Trio of Leading Masters Women to Compete in More Magazine Marathon + Half-Marathon on April 6

04/01/2008 - 21:58

April 2, 2008
From press release.

Two-time Olympic Trials qualifier Kelly Keeler Ramacier to run in marathon

Three-time More Magazine Marathon champion Susan Loken and masters cross country champion Jody Hawkins to team up in half-marathon event

New York, March 27, 2008--A trio of leading women over the age of 40 will headline a field of more than 7,000 runners expected to compete in the More(R) Magazine Marathon + Half-Marathon on Sunday, April 6, in New York's Central Park, it was announced today by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. The fifth-annual event is the world's first marathon exclusively for women over 40.

Two-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Kelly Keeler Ramacier of St. Paul, MN, will take on the hills of Central Park for the first time in the marathon. Three-time defending More Marathon champion Susan Loken of Phoenix, AZ, will put in her final miles before competing in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon on Sunday, April 20. Loken will team with reigning USA masters cross country champion Jody Hawkins of Frisco, TX, in the half-marathon. Runners will be vying for a $12,000 total prize purse, with the marathon winner and the top half-marathon team each earning $2,000.

"Look at what the growth of the More Magazine Marathon and Half-Marathon shows us--women today want to live long and strong and celebrate every moment along the way," Wittenberg said.

Ramacier, 46, did not begin running until she was 32 years old, and she was a smoker until just months before her first 26.2-mile race in Omaha in 1995. She improved rapidly and went on to compete in two U.S. Olympic Trials marathons, including a 17th-place finish in 2000 at age 38. Ramacier, who is the former director of event and program development for the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN, has a marathon personal best time of 2 hours, 42 minutes, 25 seconds, which she ran in 1997 at Grandma's.

The half-marathon race (13.1 miles) is unique in that teams of two women, one of whom must be over 40, compete together. The duo of Loken, 44, and Hawkins, 41, will attempt to be the first team with two over-40 athletes to win the More Magazine Half-Marathon. Loken is a three-time USA masters marathon champion and three-time More Magazine Marathon champion. A mother of three, she set the event record of 2:45:35 in her first appearance in 2005; the time remains the fastest ever for a marathon run by a woman entirely in Central Park. Hawkins was one of America's best distance runners in the mid-1990s until a bout of osteoporosis stalled her running career. She has gradually returned to form, and this year she captured the USA masters cross country title in San Diego in February. Hawkins is currently a physical education teacher and the head track and cross country coach at Centennial High School in Frisco, TX.

"I've run more than 20 marathons, not to mention countless half-marathons, and this is my favorite race," Loken said. "Nothing compares to the energy, excitement, and celebration of these moms, daughters, grandmas, sisters, nieces, and friends supporting each other as they run or walk the More Magazine Marathon and Half-Marathon in Central Park. I am so passionate about this event that I want to bring as many women with me as possible so they can have this same experience."

Supermodel Kim Alexis, an eight-time marathon finisher who completed the ING New York City Marathon in 2006, will serve as the host for the 2008 More Magazine Marathon + Half-Marathon, which will be presented by Aquaphor(R) Healing Ointment. Corporate contributing sponsors are South Beach LivingTM foods from Kraft; MBT, the anti-shoe;, and Dodge Journey. This year, marathon participants are also invited to raise money for CARE, an organization that empowers women around the world to help end global poverty.

Prior to the race, a two-day Health + Wellness Expo will feature vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, giveaways, and more. Race registration will remain open at the Expo until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, and the race will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday on Central Park's East Drive at 70th Street.

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