Championships and winning the U.S. 50-Mile Trail Championship.  After
 receiving the award, he said, "I am honored.  I really enjoy the ultra races.
 I am not sure what 2001 will bring.  I am running only a couple ultras again
 and there is no guarantee of success; given the length of the races, anything
 can happen."  In his two efforts at Pittsburgh, Held finished third in 1997
 (2:16:52) and dropped out in 1999.  He set his personal best at Boston in
 1994.
 
     Dennis Simonaitis, 38, Draper, Utah (2:14:14): Simonaitis will be joining
 his wife of six years, Michelle, who is also a top competitor at Pittsburgh
 this year.  Dennis is her coach. A former track runner -- he finished 16th at
 the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials at 10,000m -- he set his marathon personal best
 in 1989 at the Twin Cities Marathon.  Simonaitis has won the Desert News (Salt
 Lake City) Marathon twice.  He is a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon
 qualifier (1996 & 2000) and finished 29th at Pittsburgh in the latter year.
 In his most recent marathon in Austin last February, he placed 11th in
 2:19:42.
 
     Mikhail Khobotov, 27, Russia (2:15:13): Back at home in Abakan, Siberia
 where Khobotov lives, his next-door neighbor is two-time Olympic gold
 medallist, Svetlana Masterkova.  Khobotov has done some pretty good running of
 his own.  He's won four marathons since 1999 in Omsk (Russia/twice),
 Echternach (Luxemburg) and Orleans (France).  He's never run a marathon in the
 United States.
 
     Reuben Chesang, 38, Kenya (2:16:15): Chesang has really had two running
 careers.  In the early 1990s, he was a top track runner, doing his best
 running at 800m (1:46.1), 1500m (3:36.70) and the mile (3:58.7).  He was the
 Commonwealth Games gold medallist at 1500m in 1994, and earned the silver
 medal at the African Championships the following year in the same event.  He
 was still running world-class times at 1500m as late as 1997, and acted as a
 pacemaker on the track in 1998.  Chesang didn't run his first marathon until
 1999, at 37 years old.  He's now run eight.  In 1999, he ran four marathons,
 getting his personal best down to 2:16:15.  He also ran four last year,
 finishing third at Hartford (2:20:01) and fourth at Providence (2:16:19).
 
     Gennady Temnikov, 39, Russia (2:16:59 recent): Temnikov, who has a fast
 1:01:37 half-marathon to his credit, was second at the Marathon of Reggio
 Emilia in Italy in 1999 and third at Nantes in France in 2000.
 
     John Mwai, 30, Kenya (2:17:00): Mwai came to the sport of distance running
 late; he's only been running seriously for about five years.  He's only run
 one marathon (Hartford, 2000), but he was the winner and came within one
 second of the course record!  Mwai has excelled at shorter distances, too.  He
 won Philadelphia's Broad Street Run 10-Mile in 1997 and has run 13:29 for 5-K.
 
     Randy Ashley, 35, Brevard, N.C. (2:19:24): A two-time U.S. Olympic Trials
 qualifier, Ashley has run at Pittsburgh twice.  He was fourth in 1999
 (2:19:24) and 49th at the hot and humid Olympic Trials last year.  He has been
 preparing for this race at altitude in Brevard with his training partner, Bill
 Baldwin, who is also running in Pittsburgh.  Ashley was the Naples
 Half-Marathon champion in 1999 (1:05:10).
 
     Craig Lawson, 30, Sandy, Utah (2:19:50): A four-time All-American at
 Brigham Young, Lawson finished 13th at last year's U.S. Olympic Trials
 Marathon in Pittsburgh.  Still relatively new to the marathon, he's only run
 the distance five times.  Lawson won two marathons last year in Salt Lake City
 and Moline.  He set his personal best at St. George (Utah) in 1998.  Given
 that he has run 28:53.96 for 10,000m, he's certainly got more potential in the
 marathon.  Holding a masters degree in accountancy, he works for Deloitte &
 Touche.
 
     Bill Baldwin, 28, Brevard, N.C. (2:28:01): Baldwin is a marathoner looking
 for a breakthrough.  He first tried the distance when he ran Pittsburgh in
 1999, but was unable to finish.  He's run two marathons since in Chicago,
 where he set his personal best, and at Niagara Falls, Canada.  He trains on
 the trails in Brevard with Randy Ashley, who is also competing.  Easy to spot
 with his thick goatee, he once killed a rattlesnake on a training run.
 
     Tayeb Kalloud, Algeria (debut): Like many Algerians, Tayeb got his start
 in professional racing in France.  In 1998, he won the Tours 10-K, and he runs
 for a French club, AS Saint-Junien.  He finished third in this year's French
 Cross Country Championships. Although he's never run a marathon, Kalloud has
 run 44:42 for 15-K and 1:01:03 for 20-K which points to a 2:15 marathon.
 
     The men's race winner will receive at least $7,500 and $10,000 if he
 breaks two hours and 14 minutes.  The remaining open finishers will receive
 $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively.  The top U.S.
 finishers -- who can also win open prize money -- will receive $2,500, $2,000,
 $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.  Therefore, a U.S. winner running under
 2:35:00 will receive $12,500.
     The course record is 2:10:24 by John Kagwe in 1996.
 
     CONTACT:  David Monti, Media Consultant, 212-752-2666 or
 dmonti@dellepro.com; or Susan Manko, Media Coordinator, 412-624-2607 or
 mankosm@msx.upmc.edu, both for UPMC Health System.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X50058545
 
 

SOURCE UPMC Health System
    PITTSBURGH, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The UPMC Health System/City of
 Pittsburgh Marathon, which served as the U.S. Men's Marathon Championship and
 Olympic Trials for the past four years, welcomes back international men at the
 17th edition of the race on May 6.  Men from Algeria, Kenya, Russia and the
 United States are expected to start the race.
     "The last year we had an international men's race was 1996," said Race
 Director Larry Grollman.  "Two Venezuelans, Ruben Maza and Carlos Tarazona,
 battled each other to the finish.  Maza got the win by one second, but both
 men qualified for their Olympic team.  It was a very dramatic race."
     The elite field includes the following athletes (listed by career best
 times):
 
     Gilbert Rutto, 35, Kenya (2:10:01): Rutto is a name out of Pittsburgh's
 past.  He has only run the marathon here once, back in 1994.  It was early in
 his marathon career, and he ran a modest 2:17:42, good enough for 5th place.
 But big things were ahead for Rutto.  By 1996, he got his personal best time
 down to 2:10:01.  He went on to finish in the top 7 at the Berlin Marathon
 three times, and he finished twice in the top 10 at Boston.  Over the course
 of his career, he has broken 2:13 seven times, but he has never won a
 marathon.  Many thought he had retired; he hasn't run a marathon since 1999.
 But he has been racing and preparing in his native Kenya, and had a strong
 cross-country season earlier this year.
 
     Nicholas Kioko, 29, Kenya (2:11:39): A veteran of 16 career marathons,
 Kioko has raced the 26.2-mile distance throughout the world.  He has notched
 victories at Mombasa, Montreal, Hong Kong, and Seville, and recorded his
 personal best time of 2:11:39 in Houston in 1996 where he finished 6th.  Kioko
 was also selected for one Kenyan national team, competing in the Commonwealth
 Games marathon in Victoria, Canada in 1994.  He finished sixth.  In Kioko's
 most recent marathons he was seventh in Barcelona (2:18:33) and Long Beach
 (2:17:39) last year.  He is currently residing in Arizona where he takes
 classes at a junior college.
 
     Dan Held, 34, Waukesha, Wisc. (2:13:50): A veteran of two U.S. Olympic
 Trials Marathons who has twice competed at Pittsburgh, Held has evolved from a
 marathoner to an ultramarathoner.  He was honored by UltraRunning Magazine as
 their 2000 runner of the year for taking fourth place at his first IAU World
 100-K Championships and winning the U.S. 50-Mile Trail Championship.  After
 receiving the award, he said, "I am honored.  I really enjoy the ultra races.
 I am not sure what 2001 will bring.  I am running only a couple ultras again
 and there is no guarantee of success; given the length of the races, anything
 can happen."  In his two efforts at Pittsburgh, Held finished third in 1997
 (2:16:52) and dropped out in 1999.  He set his personal best at Boston in
 1994.
 
     Dennis Simonaitis, 38, Draper, Utah (2:14:14): Simonaitis will be joining
 his wife of six years, Michelle, who is also a top competitor at Pittsburgh
 this year.  Dennis is her coach. A former track runner -- he finished 16th at
 the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials at 10,000m -- he set his marathon personal best
 in 1989 at the Twin Cities Marathon.  Simonaitis has won the Desert News (Salt
 Lake City) Marathon twice.  He is a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon
 qualifier (1996 & 2000) and finished 29th at Pittsburgh in the latter year.
 In his most recent marathon in Austin last February, he placed 11th in
 2:19:42.
 
     Mikhail Khobotov, 27, Russia (2:15:13): Back at home in Abakan, Siberia
 where Khobotov lives, his next-door neighbor is two-time Olympic gold
 medallist, Svetlana Masterkova.  Khobotov has done some pretty good running of
 his own.  He's won four marathons since 1999 in Omsk (Russia/twice),
 Echternach (Luxemburg) and Orleans (France).  He's never run a marathon in the
 United States.
 
     Reuben Chesang, 38, Kenya (2:16:15): Chesang has really had two running
 careers.  In the early 1990s, he was a top track runner, doing his best
 running at 800m (1:46.1), 1500m (3:36.70) and the mile (3:58.7).  He was the
 Commonwealth Games gold medallist at 1500m in 1994, and earned the silver
 medal at the African Championships the following year in the same event.  He
 was still running world-class times at 1500m as late as 1997, and acted as a
 pacemaker on the track in 1998.  Chesang didn't run his first marathon until
 1999, at 37 years old.  He's now run eight.  In 1999, he ran four marathons,
 getting his personal best down to 2:16:15.  He also ran four last year,
 finishing third at Hartford (2:20:01) and fourth at Providence (2:16:19).
 
     Gennady Temnikov, 39, Russia (2:16:59 recent): Temnikov, who has a fast
 1:01:37 half-marathon to his credit, was second at the Marathon of Reggio
 Emilia in Italy in 1999 and third at Nantes in France in 2000.
 
     John Mwai, 30, Kenya (2:17:00): Mwai came to the sport of distance running
 late; he's only been running seriously for about five years.  He's only run
 one marathon (Hartford, 2000), but he was the winner and came within one
 second of the course record!  Mwai has excelled at shorter distances, too.  He
 won Philadelphia's Broad Street Run 10-Mile in 1997 and has run 13:29 for 5-K.
 
     Randy Ashley, 35, Brevard, N.C. (2:19:24): A two-time U.S. Olympic Trials
 qualifier, Ashley has run at Pittsburgh twice.  He was fourth in 1999
 (2:19:24) and 49th at the hot and humid Olympic Trials last year.  He has been
 preparing for this race at altitude in Brevard with his training partner, Bill
 Baldwin, who is also running in Pittsburgh.  Ashley was the Naples
 Half-Marathon champion in 1999 (1:05:10).
 
     Craig Lawson, 30, Sandy, Utah (2:19:50): A four-time All-American at
 Brigham Young, Lawson finished 13th at last year's U.S. Olympic Trials
 Marathon in Pittsburgh.  Still relatively new to the marathon, he's only run
 the distance five times.  Lawson won two marathons last year in Salt Lake City
 and Moline.  He set his personal best at St. George (Utah) in 1998.  Given
 that he has run 28:53.96 for 10,000m, he's certainly got more potential in the
 marathon.  Holding a masters degree in accountancy, he works for Deloitte &
 Touche.
 
     Bill Baldwin, 28, Brevard, N.C. (2:28:01): Baldwin is a marathoner looking
 for a breakthrough.  He first tried the distance when he ran Pittsburgh in
 1999, but was unable to finish.  He's run two marathons since in Chicago,
 where he set his personal best, and at Niagara Falls, Canada.  He trains on
 the trails in Brevard with Randy Ashley, who is also competing.  Easy to spot
 with his thick goatee, he once killed a rattlesnake on a training run.
 
     Tayeb Kalloud, Algeria (debut): Like many Algerians, Tayeb got his start
 in professional racing in France.  In 1998, he won the Tours 10-K, and he runs
 for a French club, AS Saint-Junien.  He finished third in this year's French
 Cross Country Championships. Although he's never run a marathon, Kalloud has
 run 44:42 for 15-K and 1:01:03 for 20-K which points to a 2:15 marathon.
 
     The men's race winner will receive at least $7,500 and $10,000 if he
 breaks two hours and 14 minutes.  The remaining open finishers will receive
 $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively.  The top U.S.
 finishers -- who can also win open prize money -- will receive $2,500, $2,000,
 $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.  Therefore, a U.S. winner running under
 2:35:00 will receive $12,500.
     The course record is 2:10:24 by John Kagwe in 1996.
 
     CONTACT:  David Monti, Media Consultant, 212-752-2666 or
 dmonti@dellepro.com; or Susan Manko, Media Coordinator, 412-624-2607 or
 mankosm@msx.upmc.edu, both for UPMC Health System.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X50058545
 
 SOURCE  UPMC Health System