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Ko, DiPietro repeat titles from last year’s race

August 22, 2009
PARKERSBURG—Baltimore native Phobe Ko was so impressed with the way the News and Sentinel Half Marathon was run during her first visit 12 months ago, that the 26-year runner elected to add it to her list of races for this year.

After winning the Road Runners Club of America’s American title for the second year in a row, she’s glad she did.

“This is such a great race,” said Ko, who crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 17 minutes and 43 seconds. “I told Chip (Allman) last year that I hoped he would include me as one of his elites this year and he did.”

A decision that both runner and race organizer are happy they made.

Ko captured her first American title last year when she covered the 13.1-mile race in 1 hour, 19 minutes and 6 seconds, edging out Becki Michael for the crown by 1 minute and 44 seconds. The margin of victory wouldn’t be as close in 2009.

Taking advantage of running in a pack with eventual overall champion Hellen Jemutai, Ko cruised to a 69- second win over 34-year old Sarah Flament, who captured the top American honors at the Ogden 20K earlier this year.

“I knew if I could stay with the lead pack that I would have a good chance to win,” explained Ko. “I was able to stay with them until the five mile mark and that really helped today.”

Finishing third was Becki (Michael) Ordway in a time of 1:22:17. In fact it was a day for thirds for the Ordway family as Josh, Becki’s husband of less than a month, placed third in the American men’s race.

Winning her first Masters title was 45-year old Albina Gallymova. The Russian, who had run the race one other time in 1993, beat out 44-year old Tammy Slusser—the 2005 winner—by more than five minutes, covering the distance in 1 hour, 20 minutes and 14 seconds.

“This is a very good race,” said Gallymova. “I don’t remember a lot from that first race, but I do remember how much the people cheered and they did that again today.”

Winning her second straight Grand Masters race, and breaking her own course record, was 51-year old Lee DiPietro from Ruxton, Maryland.

“I’ve enjoyed coming to Parkersburg over the years,” said DiPietro, who finished in a time of 1:25:39. “It was a little humid, but the water stops helped out a lot and the people here are always so friendly and helpful.”

Second place in the division went to Vincent, Ohio, resident Jocelyne Majoy (1:33:20), who also took home the top prize in the Wood/Washington County division.


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