Kogo, Nasukawa win Sports Authority Rock 'n' Roll Denver Marathon
Lemoncello, Aoyama half-marathon champions
Posted Monday, 24 September, 2012
DENVER - ( September 22, 2012) - The third Sports Authority Rock 'n' Roll Denver Marathon & ½ Marathon benefiting the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Denver Bike Tour transformed the streets of the Mile High City on Saturday morning. Participants started their race this morning in the summer and finished in the fall, thanks to the Autumn Equinox. Andrew Lemoncello of Scotland was first across the finish line in Civic Center Park, covering the 13.1 mile course in 1 hour, 6 minutes, 12 seconds, while Rui Aoyama of Japan was crowned the women's half-marathon champion in 1:14:35.
"I'm just happy to have done well, especially since this is my first race at altitude," said Lemoncello, 29, who returned to racing for the first time today since suffering a severe hamstring injury in 2011. "I was putting in some surges early on to see how the competition would respond. I put everything I had into the last hill and luckily I had enough of a break to feed off that and keep the lead. I love Denver - I'm still trying to persuade my wife to move here, it's really lovely."
Lemoncello and half-marathon runner-up Kenyon Neuman (1:06:28), split off from a pack of eight runners around mile 5. At mile 11, Lemoncello broke away and held the lead to the finish.
In the women's 13.1 mile race, Nuta Olaru, 42, originally from Romania and now a U.S. citizen, placed second for the third year in a row with her 1:15:00. Moeno Nakamura was the third female finisher, clocking 1:16:01.
"The women's race was strong," said Olaru. "When I started, I pushed hard the first 8 miles, but after that (Rui Aoyama) caught me and it was too late. I wanted to run faster, but it's ok. It's two weeks before I compete in the TriCities Marathon and then the U.S. Masters Championships so I feel ready for that."
Abraham Kogo of Kenya, 32, captured the marathon in 2:27:58 and Mizuho Nasukawa of Japan, also 32, finished unchallenged among the women in 2:37:05, a new State record. Local Matt Dewald, who took third place in 2:33:44, lead the opening miles with a one minute lead in front of the lead pack. At mile 16, Kogo caught Dewald, and made a decisive move to secure first place, which he maintained to the finish line.
Dave Scudamore, the 1997 USA Marathon champion, 42, finished runner-up in 2:32:58. Last year's winner, Chris Siemers helped pace the women's marathon third place finisher Paige Higgins (2:52:29) earlier in the race. Siemers, who last year broke the Colorado state marathon record here, ultimately fell back to fourth place, finishing in 2:36:10.
In addition to the notable line up of elite runners, the rest of the participants enjoyed live entertainment and the sounds of local bands playing every mile. The scenic race toured Denver's beautiful city parks and landmarks before an exciting finish line festival in Civic Center Park. Colorado crowd favorite Trevor Hall energized the post-race celebration as runners and fans gathered at the band stage in Civic Center Park.
Among the crowd of participants was a sea of runners who wore blue and raised more than $50,000 for the fight against prostate cancer through Athletes for a Cure, the fundraising and awareness program of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
For the first time, bicyclists of all skill levels took part in an unprecedented ride at the Rock 'n' Roll Denver Bike Tour including Denver Nuggets guard Corey Brewer. The inaugural event welcomed 750 cyclists along 24 miles of the marathon course prior to the start of the race, giving participants a unique opportunity to ride closed streets and enjoy the Rock 'n' Roll experience on two wheels. A two-person relay distance was also offered during the race.
3rd Sports Authority Rock 'n' Roll Denver Marathon
Denver, CO, Saturday, September 22, 2012
1) Abraham Kogo, 32, Kenya, 2:27:58, $1000
2) Dave Scudamore, 42, Denver, CO, 2:32:58, $500
3) Matt Dewald, 29, Denver, CO, 2:33:44, $250
1) Mizuho Nasukawa, 32, Japan, 2:37:05*, $1000
2) Nicole Chyr, 34, Englewood, CO, 2:51:24, $500
3) Paige Higgins, 30, Littleton, CO, 2:52:29, $250
*State record (previous record, 2:41:05, Masako Chiba (JPN), Nike ACG Boulder Backroads, 09/26/04)
3rd Sports Authority Rock 'n' Roll Denver 1/2 Marathon
1) Andrew Lemoncello, 29, Great Britain, 1:06:12, $1000
2) Kenyon Neuman, 25, Boulder, CO, 1:06:28, $500
3) Josh Eberly, 31, Gunnison, CO, 1:07:30, $250
1) Rui Aoyama, 23, Japan, 1:14:35, $1000
2) Nuta Olaru, 42, Romania, 1:15:00, $500
3) Moeno Nakamura, 22, Japan, 1:16:01, $250
Deeper results, photos and more at: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/Denver