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Record turnout for third Fort Worth Marathon

dane conley
Dane Conley
jennifer bates
Jennifer Bates
kiplimo chemirmir
Kiplimo Chemirmir
camille riggins
Camille Riggins
andrew cook
Andrew Cook

The Fort Worth Marathon boasted a growth spurt in its third year as more than 450 registered for the marathon, half marathon and 20-miler on Sunday, Nov. 8. Last year, the event, which didn't include a 20-miler, attracted only 158.

There was much sadness among participants, too, after Lyndon Laseman, 49, of Henrietta collapsed after finishing the 20-miler, He was administered CPR and rushed to Harris Methodist Hospital, but didn't survive. Most of the runners didn't know his condition after they left the event. Laseman was a former Henrietta football player and a big booster of the football team. He was only two weeks away from his 50th birthday.

Many runners competed in either the 20-miler or half as part of their marathon training, and some, including women's marathon winner Camille Riggins of Grand Prairie, did the 26.2-mile marathon distance to measure themselves for a later marathon. She finished a little slower (3:03:22.2) than her 3:03 PR, but is pointing toward The Cowtown in February as another chance to beat her best time. She did, however, shatter the course record by more than 40 minutes while raising the bar considerably. Last year, she finished second at Cowtown in about 3:04. The men's marathon winner, Kiplimo Chemirmir of Flower Mound, hit the wall about about 30K (18 miles) and struggled to finish in 2:57:57.8 even though he said he reached the halfway point in 1:16. Nonetheless, the time was an event course record. Kip said his hip was aching and will be seeking medical help before running again. He also said this would be his last marathon. ``I'm just going to concentrate on 5Ks and half marathons,'' he said. But first, he wants to find out what he can do about his hip. ''I'm not going to run the rest of the year,'' said Kip, who said he'll be joining the Army next year. However, he did compete in several events before the end of the year.

Last year's winner Dave Emerson, 50, of Grapevine finished in 3:06:45.4. He won last year in 2:58:11.2.

In the new 20-miler, Andrew Cook, 28, of Flower Mound won in 1:52:46.7. Cook said he is training for the Houston Marathon and was using this as a training test. Vanessa Kelly, 27, of Keller was the women's winner in 2:21:57.1.

In the half marathon, Dane Conley, 19, of Plano and a cross-country runner at the University of North Texas, shook off Todd Reynolds, 41, of Benbrook at about the 6-mile mark and won in 1:23:34. Reynolds finished second for the second consecutive year and won the masters title for the second year.

Conley said his time was a PR by about four minutes. Women's winner Jennifer Bates, 35, of Southlake was surprised to win her first overall title with a 1:50:01.6. ``It was a small field, but I was very surprised I won. That's not that fast,'' she said. Jennifer said she wasn't sure on the course that people were talking about her when they said she was the first female. She also logged a PR.

In the random drawings for prize money the winners were: marathon - $1,000 -- Parvaneh Moayedi, Austin; half -- $500 each to Glenda Gutierrez, Grandview, and Laura Steen-Patterson, Dallas.

Race founder/director Steve Looney said there was some confusion for the $750 awarded to a 20-mile finishers and "we had to re-draw and request another batch of random numbers from the computer." He said the first number in that batch
was 91, the number of Lyndon Laseman. Looney said the money was given to the Laseman family through the charity that he and his father established in Henrietta.


Fort Worth Marathon, Nov. 8, 2009

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