Starting in 35 degree weather and racing as the temperature rose to 75 degrees around 3 p.m., runners from across the country tried their hand (or legs in this case) in the Eisenhower Marathon Saturday. With a time of 2:53:46, Ryan Sutter of Omaha, Nebraska, won the men’s race. Angela Gerstenkorn of Wichita, Kansas, finished first in the women’s race with a time of 3:20:33.
All runners began on SE Fifth Street, and ended in Old Abilene Town. The full 26.2 mile race traveled south on Buckeye Avenue, looped around Brown Memorial Park, and turned around at the 1900 Avenue and Kansas Highway 15 intersection to repeat the route back. After returning to SE Fifth Street, the full marathoners repeated the route before finishing in Old Abilene Town. The full marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier.
Sutter, 31, finished with a six-minute 38-second per mile pace. He said his time was a personal record. With his time six minutes under the typical cutoff time of around three hours, Sutter said he believes he will qualify for the Boston Marathon and hopes to run in Boston next year.
“Great day. Great course. Good weather,” Sutter said. “Everything was well marked and easy. Really happy with everything.”
Gerstenkorn, 32, also said her time should qualify her for the Boston Marathon. She said she qualified for the Boston Marathon in the 2021 Eisenhower Marathon and raced in Boston in 2022. She will probably not race in the 2023 Boston Marathon because she ran in it last year.
“I started cramping at mile 10, so that was miserable and thought about dropping out,” Gerstenkorn said. “The volunteers were really good, and everytime they cheered you on; everytime it helped you keep going. Everyone on the course really helped me stay in it because mile 10 to 16 were pretty rough.”
Gerstenkorn finished sixth overall between the men and women. Her minutes per mile pace was seven minutes and 39 seconds.
In second place overall, William Yates of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado finished with a 3:02:06 time. Jason A. Walker of Leavenworth, Kansas, finished third overall with a time of 3:10:42.
About 370 runners registered for all races. For the full marathon, 98 people signed up. For the half marathon 134 signed up. Forty-two signed up for the 10k, and 86 signed up for 5k race. Ten people raced virtually.
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