Runner training in South Shore wins U.S. Marathon Championship
It appears training in Lake Tahoe briefly was a good move for the Discovery USA runners.
Jill Gaitenby, a Fila-sponsored runner living in South Lake Tahoe since last spring to train for the USA Marathon Championships, saw a longstanding goal through to fruition Sunday.
Gaitenby, 35, originally from Providence, R.I., won the women’s USA Marathon Championship, in Twin Cities, Minn., pulling away in the final 6.2 miles of the 26.2 mile race to finish with a personal record 2 hours, 36 minutes and 10 seconds.
Not only did she win the $20,000 first place prize, she won an additional $5,000 from the Twin Cities Marathon and $4,000 from USA Track and Field.
To top it off, Gaitenby earned a spot on the U.S. team for the 2003 World Marathon Championship to be held in Paris, France.
“I had a great race,” Gaitenby said Monday during a phone interview. “It’s all about place in the National Championship. But it was a PR for me. The place was great. The only thing that would have made it the best day ever is if I would have run a 2:32 or 2:33. But I’m still very happy with it.”
Gaitenby, who in 2001 joined the Fila-sponsored running program, was the top American and second woman overall at the Twin Cities Marathon, which was officially recognized as the USA Marathon Championship by the U.S.’s track and field and long distance governing body.
She has been the top American for the last two years in the Boston Marathon.
Jim Jurcevich, 26, who had also been training in South Lake Tahoe for the summer, finished fourth at 2:16:18 and sixth overall. He averaged 5:12 per mile for 26.2 miles.
Jurcevich was planning to make his marathon debut in late October at the Columbus Marathon in Ohio, but opted to run earlier instead. He will also run in the Columbus Marathon.
Kelly Flathers, another Fila runner, finished fifth for women at 2:40:55.
The fila team, which has been training in South Lake Tahoe for the summer, will take a break before resuming its running camp WHERE.
Five to ten runners trained in Tahoe for most of the summer to prepare for the USA Marathon Championship.
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