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home > news > usa: west > autumn ray wins inaugural thelma & louise half marathon

Autumn Ray Wins Inaugural Thelma & Louise Half Marathon
More than 350 participants at new themed-event to benefit local women's shelter and girls' running program

Autumn Ray Wins Inaugural Thelma & Louise Half Marathon

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Running USA

By Faye Geiger
Posted Monday, 14 May, 2012

From Ryan Lamppa, Running USA

MOAB, Utah - (May 12, 2012) - Spectacular weather, gorgeous scenery and spirited celebration of the film Thelma & Louise made a memorable experience for the runners who completed the inaugural Thelma & Louise Half Marathon (left, Action Sports Images) on Saturday morning. Autumn Ray, 32, from Tucson, Arizona won the themed-13.1 mile road race by more than 8 minutes in 1 hour, 25 minutes and 10 seconds.

"It was an incredible day," said race director Ranna Bieschke, for whom the Thelma & Louise Half Marathon is the culmination of years of dreaming and preparation. Bieschke has been managing Moab Half Marathon's three annual races since 2002, and said that seeing the Thelma & Louise Half Marathon come to life was "even better than I imagined. Everything came together so beautifully."

More than 350 women and girls toed the start line, which was located near where the final scene of the 1991 Oscar-winning movie Thelma & Louise was filmed. Classic red rock scenery accompanied the runners as they descended to the finish at a western-themed venue, the Bar-M Chuckwagon. Runners got into the spirit of the movie by wearing race bibs personalized with their chosen alter ego "Thelma" or "Louise". The tribute was furthered with cameos by characters from the movie, including the Rastafarian road biker, the lascivious trucker and Thelma and Louise themselves, who escorted runners down the race course in the lead car, a 1967 convertible.

As with Moab's other events - Canyonlands Half Marathon, The Other Half and Winter Sun 10K - the Thelma & Louise Half Marathon was executed with the objectives of promoting healthy life choices and supporting worthy causes with an emphasis on green initiatives. Chief beneficiaries are Girls on the Run and Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center. The former is a program for 8-12-year-old girls that combines training for a 5K run with life-changing, confidence building lessons; Seekhaven provides shelter and resources to families in crisis and victims of violence in Moab.

Inaugural Thelma & Louise Half Marathon
Moab, UT, Saturday, May 12, 2012

1) Autumn Ray (AZ), 1:25:10
2) Megan Taylor (TX), 1:34:44
3) Jessica Walker (UT), 1:36:20

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