Third Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon
BOSTON, October 12, 2003--Among the activity surrounding Fenway Park--home of the Boston Red Sox--this weekend was the immensely popular B.A.A. Half Marathon, presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund. A field of 4,095 entrants (with 3,125 starters and 2996 finishers, including 10 in the push rim wheelchair division, ran 13.1-miles of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace park system in Boston and Brookline. The race started and finished in the Back Bay Fens at Roberto Clemente Field, and included the Riverway, Jamaicaway, Arborway and Franklin Park, including ½-mile through the Franklin Park Zoo. Conditions during the race were low 50-degrees with misting/light drizzle.
Kenya’s Laban Kipkemboi, 25, who placed 11th at this year’s Boston Marathon, won today’s Half Marathon in a time of one hour, three minutes, four seconds, beating a deep field of international competitors and taking home his first place share ($5,000) of the $25,000 prize purse. Kipkemboi beat countrymen John Kagwe (two-time New York City Marathon champion) by 11 seconds and third place finisher Timothy Cherigat, also of Kenya, by 59 seconds. All three of these runners used the half marathon as preparation for next month’s New York City Marathon.
Marie Davenport, 28, of Ireland and who resides in Chester, Connecticut, was the women’s champion in 1:10:57. The former Providence College star is an Irish Olympian, but this was her debut at the half marathon distance. Davenport bolted from the pack early in the race, extending her lead by the six mile point. Lioudmila Kortchaguina, 32, a Russian citizen living in Toronto, Canada, was runner-up in 1:11:27. Kortchaguina made an attempt to close the 10-second gap between her and the front-running Davenport at mile 10, but Davenport put her away over the ensuing mile and cruised in with what was essentially a victory lap around the Fens. Davenport also won $5,000 for her effort. South African Theresa Du Toit, 30, who resides in Morris Plains, NJ, finished third in 1:14:34.
Tony Nogueira, 35, of Glen Ridge, New Jersey was the men’s push rim wheelchair division champion in 57:43; Nineteen year-old Laurie Stephens, of Wenham, Mass. finished first in the women’s push rim wheelchair division. Course records were set in all for major divisions (open men and women; wheelchair men and women).
In addition, Eddy Hellebuyck, 42, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, ran 1:05:12, and just missed a new American masters record for the half marathon distance. (John Tuttle, of Georgia, ran 1:05:11 at Indy Life in 1999.) Hellebuyck set an American masters record at the marathon distance last weekend when he was the overall champion at Twin Cities in Minnesota (2:12:47). This year, he has established masters division records at the following distances: 5K, 10K, 15K, 10-mile, and marathon. Hellebuyck was the top American at this year’s Boston Marathon, finishing tenth.
Included in the field were Red Sox wives Dawn Timlin (wife of Mike), who placed 1001st (1:50:55); and Kathryn Nixon (wife of Trot) who placed 1002nd (1:50:56). Both were running as part of the Dana-Farber team of runners, who competed and fundraised to fight cancer. More than 400 Dana-Farber Runners were among the field.
The race also benefits the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.
- Jack Fleming