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Radcliffe Wins, Goucher Logs Fastest US Debut at NYC

Goucher 3rd as fastest American woman ever at NYC Marathon; 4 Americans in men’s top 10

NEW
YORK – World record holder Paula Radcliffe won her third ING New York
City Marathon as 2007 World Outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist Kara
Goucher turned in a history-making American performance in third Sunday
morning. 2006 champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil won his
second men’s title as four American men placed in the top 10 on a
sunny, cool and windy day.

Great Britain’s Radcliffe moved to 3-0 in the five-borough race, pulling away from Irina Petrova of Russia in the 20th
mile to win the women’s title in 2:23:56. At age 40, Petrova broke the
world record for masters in finishing second in 2:25:43. Goucher was
third in 2:25:53.

Born in Queens, Goucher and
her family moved to Minnesota when she was three, after her father was
killed by a drunk driver. On Sunday, her performance set three
milestones. It was the fastest marathon debut ever by an American
woman, beating Deena Kastor’s 2:26:58 run in placing seventh at New
York in 2001; it was the fastest time ever by an American at the ING
New York City Marathon; and it marked the first time in 14 years that
an American woman placed in the top three in New York. Anne Marie Letko
was third in 1994 in 2:30:19 to mark the last American presence on the
podium in New York, prior to Sunday.

Radcliffe from the gun

Radcliffe
led from the gun, taking the brunt of the 15mph-plus wind on the
Varrazano Narrows bridge as Goucher, Tune and Wami fell in behind her.
Goucher temporarily moved into the lead at each early water stop,
including at about 10km, 10 miles and 20km. After dropping her bottle
at the first water stop, Goucher ensured she was clear of the field at
each subsequent station.

Radcliffe paced the
leaders through the half-way point in 1:13:23 as the lead pack whittled
to Radcliffe, 2007 runner-up Gete Wami of Ethiopia, Goucher, 2008
Boston Marathon champion DireTune of Ethiopia and Petrova. The thinning
of the field corresponded directly to Radcliffe dropping the pace from
5:30 mile splits to dropping a 5:16 in the 17th mile, passed in 1:34:46.

The 19th
mile saw more casualties as Wami fell off the pace, in fifth, and
Goucher dropped back to fourth, following a 5:20 mile by Radcliffe.
After 20 miles, Goucher passed Tune to move into third, 6 seconds
behind Radcliffe and Petrova. That’s as close as anyone would get to
Radcliffe.

In mile 21, Radcliffe dropped Petrova with a 5:18 mile, then cleared away any doubt with a 5:12 mile over the 22nd
mile, leaving her 18 seconds up no Petrova. Goucher was 17 seconds in
back of Petrova, starting an effort to move to the silver position. At
24 miles, Goucher was just 8 seconds behind Petrova and at 25 miles
that gap was 6 seconds, but Petrova was able to re-gather herself as
the finish neared. Goucher later said she was experiencing cramping and
stomach upset in the late stages

Also performing well among American women was Katie McGregor, who was 10th in a personal best 2:31:14.

Dos Santos takes late victory

Allowing
2007 NYC runner-up Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco to lead through much of
the last stages of the race, Dos Santos bided his time before passing
Goumri as the race entered Central Park, going on to win handily. His
time of 2:08:43 was well ahead of Goumri in 2:09:43, with Kenyan Daniel
Rono third in 2:11:22.

American men made a splash
in the first mile as five Americans, including Josh Rohatinsky, led the
field. After the international pack then took over pack duties,
two-time American Olympian Abdi Abdirahman broke way from the pack to
lead at close roughly the 6-mile mark before the pack swallowed him
back up.

At the finish at Tavern on the Green,
Abdirahman was the top American, placing sixth in 2:14:17, with fellow
Americans Rohatinsky seventh in 2:14:23, Jason Lehmkuhle eighth in
2:14:30, and Bolota Asmerom tenth in 2:16:37. It was the most American
men to place in the top 10 in New York since 1982, when Alberto
Salazar’s victory in 2:09:25 led five Americans in the top 10.

For complete results from the ING New York City Marathon, visit www.nyrr.org


Athlete quotes

KARA GOUCHER:
“It was interesting. It was really fun. I know I can do a lot better. I
had a few things go wrong. I had some stomach issues and some cramping
issues. As bad as I felt the last five miles, it was awesome. I was
happy that Paula ran. I like to run against the best. I want to be the
best. I knew it would be a more aggressive race since she was running,
which scared me a little bit. She ran fantastic. She hammered us with
about 8 miles to go, and I caved. My plan was to kind of do what I saw
Gete [Wami] do last year, and that is to tuck behind whoever was
leading and to gut it out as much as possible. I got broken with maybe
8 miles to go. Then I had to kind of recoup. I had to tell myself, it’s
10k, you can do this. So I secured third place. The last two miles was
a struggle. I had problems getting my fluids down and my stomach was
really upset.

“We thought I could come here and
under the right conditions I could be competitive and maybe win. I
always said this won’t be my last marathon. When I hit 23 miles, I
thought, ‘wow, this is the farthest I’ve ever run.’ It was a learning
experience. I’m going to be much more prepared last time.”


On how her coach, Alberto Salazar, trained her:
“He just told me he believes I was built to do this. He trained me the
way he trained himself. He wrote me a little note today and put it in
my backpack. It said ‘Have faith.’ He had me as prepared as possible. I
knew I could handle the hills, I knew I could handle the course, I knew
I could handle the pace.

“People were yelling ‘The
Queens girl!’ I wanted to stop and give them all a hug. People were
chanting my name the whole time. That’s why, even though I was
cramping, I loved it. It was so awesome.

“The
marathon here just holds a lot of importance to me. Because I was born
here, because this is where my dad lived, this is where he died. This
is where my coach became who he was as an athlete. I’m sad that (the
race) is over. It was awesome.

“There’s a part of me that’s so excited because I felt so bad, but I ran pretty good.”

PAULA RADCLIFFE: “I’m really pleased. It was my goal to come here and win it for the third time.”


On her 5:12 mile split:
“I think it was always my goal to run negative splits. The last six
miles I really started to pick it up a little bit. Once we turned to
come back along Central Park, it was more sheltered and it all came
together.

“There was a stage when I looked around
and I was comfortable with it coming down to a close finish or being
able to up the tempo a little bit.

“It was
really windy on that [Verrazano Narrows] bridge. I looked back and
everybody was behind me in single family. I thought ‘come on, we’ve got
the whole road!’ “

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