Hussein Wins Record Fifth USA Masters Championship, Piers Wins Third
St. Paul, Minn. – October 5, 2014 – First-time marathoner Tyler Pennel of Blowing Rock, N.C. and last year’s women’s third-place finisher Esther Erb of Richmond,Va. earned victories at the 33rd annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon today. Pennel clocked 2:13:32 on the course that starts in downtown Minneapolis and finishes on the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul. Erb ran 2:34:01.
The victorious pair earned USA Marathon Championship titles with the wins and pocketed $25,000 each for their efforts.
Pennel, who was content to be part of a seven member lead pack at the half-way mark, was building a lead by mile 21 that stretched to a comfortable 29 seconds by the finish line. Jared Ward of Provo, Utah finished second in 2:14:00, while Scott Smith of Oklahoma City was third in 2:14:40.
“I wanted to relax until 20 miles,” Pennel said. “Scott went first, then I did. I was scary to run the last few miles alone. Miles 23 and 24 were all out. I was happy when I got to Summit, because those earlier hills really hurt.”
Erb survived a sleepless night, and mid-race stop, and the mid-race lead built up by Heather Lieberg of Helena, Mont. and Brianne Nelson of Golden, Colo. for the win. Down 42 seconds to the duo at the half-way mat, Erb closed to within 10 seconds at the 24 mile mark.
“I couldn’t sleep last night I was so excited,” Erb admitted. “I was up for about three hours in the middle of the night thinking about the race. I was trailing them for a really long time. I had to stop at mile 20 for the bathroom and I made up time pretty quickly.”
Lieberg finished runner-up in 2:34:09. Brainne Neslon was third in 2:34:24.
In the USA Masters Marathon Championships held in conjunction with the event, 49-year-old Mbarak Hussein of Albuquerque won a record-setting fifth title in 2:22:27. At the finish line, he learned his wife Liana had gone into labor with their first child. In women’s masters competition, Sheri Piers, 43, defended her title in 2:42:46.
In wheelchair competition, defending champions Josh George of Champaign, Ill. and Susannah Scaroni of Urbana, Ill. defended their titles. George clocked 1:39:16; Scaroni finished in 1:57:21.
In the Medtronic TC 10 Mile held earlier in the day, Jon Peterson of Minneapolis defended the men’s title in 48:12, while Allison Mendez of Austin, Texas won the women’s race in 56:27. Twin Cites In Motion regrets that the course this year was short due to an error with the lead vehicles. Missing the turn to 11th Avenue from West River Parkway cut 0.14 miles off the 10 mile course. Runners rejoined the correct course when they turned on 13th Avenue.
8867 runners finished the marathon, a new event record. A new field record was also set at the companion Medtronic TC 10 Mile with 8574 runners finishing the race. All told, more than 24,441 people participated in Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend events which included a 5K run/walk, 10K, and family events.
“We were blessed with a lovely day for running, and we were so pleased to provide the opportunity for so many people to achieve such a major life accomplishment,” Twin Cities In Motion Executive Director Virginia Brophy Achman said. “The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is a community treasure, and we couldn’t have done it today without the over 5,000 volunteers and 300,000 spectators who made the day what it is.”
About Twin Cities In Motion (TCM): Twin Cities In Motion organizes the region’s premier running events, including the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, a Top 10 U.S. Marathon. With a mission of promoting healthy lifestyles through running events and community outreach, TCM contributes a portion of every race dollar to local youth and professional athletes and helps raise more than $800,000 annually with its charity partners. For more information, visit us at tcmevents.org, or find us on Facebook and on Twitter @tcmarathon.