CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon saw participation increase nearly 200 percent since Rite Aid became the title sponsor - from 5,200 participants in 2003 to 15,631 in this year's 33rd annual running. Both the half and full marathon sold out for the first time in the marathon's 33-year history.
"Excellent weather and our runner-friendly course played a major part in increasing participation," said Executive Race Director Jack Staph. "We're happy that our marathon helps shine a positive light on the City of Cleveland. This was an amazing day for our city."
A record 15,631 runners participated in the 2010 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K events, including a 5K on Saturday that drew 794 runners, the We Run This City Program that had 550 school-aged participants from Cleveland Municipal School District, and another 550-plus children who participated in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Red Nose Children's Run on Saturday.
Brandon Bauer, a 23-year-old runner from Ashland, Ohio, was the first to cross the marathon finish line with a time of 2:27:10. In dry and sunny conditions, he led the way with more than a half mile between him and the nearest group of runners for the majority of the race.
"I trained hard and tried to stay focused on keeping my pace," Bauer said. "It was a good course and I enjoyed running it."
Sergey Kostylen, 40, of Russia, came in second with a time of 2:30:12, followed by 32-year-old Shaun Evans of Middle Grove, NY, at 2:32:41.
Twenty-four-year-old Nicole Camp of Sterling, Ohio, won the women's marathon in her first full marathon attempt, finishing in 2:55:38. Orrville, Ohio resident Beth Woodward, 34, finished second in 2:56:39. She was followed by Ashley Anderson, 25, of Denver, CO, who finished in 2:57:10.
Nineteen-year-old Ian Adams from Mt. Berry, GA, finished first in the men's half marathon, finishing in 1:12:56. Parma, Ohio, resident Aaron Apathy, 24, took second in 1:14:29, followed by 19-year-old Michael Sexton, also of Mt. Berry, GA, who finished in 1:16:12.
An Ohio runner led the women's half marathon, with 32-year-old Mandy Yates of Medina crossing the finish line with a time of 1:20:30. She was followed by Kathryn Long of Louisville, KY, who crossed in 1:21:40. Courtney Cooper of Mt. Berry, GA, finished third with a time of 1:23:32.
The half marathon victories were particularly significant as the winners had more competition than ever in the event's history with approximately 5,552 participants.
Common with the 10K race, elite international runners dominated the top spots for the men's and women's events. Kenyan runners Philip Lagat and Firehiwot Dado won the men's and women's races, respectively and each took home a $1,500 purse.
Lagat, 27, finished in 29:05. Dado, 26, won the women's race with a time of 33;08. Lagat was followed by Kenyans Festus Langat, 25, who finished in 29:08 and Aron Rono, 27, who finished in 29:12 in the men's race.
Yuliya Archipova, 25, of Kirgizstan placed second in the women's 10K with a time of 33:50. She was followed by 31-year-old Benita Willis of Australia, who finished in 34:19.
The 2010 race featured 13 neighborhood parties, 12 bands and 14 music stations along the course. The Tremont neighborhood, a new addition to this year's course was packed with parties, cheering sections, choirs and other festivities. The finish line area, which featured live bands, a beer garden, massage tents and a meet and greet with Cleveland Brown's first round draft pick, Joe Haden – was overflowing with family and friends of runners enjoying a spot on the grass in Mall B and Mall C.
Official race results of all finishing runners are available on the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon website at www.clevelandmarathon.com by clicking on the 2010 Race Results Button.