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1999 U.S. Men's Marathon Championships Pittsburgh, PA; Sunday, May 2, 8:30 a.m. EDT

Entry List and Athlete Head Shots

Race Photos

Pre-Race Notes: Good morning from Pittsburgh! My name is David Monti and I'm the editor of Race Results Weekly, the professional distance running results service. Thanks for joining us. I will provide a report every mile, so please be sure hit the "reload" button on your web browser every five minutes or so.

You can see a entry list and photos of the competitors at the link above. Please note the athletes who have scratched: #3 Ed Eyestone (flu), #5 Terrence Mahon (inadequate fitness), #7 Jeff Jacobs (calf injury), #12 Mark Plaatjes (injury), and #21 Scott Bagley (injury). Race photos will be available at the link above shortly after the race. Be sure to read Dave Kuehls story at Runner's World On-Line at the above link.

The weather here is beautiful. Skies are bright and sunny. The temperature is about 50F, and is expected to rise to 65F by the time the first athlete finishes. Unfortunately, the high for the day should reach 75F which may produce heat problems for citizen runners. The race is prepared with extra fluids and ice.

There is a lot of prize money on the line today. The winner is guaranteed a minimum of $25,000, but will earn $100,000 for sub-2:10:24 (open course record, John Kagwe, 1995) or $50,000 for sub-2:12:31 (U.S. course record, Keith Brantly, 1998). If the open course record is achieved, the prize money structure will be bumped up one place, so the sedond place finisher will earn $25,000, third $15,000, etc. That will not be the case if only the U.S. record is achieved. The prize money structure is as follows:

1st  $25,000       6th  $4,000     11th - 15th $500 for each runner to break 2:20:00
2nd   15,000       7th   3,000     $250 for each runner between 2:20:01 and 2:22:00
3rd   10,000       8th   2,500
4th    7,500       9th   2,000
5th    5,000      10th   1,000
There is also an international women's marathon with four invited athletes: Tatiana Titova (RUS), Nadezhda Gusselshchikova (RUS), Cheryl Collins Gatons (USA/PA) and Tammy Slusser (USA/PA). They will compete for top prize of $5000 with $2500 for second, $1500 for third, $1000 for fourth and $500 for fifth. Because Gatons and Slusser are local athletes, there is a lot of interest in their performances. Gatons has run 2:39:37 and Slusser 2:37:14. Slusser won at Pittsburgh in 1994 when she set her personal best time.

Starting Line: We have about nine minutes to the start. There are just under 3000 starters for the marathon plus over 280 4-person teams in the marathon relay. Add in the runners in the companion 5-K and the event has over 5000 participants.

Remember, the top 3 men will get automatic berths on the U.S. World Championships team to compete in Seville, Spain in August.

The race is off!

MILE 1: 5:03. Pacemaker Peter De La Cerda is leading the race. He will pace the runners half-way through the course and step off. Right now he is about 10m ahead of the lead pack. At last night's technical meeting, the competitors agreed to let the rabbit take it out at 5:03 pace, and he hit the mark perfectly.

MILE 2: 10:15 (5:12). The leaders have joined De La Cerda in a large, dense pack. Right behind De La Cerda is Brad Kirk, Jon Hume, Dan Held, William Moore, Steve Swift, Marco Ochoa, Eddy Hellebuyck and just about everybody else. De La Cerda sensed a reluctance by the pack to go for the U.S. record pace, and he backed off. They are now running at a 2:14 pace.

MILE 3: 15:21 (5:06). De La Cerda now leads Craig Lawson, Eddy Hellebuyck (running for the first time as an American citizen), Jon Hume, John Sence, Eric Morrison, and Scott Larson. Dan Held has fallen off the pace a bit and is running with the second pack.

MILE 4: 20:23 (5:02). The lead pack has picked up the pace a bit, and they are now running on a 2:13:30 marathon pace. Behind De La Cerda are now Hellebuyck, Alfredo Vigueras, Sence, Hume, Lawson, Todd Reeser, Morrison, Carlos Paradelo and Scott Larson. Everyone looks pretty relaxed at this poiint.

MILE 5: 25:28 (5:05). Just as the five mile mark was reached, De La Cerda and Larson opened up a little gap on the field. Prior to that the pack was Larson, Jume, Hellebuyck, Reeser, Paradelo, Sence and Morrison. We'll see shortly if this break goes anywhere.

MILE 6: 30:22 (4:54). This is a downhill mile. Larson and De La Cerda have a 50m lead or more over Vigueras, Sence, Lawson, Reeser and Hellebuyck. Amazingly, Reeser is running with a broken bone in his leg. Larson looks strong now and is directly behind De La Cerda.

MILE 7: 35:22 (5:00). De La Cerda and Larson now have a 14 second lead over Hellebuyck, Sence, Vigueras, Swift, and Lawson (Craig not Jerry). Another 10 seconds back is Hume, Morrison and Paradelo. Larson is really laying it on the line here. In last year's race he ran 2:23 and left the finish line on crutches with blisters.

MILE 8: 40:19 (4:57). De La Cerda and Larson now have a 23 second lead over Hellebuyck, Sence, Vigueras, Swift, and Lawson (Craig not Jerry). They are on a 2:12:02 marathon pace. Larson came to Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago to come down from altitude (Boulder) and acclimate to the higher humidity. He's sweating profusely, but still looks good.

MILE 9: 45:19 (5:00). The situation on the course is mostly static, with De La Cerda and Larson still in the lead by 24 seconds over Hellebuyck, Sence, Vigueras, and Swift. Dan Held has dropped out. Another 15 seconds behind is Morrison, Hume and Paradelo. I'm not sure what happened to Lawson; we'll try to get an update.

MILE 10: 50:29 (5:10). De La Cerda and Larson are still out in front. The last mile was a bit slower. When they hit the 11 mile mark they will begin the biggest hill on the course, which climbs some 200 feet. The chase pack is the same and is 26 seconds behind. Lawson has fallen back to the third pack some 15 seconds behind. Last year's race hit the 10-mile at 49:53.

MILE 11: 55:35 (5:06). Larson and De La Cerda have widened their lead to 36 seconds over Hellebuyck, Sence, Vigueras, and Swift, who in turn are well in front of the third pack. They are now climbing the big hill on Forves Avenue and we'll know more about their condition shortly.

MILE 12: 1:00:42 (5:07). Larson has conquered the Forbes Avenue hill and looks great. He's still behind De La Cerda. His lead is growing, and he now has 48 seconds over Hellebuyck, Sence, Vigueras, and Swift. At mile 12 last year Brantly was at 59:56.

HALF-WAY: 1:06:29 (5:12). De La Cerda has done his job and is off the course. Larson is now a whopping 53 seconds up on Vigueras, Hellebuyck and Swift. Sence has fallen back just a bit.

MILE 14: 1:11:05 (05:11). Larson is in command now. Vigueras has pulled away from Hellebuyck and Swift in a bid to catch Larson. Sence has fallen back further.

MILE 15: 1:16:21 (5:16). Larson has slowed and Vigueras has cut his lead to 33 seconds. Steve Swift is now alone in third, leaving Hellebuyck for now. He is still on U.S. course record pace (2:12:31) which carries a $50,000 first prize.

MILE 16: 1:21:36 (5:15). Larson is holding his lead over Vigueras and is running scared. The lead is still 33 seconds. Swift and Hellebuyck are running together now well behind Vigueras.

MILE 17: 1:26:44 (5:08). Larson's form is still good, and leads Vigueras by 15 seconds now. I believe he has intentionally slowed to protect himself. If Vigueras catches Larson it might work to Larson's benefit because Larson is the better sprinter. Remember that Vigueras lost the 1996 L.A. Marathon in the last mile in a sprint finish. Larson looks very comfortable while Vigueras is working hard. Both are soaked.

MILE 18: 1:31:54 (5:10). The catch has been made just past the 18 mile mark. Vigueras was four seconds behind at 18. The two are running together now. Vigueras actually looks better now. No one else is within 200m of the leaders.

MILE 19: 1:37:04 (5:10). The pair did not stay together long. Vigueras has surged and is up by 3 seconds and widening over Larson. He is running a 2:13:46 pace and probably cannot get Brantly's U.S. course record mark and the extra $25,000. Larson is still well ahead of the others and could still get a trip to Worlds. Third and fourth are so far behind we can't see them from the truck or the television.

MILE 20: 1:42:26 (5:22). Vigueras has pulled well away from Larson and looks excellent. He now has a 27 second lead. Barring disaster, the former Mexican citizen should take the U.S. title, $25,000 and the World Championships trip. Larson is holding his position. He just needs to hang on. There is a great battle for third between Steve Swift, running the race of his life, and Eddy Hellebuyck for the last spot on the Seville team They are at least 90 seconds behind Larson.

MILE 21: 1:47:33 (5:07). Vigueras is still in the lead and is at least 40 seconds ahead of Larson. The battle for third is intense with Hellebuyck and Swift shoulder to shoulder. They are 45 seconds behind the slowing Larson.

MILE 22: NO SPLIT. Vigueras still leading and should win. Larson is struggling and is still in second. The battle for third goes on between Hellebuyck and Swift, who was the first American at the Great Race 10-K in Pittsburgh last September.

MILE 23: 1:57:55 (No Split). Hellebuyck has broken away from Swift and is in sole posession of third. He could catch Larson, but it is hard to judge right now. Vigueras still leading with a 2:14+ winning time projected.

MILE 24: 2:02:50 (4:55). Vigueras is heading home and picked it up in this downhill mile. The press truck has left the course, so there will be no more splits in this webcast.

MILE 25: NO SPLIT. Hellebuyck has gone by Larson and is in second. Larson is in third. Vigueras is working hard and his stride is a bit ragged. He should run 2:14+.

Finish: 2:14:19 (UNOFFICIAL). It's all Vigueras, winning his first U.S. Men's Marathon Championship. Stay tuned for the other finishers (below).

Wrap-Up: Alfredo Vigueras won not only his first U.S. Men's Marathon title, but his first career marathon. Eddy Hellebuyck will represent the United States for the first time on a national team, as will Steve Swift who ran a personal best by three minutes and 59 seconds. The warm temperatures and strong sunshine took it's toll on the athletes. It appears that Sence, Ochoa and Larson all dropped out. Thanks for joining us and click the link at the top of the page for photos at noon EDT.

1. Alfredo Vigueras, Woodland, CA, 2:14:20 ($25,000)
2. Eddy Hellebuyck, Albuquerque, NM, 2:16:58 ($15,000)
3. Steve Swift, Cromwell, CT, 2:17:26 ($10,000)
4. Randy Ashley, Brevard, NC, 2:19:23 ($7500)
5. Jon Hume, Lakewood, CO, 2:20:09 ($5000)
6. Craig Dickson, Olympia, WA, 2:20:21 ($4000)
[Philippe Rolly, FRA, 2:20:54]
7. Jason Bodnar, Davie, FL, 2:21:18 ($3000)
8. Fred Kieser, Cleveland, OH, 2:21:29 ($2500)
9. Carlos Paradelo, Tempe, AZ, 2:21:36 ($2000)
10. Dave Dunham, Bradford, MA, 2:21:55 ($1000)
11. Matthew Sandercock, Upper Darby, PA, 2:21:56 ($250)
12. Danny Reed, Laguna Niguel, CA, 2:21:56 ($250)
13. Weldon Johnson, Washington, DC, 2:22:17
14. Rene Guillen, Laredo, TX, 2:24:00
15. Eric Morrison, Lakewood, CO, 2:24:44
16. Darrell General, Mitchellville, MD, 2:25:50
17. Byrne Decker, MI, 2:27:47
18. Keith Stopen, Ann Arbor, MI, 2:28:57
19. Andy Spaulding, New Canan, CT, 2:29:14
20. Tony Nogueira, Glen Ridge, NJ, 2:30:03

Unless otherwise noted, all contents on this website are compiled, edited and written by David Monti for Race Results Weekly.
All images and text copyright © David Monti and Race Results Weekly. All rights reserved.
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