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Results and Commentary: 2001 Women's Commentary

Nixon Becomes First-Ever Women’s Champ of B.A.A. Half Marathon

See 2001 Results - Click Here Sarah Nixon, 37, of Medfield, MA became the first woman ever to cross the break tape of the B.A.A. Half Marathon. Nixon ran tightly with B.A.A. Running Club member Cathi Campbell for the first seven miles of the 13.1-mile stretch before an adrenaline kick propelled her into the lead and to a 1:21:16 finish.

“Seeing the cheering crowd really pumped me up, and I just tried to hang on for as long as I could,” Nixon said. A member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute training team, Nixon said that the support of her teammates and friends along the route gave her the “incredible rush” she needed to cross the finish line first.

In what Nixon described as her ideal racing conditions--cool, drizzly autumn weather--she was able to maintain a 6:12 pace as she traversed the leafy roads lining the Emerald Necklace park system. Campbell, moving at a 6:14 pace, ran closely with Nixon for just over half of the course. “I have a ton of respect for Cathi,” said Nixon. “She is a really consistent runner.”

While Nixon may have backed off slightly on the uphill sections of the race route, such as the mile stretch leading up to Franklin Park, Campbell, a 2000 U.S. Marathon Trials participant, held a consistent pace. Both women were able to adjust well to the shifting terrain and landscape–which varied from a dirt path cut through a safari-like backdrop of zebras and giraffes, to a verdant roadway lining Jamaica Pond.

Nixon, who has competed in the Boston Marathon seven times, said that the B.A.A. Half Marathon course provides a flattering reflection of the City of Boston. “While the Boston Marathon ends in the City, this race really showcases some lovely parts of Boston,” she said.

In addition to being the first female champion of the B.A.A. Half Marathon, Nixon was also the first American woman to cross the finish at the 2001 Paris Marathon, where she established her personal best of 2:53:30. Nixon will compete next at the New York City Marathon this November.

Carly Graytock, 23, of the Boston Athletic Association was the second female finisher with her time of 1:21:35. A resident of Cambridge, MA, Graytock is currently training to run her first marathon. She has also excelled in shorter distance competitions, with a 10,000M personal record of 35:59.

The inaugural women’s race of the B.A.A. Half Marathon witnessed a field of top local running talent–an exhibition of the finest of what the greater Boston community has to offer, in both its athletes and its seasonal beauty.

- By Julia Beeson

B.A.A. Moment 2

1935 John A. Kelley

Born in West Medford, Massachusetts as one of ten children, Kelley ran track and cross-country at Arlington High School in Massachusetts. He did not finish his first Boston Marathon in 1928, but eventually competed in a record 61 Boston Marathons. A legend of the marathon, Kelley won the 1935 and 1945 runnings of the Boston Marathon. He finished in second place at Boston a record seven times. Between 1934 to 1950, he finished in the top five 15 times at Boston, consistently running in the 2:30s. He ran his last full marathon at Boston in 1992 at the age of 84, his 61st start and 58th finish there.