WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 25,000 runners from 50 states and 33 countries took part in the 2014 Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon & CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Saturday morning in D.C.
A Va. man, Adam Doherty, 23 of Charlottesville won the 26. 2-mile main event with a time of 2 hours, 33 minutes and 53 seconds. This was Doherty's first marathon, officials said. Doherty ran unchallenged throughout men's race.
However, Nuta Olaru, the women's champion took the lead at 5K and maintained first position through 11 miles, officials said.
"I didn't realize she was running the marathon until I passed her and saw her bib. She ran well and held her own, she was definitely rocking and rolling out there," Doherty said, who recently graduated from Dartmouth College where he ran track and cross country. "It feels great to win, you can't ask for much more than that. I came in expecting to run around 2:35 and I got under that too, so success on every front today."
"I realized I was first when the man passed me. I thought I might have been in second, but it was fun to be in front," Olaru said, who won the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run her last time racing in Washington, DC. "I feel great and I'm happy to win the race. I liked the course, it was rolling but it was good. The hills were good training for Boston."
Olaru, 43, will be running in the Boston Marathon next month. Since obtaining her American citizenship in November 2011, she has become a perennial road racer, accumulating many accolades. This Olaru's fifth Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series win in the past 18 months.
The Ethiopian Abiyot Endale took first place in the half marathon, however D.C.'s own Chalie Bitew stayed close behind Endale for several miles before dropping back at mile four and then eventually dropping out.
The 27-year-old Endale held a strong five-minute-per-mile pace, finishing in 1:06:28. Fellow Ethiopian Ayele Kassaye, 25, would place second in 1:08:29 with Matt Rand of Alexandria, Virginia rounding out the top three.
After a win in 2011 followed by a third place finish here in 2013, 31-year-old Christine Ramsey earned redemption with a win in the women's half marathon. Her time of 1:19:27 beat out second place finisher Kerry Allen, 25, of Washington, D.C. The Baltimore resident said it was a good indicator of her fitness as she prepares to try and qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon.
"It went really well. I couldn't have asked for better weather after the winter we've had," she said. "My goal was to start out conservative. I haven't done a ton of speed work yet this year so I wanted to see where I was at. It was a good start to the year."
Rock 'n' Roll USA Race Results
March 15, 2014
1. Adam Doherty, 23, Charlottesville, VA, 2:33:53, $500
2. Brian Benestad, 31, Pittsburgh, PA, 2:36:33, $250
3. Eric Senseman, 25, Windermere, FL, 2:39:52, $100
1. Nuta Olaru, 43, Longmont, CO, 2:43:01, $500
2. Rebecca Bader, 36, Syracuse, NY, 2:53:13, $250
3. Kristin Johnson, 23, Washington D.C., 2:57:59, $100
Men's Half Marathon
1. Abiyot Endale, 27, Ethiopia, 1:06:28, $500
2. Ayele Kassaye, 25, Ethiopia, 1:08:29, $400
3. Matt Rand, 22, Alexandria, VA, 1:09:25, $300
4. Justin Scheid, 28 Sparta, NJ, 1:09:44, $200
5. Hugh Toland, 33, Bristow, VA, 1:10:57, $100
Women's Half Marathon
1. Christine Ramsey, 31, Baltimore, MD, 1:19:27, $500
2. Kerry Allen, 25, Washington D.C., 1:19:48, $400
3. Teal Burrell, 28, Washington D.C., 1:21:40, $300
4. Erin Taylor, 31, Arlington, VA, 1:23:19, $200
5. Megan Digregorio, 25, White Marsh, MD, 1:23:36, $100