By Kyle Knopp
Last year, the Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival set a record with 14,542 runners; this year, that record is going to be broken.
Corrigan Sports Enterprises (CSE) announced last week that more than 17,000 runners have signed up for the event and the Legg Mason Team Relay has sold out for the second straight year. The team relay, at capacity with 750 teams registered, joins the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Half-Marathon as the event’s only sold out races.
|More than 17,000 runners signed up for this weekend's Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival, which set a record last year with 14,542 participants. (Corrigan Sports Entertainment)|
The other races in the event are not far behind, as the Under Armour Baltimore Marathon and the United Way 5K each have less than 25 spots remaining. The Kids Fun Run is also pacing ahead of last years numbers, which saw 482 kids compete in the event.
“We are excited to announce that we have passed our goal two weeks ahead of schedule,” CSE president Lee Corrigan said. “The great news for Baltimore and the event is the fact that reputation of our event is pulling people in from all over the country.”
The eighth annual Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival will take place Saturday. beginning at 8 a.m. Along with the running, the festival will feature bands throughout the day for participants and spectators. There is also an awards ceremony scheduled shortly after the races conclude.
John Itati of Kenya won his second Baltimore Marathon last year with a time of 2:16:24, the third-best time in marathon history. Itati set the record for the fastest time in the Baltimore Marathon when he won the race in 2004 with a time of 2:14:51. Like he did in 2004, Itati took the lead in the 15th mile and pulled ahead for good at the 21st mile last year, winning by nearly four minutes.
For the women, it was Gladys Asiba of Royersford, Pa., who took first-place with a time of 2:36:27. Similar to her male counterpart, Asiba pulled away from the competition in the 21st mile and never looked back. The winner from the 2006 race, Rima Dubovik of Ukraine, came in third.
Both Itati and Asiba received $18,000 in prize money for their first-place finishes.
The half-marathon, which will be sold out for the six consecutive year, saw a total of 6,000 participants last year. On the men’s side, Girma Tolla edged out Worku Bevi by seven seconds to win with a time of 1:04:45. It was the second straight year that Bevi finished the half-marathon in second place.
Belainesh Zemedkum of Washington, D.C., finished with a record-setting time of 1:14:45, winning the women's half-marathon by more than two minutes. Finishing second was Nadezhda Trilinskava of New York, with Maria Busienei of Charleston, W.Va., third. The winners of the half-marathon each took home $2,000.
There were 3,200 total participants in the marathon and 6,000 runners in the half-marathon last year. The 5K had 2,300 registered competitors and 482 kids took place in the fun run. There were also 640 4-person relay teams to round out the record-setting event.
The Baltimore Running Festival had a total purse of $118,000, making it one of the top 20 highest purses in the country. As a result, the festival raised $620,000 last year and has produced more than $4 million for charity in the seven years of the event.
The Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival is managed and promoted by Corrigan Sports Enterprises. Founded in 1991, CSE owns and operates the following events: Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival, The CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Frederick Running Festival, The Charm City Challenge, The Under Armour Capital Classic All-Star Basketball Game, the Toyota Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, The Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic and the annual Baltimore BikeJam Pro Cycling event.
Issue 3.41: October 9, 2008