Oyugi, Scherf Win 37th America’s Finest City Half Marathon
In the men’s race, course record holder Nelson Oyugi of Kenya defended his 2013 title, winning in 1 hour, 5 minutes and 17 seconds.
Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014
SAN DIEGO - (August 17, 2014) – More than 7,000 elite and recreational runners from 45 states and 15 countries participated in the 37th edition of the America’s Finest City Half Marathon and AFC 5K held Sunday under sunny skies and seasonal temperatures that ranged from the low to mid-70s.
In the men’s race, course record holder Nelson Oyugi of Kenya defended his 2013 title, winning in 1 hour, 5 minutes and 17 seconds. Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Alemayehu, the 2012 champion and last year’s third place finisher, came in second in 1:05:40. Kenya’s Christopher Kipyego, a newly minted masters division runner, rounded out the all-African podium, finishing in 1:05:50,
All three men distanced themselves from the rest of the field by mile 2, running together much of the way with Kipyego occasionally settling in 6 seconds back. By mile 10 it was a two-man show – Oyugi and Alemayehu slugging it out though the 12-mile mark as they ran up the race’s notorious, mile- long 6th Street hill on the edge of historic Balboa Park.
“I decided that I had better make my move at the top of the hill,” said Oyugi who pulled away from Alemayehu for a decisive win. “It was warm so I ran a comfortable pace for most of the race. I felt strong so I knew I could finish strong.” “I ran a good pace but I had no energy to go after him when he pulled away,” said Alemayehu, who finished third in 2013 (1:02::06). Kipyego’s effort was just 30 seconds shy of the masters course record of 1:05:20 set by Mexico’s Antonio Villanueva in 1982.
In the women’s race Sarah Kiptoo of Kenya led through the first 7 miles before getting caught by Lindsey Scherf of Chapel Hill, NC and eventually by Brianne Nelson of Golden Colo. Scherf, a four-time All American at Harvard, prevailed, winning in 1:14:33. Nelson finished second (1:14:46) and Kiptoo, third (1:15:11).
“I knew that Sarah likes to go out fast,” said Scherf.“ I also knew that the half-marathon has a lot of real estate so I just ran for effort, took the lead and extended it. Running in North Carolina’s hot, humid weather makes everything else look easy.”
“My plan was to run an even pace and push the second half, “ said Nelson. “I didn’t have that extra gear to close in on Lindsey, even though I had her in sight most of the way.”
The scenic 13.1-mile America’s Finest City Half Marathon (or “AFC Half” as it is often referred to) started at 7 a.m. at the historic Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, ran along San Diego Bay, through downtown San Diego and finished near the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. The 3.1-mile AFC 5K began at 6:45 a.m. in Balboa Park, starting and finishing at the Half Marathon finish line near the Hall of Champions.
Competitors in the half-marathon vied for $13,700 in prize money and bonuses. A post-race party and awards ceremony followed in Balboa Park.
The AFC Half event weekend benefited the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and other local charities. During its 37-year history the AFC Half has raised over $3.4 million for non-profit organizations.
37th America's Finest City Half Marathon
San Diego, CA, Sunday, August 17, 2014
1) Nelson Oyugi (KEN), 1:05:17, $2000*
2) Tesfaye Alemayehu (ETH), 1:05:40, $1000
3) Christopher Kipyego (KEN), 1:05:50 1100**
4) Kelly Wiebe (USA / CA), 1:05:57, $300
5) Carlos Trujillo (USA/ ID), 1:06:11
*1500 plus $500 Previous Overall Winner bonus
** $750 plus $350 first masters (40+) bonus
1) Lindsey Scherf (USA / NC), 1:14:33, 1500
2) Brianne Nelson (USA / CO) 1:14:46, 1000
3) Sarah Kiptoo (KEN) 1:15:11 $750
4) Natasha LaBeaud-Anzures (USA / CA), 1:15:58, $850#
5) Kimberly Doerksen (USA / CA), 1:18:18, $300
# $500 plus $350 First Female San Diego County Finisher bonus
Complete results at: www.afchalf.com