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Mutisya unchallenged as men’s masters champion

August 22, 2009
PARKERSBURG — Running for a cause.

That was part of the mission on Saturday for Kenyan Gideon Mutisya during the News and Sentinel Half Marathon.

At 42, Mutisya went unchallenged in winning the $1,000 top prize for being the masters champion and defending his title from 2008.

With a winning effort of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 57 seconds, Mutisya easily finished ahead of runner-up John Piggott, a 44-year-old from Williamsburg, Va., who picked up $500 after completing the course in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 28 seconds. The one-two finish in the men’s masters division was the same as last year.

Mutisya knows and understands the ups and downs of the Parkersburg course quite well considering this was the fifth time he’s covered the 13.1 miles.

“I’m not happy with that. I went slow time,” Mutisya said of his near 1:20 final effort. “I don’t know why.

“But, I think I was really tired because of the bus. I was very tired.”

Mutisya, whose nearest competitor was actually grand masters victor Thomas Dever, 52, of Terre Haute, Ind., with a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 20 seconds, said he had a six-hour bus ride to get into town on Friday.

“I was good at the beginning, but then I reached a point where I started feeling my body getting tired. I tried to move, but it wasn’t moving,” said Mutisya, who plans on sharing his money.

“I have some kids back home which I am supporting through the school. It’s not my kids, but I’m just helping them.”

While Mutisya, who said he will be back to race for a three-peat in 2010, won for a second straight year, so did Dever.

Dever earned $1,000 for the grand masters title as he once again edged out Murrysville, Pa., resident John Brockenbrough for top honors in the 50-plus age group. It was actually the second straight year the two combatants finished one-two.

Brockenbrough, who was behind Dever by 1 minute, 15 seconds in 2008, turned in an effort of 1 hour, 17 minutes and 59 seconds.

Steven Crane, a 27-year-old from Arlington, Va., completed the course in 1:08:41 to finish ahead of Craig Leon and Josh Ordway for top United States runners. Crane once again was awarded $1,000.

Leon, 24 and from Athens (Ohio), posted a 1:09:11 to best the 29-year-old Ordway from Kettering (Ohio) by 31 ticks. Second place prize money for the top U.S. finisher was $500 and third place was $300.

The Norma Phillips Award, a $250 bonus for the first finisher from West Virginia, went to Charleston’s Jason Pyles after he finished in 1:14:58. Pyles said he was using this event as sort of a tune-up for next month’s Charleston distance run of 15 miles in his hometown.

“I want to let it rip,” Pyles said of the event, which could be the last one Charleston has. “This was a great way to get a hard workout in.”

Macksburg resident Brian Hesson earned $200 for finishing as the first Wood or Washington County runner.

Marietta’s John Hull won the River City Runners Club Award.


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