Blue Ridge Marathon Winners Get Bragging Rights and Expensive Watches!
Billed as one of the toughest marathons in America, the winners survived and took home shiny Tag Heuer Watches.
Roanoke, Va. (April 24, 2010) â€“ The inaugural National College Blue Ridge Marathon proved as tough as promised, yet all the runners finished under the seven hour time limit. The fastest among them was Tim Sykes of Blacksburg, Va. who covered the mountainous, 26.2 mile course in 2:42:17 a pace of 6:12 minutes per mile. Fastest among the women was Karen Ostergaard of Asheville, NC. She covered the course in 3:30:14.
â€œI was able to maintain my pace throughout the race, said Sykes, I felt really good out there today.â€ Sykes was a little more than two minutes ahead of second place finisher George Probst, also of Blacksburg. Tim Workman, of Hendersonville, NC finished third in 2:57:51. Only five runners managed to break three hours.
On the women's side Beni Thompson of Roanoke, Va. faded after leading early, but still held on for second in 3:34:02. She was followed by Sara Zaragoza of Roanoke who clocked a 3:38:57.
The course, described by organizers as â€œone of the most challenging, but beautiful marathons in the country,â€ took the runners from downtown Roanoke, Va. over Mill and Roanoke Mountains for the first 16 miles of the race. The course features more than six thousand feet of change in elevation, and much of it is run on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In addition to conquering the difficult course and the rest of the field, Sykes and Ostergaard had a nice prize waiting for them â€“ Tag Heuer Watches, donated by Fink's Jewelers. The watches are valued at about $5,000 each. Finks CEO Mark Fink was on hand to present the watches during ceremonies inside the Taubman Museum of Art. â€œThis course represents what the Tag brand is all about, Fink told the crowd of assembled runners, â€œRugged and beautiful.â€ He said the inaugural Blue Ridge Marathon was a natural fit for Tag and for Finks. It showcases our beautiful part of the world in a unique way. I'm pleased we could be a small part of it by offering an additional incentive for people to come here.
Visit www.blueridgemarathon.com to learn more.
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About the Blue Ridge Marathon: In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the inaugural Blue Ridge Marathon was held on April 24, 2010. Local runners crafted one of the most challenging and beautiful marathons in the country. The full marathon course includes 3,076 feet of total elevation gain and 6,140 feet of total elevation change. The breathtaking views and stunning Blue Ridge Mountain scenery offer some reprieve to runners as they persevere to the finish line. Proceeds from the inaugural run go to the non-profit, Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway.