WORLD CLASS COMPETITORS READY FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO MARATHON
Media Coordinator, The San Francisco Marathon(TM)
Win-It!z Sports Public Relations
(650) 948-0618 – Direct
scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2009, will draw more than 20,000 runners
entered in the event’s marathon, two accompanying half marathons, and 5K
run. The elite fields set to toe the starting line will include, perhaps,
the strongest women’s contingent in the 32 years a major marathon has run
in San Francisco.
Yoko Shibui (Japan), Tera Moody (USA), and Fiona Docherty (New Zealand)
are members of their respective national teams that will compete at the
upcoming IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany. All
three athletes will run in The San Francisco Marathon (SFM) events as a
tune-up for the marathon on August 23 at the World Championships. Moody
and Docherty are entered in SFM’s 2nd Half Marathon (which covers the
second half of the city-wide marathon course). Shibui, however, has opted
for the full marathon race that includes a memorable out-and-back tour
over the Golden Gate Bridge.
As the all-time seventh fastest female marathoner in the world, the
30-year-old Shibui is a national celebrity in Japan. Her lightening-swift
personal best of 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 41 seconds at the 26.2-mile
distance, which she recorded at the 2004 Berlin Marathon, set a Japanese
national record (since eclipsed by Mizuki Noguchi’s 2:19:12 in 2005).
“The San Francisco Marathon will serve as a final long run in my
preparations for the World Championships, and as a time trial to see
where I really am at sea level,” said Shibui who has been training at
7,000 feet elevation in Flagstaff, Ariz. for the past two months under
the wings of her coach, Shigeharu Watanabe. “San Francisco is a beautiful
city and I’m really looking forward to spending some time there. Running
a marathon will be a great way to do some sight-seeing. It will be nice
to get ‘genki’ (good-spirited) power from my fellow Japanese people in
Shibui’s credentials make her a candidate to eclipse SFM’s current
women’s course record of 2:43:41 set by Yolanda Flamino in 2007. Shibui,
however, said she plans on “cruising” the hilly marathon course in the
2:45 to 2:55 range along with her Japanese teammate and training partner,
Ikuyo Yamashita, who owns a 2:39:07 personal best. Even so, a training
effort could put either woman on the winner’s podium.
Last summer, Shibui competed at the Olympic Games in Beijing where she
placed 17th at 10,000 meters. Already this year, she has won the Osaka
Ladies Marathon in 2:23:42 and helped her Japanese national team to
victory at the highly competitive Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden
Tera Moody and Fiona Docherty headline the deepest-ever female elite
field for SFM’s 2nd Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Although the event’s 1st
Half Marathon is popular among many runners primarily because of its
scenic tour of San Francisco’s world-famous bay waterfront and the Golden
Gate Bridge, elite runners prefer the flatter and faster 2nd Half
Moody, 28, who resides in Colorado Springs, Colo. earned her place on the
U.S. team headed to the IAAF World Championships by placing fifth at the
2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:33:54, a personal record.
Although Moody missed making the U.S. Olympic team by a mere two places
at that race, she wasn’t disappointed by the outcome.
“The opportunity to run in the World Championships is a dream come true,”
said Moody. “I’ve been dreaming about it pretty much every day since the
Marathon Trials. I feel it’s the next best thing to the Olympics.”
Moody is focusing on the World Championships marathon in Berlin by
turning in 100-mile training weeks in Colorado’s altitude.
“I like to run a half marathon about a month out from my marathons, get
in a really solid effort, and see what I need to work on,” said Moody,
whose half marathon personal record is 1:13:04. “San Francisco fits in
perfectly and I really love the city. Right now I’m feeling really strong
and I’m not worrying too much about my speed.”
New Zealand’s Docherty is also preparing for Berlin in Colorado (Boulder)
where she is coached by former marathon world record holder Steve Jones.
Docherty, 33, is “transitioning to the marathon” (her own words)
following years as an accomplished triathlete and duathlete. Last
January, the Kiwi ran a debut “non-triathlon” effort at the Austin 3M
Half Marathon in 1:15:56 followed by a 2:42:11 at the Ottawa Marathon in
Others to watch in the 2nd Half Marathon women’s field: Christy Beckman
(32, San Diego), a former NCAA Division I All-American at the University
of California, Irvine (1/2 marathon PR: 1:16:04); and Jessica Minty (25,
Blowing Rock, N.C.), a recent grad of Colby College (Maine) who is making
her half marathon debut after scoring a 5K PR of 15:56 on the track last
2nd Half Marathon entrant Sylvia Mosqueda, 43, of Los Angeles is
virtually unbeatable in the masters (age 40 and over) division. Her
1:14:26 half marathon at Huntington Beach in 2007 ranks her #3 all-time
on the U.S. women’s masters list. Plus, Mosqueda owns the fastest
lifetime half marathon best (1:09:52) in the women’s field.
Three former SFM champions are returning to compete.
Chad Worthen (35, Sacramento) won last year’s marathon contest, easily
topping all men in 2:31:52. This year, Worthen will try his hand in the
2nd Half Marathon where he’ll vie against a number of younger competitors
with excellent marks. They include Ethiopia’s Abiyot Endale, 23, whose
1:05:27 half marathon best is the class of the field.
Andrew Cook (Flower Mound, Tex.) and former Santa Rosa High School and
Stanford University track and cross country standout Julia Mallon (nee
Stamps) are entered in the marathon, looking to add more SFM individual
champion trophies to their shelves. Cook, 28, a 2008 U.S. Olympic
Marathon Trials qualifier with a 2:19:47 personal best, scored
back-to-back men’s victories at SFM in 2006 and 2007. Cook’s primary
challenger could come from Allen Wagner (28, Huntingdon Valley, Penn.)
who was 25th overall at the ’08 Trials in 2:18:25.
Mallon, 30, will be seeking her second trip to the awards stand at SFM
after winning the women’s race in 2006. The talented athlete who now
resides in Miami, Fla. with her husband, Jon. Mallon is returning to good
form just six months after giving birth to Ashlin Rose, the couple’s
first child. She captured second place at the rugged Big Sur
International Marathon last April. Her marathon best is 2:46:18, which
she turned in at the 2003 Chicago Marathon, a time that qualified her for
the U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials the following year.
“I look forward to the joy of racing The San Francisco Marathon yet
another year. The race has morphed into a real family affair,” said
Mallon. Her husband, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law who has just
returned from the war in Afghanistan are running in the 1st Half
Marathon. Mallon’s infant daughter and parents will be waiting for her at
the finish line.
The 2009 San Francisco Marathon, on Sunday, July 26, starts and finishes
on the Embarcadero at Mission Street, near Justin Herman Plaza and the
Ferry Building. The official starting time is 5:30 a.m. Top marathon
runners are expected to reach the finish line at Embarcadero and Folsom
at approximately 7:50 a.m. Top runners in the 2nd Half Marathon, which
starts in Golden Gate Park, will reach the same finish line at about 9:20
REGISTRATION DETAILS and more information about The San Francisco
Marathon(TM), and all of the marathon’s events, are available online at
MEDIA ACCREDITATION: Contact Mark Winitz, Media Coordinator, at
650-948-0618, 650-799-3319 (mobile), or preferably via e-mail at
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About The San Francisco Marathon(TM)
The San Francisco Marathon enjoys success as the premier summertime
marathon in the U.S. San Francisco’s blend of natural beauty, big city
charm, and perfect mid-summer running temperatures, make marathon running
in San Francisco a truly magical experience. Race events include a full
marathon, two half marathons (choose a half), 5K, and Progressive
Marathon. The event’s unique Cause to Run program has raised over $10
million for local non-profit organizations since 2003. The San Francisco
Marathon’s Youth Run4Fun running program allows San Francisco’s
underprivileged youth, ages 7 to 17, to train for, and participate in,
the marathon’s events without cost.
The 2009 San Francisco Marathon is sponsored by CytoSport, Gu Energy Gel,
and Organs ‘R’ Us. Our partners include Committed 2 Community, The San
Francisco Marathon Training Program, Youth Run4Fun, The Big Rumble, and
the San Francisco Amateur Radio Club.