Maag, Horst take half marathon titles in Music City.
Nashville, TN – More than 30,000 runners toed the start line this morning at the 12th annual Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon on a cool morning that grew into a sunny Nashville afternoon.
American Idol star Danny Gokey kicked off the morning by performing the national anthem for thousands of spectators and inspiring the runners moments before the starting gun. The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams, Survivor “Gabon” contestant Marcus Lehman, and country star Jimmy Olander of Diamond Rio all participated in the half marathon. Great American Country host Suzanne Alexander also participated.
The men’s full marathon race was dominated by two international elites. Kenya’s David Kellum, a last minute addition to the race, trailed Colombian Edwin Romero for the first 10 miles before taking the lead, and never looked back. The 28-year-old ended up crossing the finish line with a personal record of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 41 seconds.
“I’m very glad to PR, the weather was good and I liked the course,” Kellum said. “I was a little worried for the first few miles, because I could see Romero ahead of me and had to work hard to catch up. But I felt strong and am happy to come away with a win. I’m ready to come back next year and improve my time again.”
The women’s race was a tight one, as Ruby Milena Riativa of Colombia and Nashville local Laura Portis came down the final stretch just one minute apart. Riativa would take first place, with a time of 2:50:00, and Portis came through the finish line at LP Field a little over a minute later with an official time of 2:51:24. For Portis, the race was a successful return to the course she ran in 2010, where she placed ninth.
“The heat kind of got to me, but it was a fun course with lots of energy,” she said. “The new course is great and it was nice to run through East Nashville.” Portis recently qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon to be held in Houston next year.
In the half marathon, 23-year-old Michael Maag of Brooklyn, NY took an early lead and held strong, finishing in 1:08:25. It was a great day for Maag, who was running his debut half marathon.
The half-marathon winner’s podium was a familiar spot for 32-year-old Jill Horst of Georgia, who won in 1:20:45. Horst beat her previous first place time of 1:21:32 in 2008.
“I felt really good,” Horst said. “I like it warm, so this was perfect weather for me. The course seemed a lot different and a little hillier, but miles 9 through 12 were really fast. It was pretty tough.”
- David Kellum (Kenya), 2:17:41
- Scott Wietecha (TN), 2:24:10
- Edwin Romera (COL), 2:25:16
- Giovanny Amador (COL), 2:36:08
- Matthew Lavin (IL), 2:41:48
- Jordon Wilson (CO), 2:42:39
- Tim Kaiser (KY), 2:48:44
- Michael Martin (PA), 2:51:34
- Alex Moore (TN), 2:52:00
- Stephen Logan (NJ), 2:54:05
- Ruby Milena Riative (COL), 2:50:00
- Laura Portis (TN), 2:51:24
- Mernie Staehly (TX), 2:58:53
- Beth Reed (NY), 3:07:47
- Amy Simonetta (LA), 3:11:13
- Corey McClay (MN), 3:13:06
- Jennifer Forkenbrock (KS), 3:15:46
- Elizabeth Schwartz (TX), 3:17:06
- Kelcey Carlson (NC), 3:17:28
- Stephanie Mayer (NC), 3:25:45
- Michael Maag (NY), 1:08:25
- Josh Yelsey (IL), 1:13:34
- Brandon Gillingham (PA), 1:13:52
- Brian Shelton (TN), 1:14:13
- Caleb Morgan (TN), 1:14:13
- Justin Patterson (TN), 1:15:06
- Florian Barbe (CA), 1:15:58
- Said Ahmed (TN), 1:17:12
- Woody Mathis (CA), 1:22:11
- Ryan Gadsey (TN), 1:18:20
- Jill Horst (GA), 1:20:45
- Alexa Hinton (TN), 1:22:32
- Samantha Mazer (TN), 1:23:54
- Kaitlin Shaw (GA), 1:23:31
- Courtney Terrell (TN), 1:26:21
- Carly Shanon (MO), 1:31:55
- Kara Diamond-Hussman (CO), 1:27:32
- Christine Lewis (OH), 1:29:13
- Sara Stegall (TN), 1:30:30
- Stacey Bailey (AZ), 1:29:51