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Thorvilson Three-Peats at Little Rock Marathon

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – (March 6, 2011) – At the 9th Little Rock Marathon on Sunday morning, Mark Chepsis, 34, a Kenyan native who now lives in Toluca, Mexico, won the men’s division in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 7 seconds, while Little Rock’s own Leah Thorvilson three-peated in 2:45:51. Both took home $2000 each as race champions.

Thorvilson Little Rock Marathon

Thorvilson Little Rock Marathon

“I am very pleased to win. I felt very good on this run,” Chepsis commented post-race.

Coming in second in the men’s division was 31-year-old Julius Kosgei who clocked 2:29:17. Kosgei, also a Kenyan native, now lives in Searcy, Ark. Matthew Fecht, 27, of Warren, Mich. placed third (2:29:19).

When asked about her third victory, Thorvilson said with a laugh, “It hurts! This was the worst Little Rock Marathon ever for me. I did something to my foot, then at about ten miles, it loosened up. At mile twenty, second place was a lot closer than I thought. It made me pretty nervous. I saw the finish line and it was all I could do to sprint.”

Thorvilson, a 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, did not beat her Little Rock Marathon course and state record of 2:44:23 set in 2009.

Runner-up in the women’s division was Uli Bromme, 27, of Boulder, Colo. in 2:47:52, while Donna Palisca, 33, of Fayetteville, North Carolina was third (2:52:29).

More than 11,000 runners from all 50 states and 33 countries participated in the marathon’s various races. At the start of 9th running of the event with a “Medal of Mythical Proportions”, the temperature was 37 degrees F with overcast skies.

9th Little Rock Marathon
Little Rock, AR, Sunday, March 6, 2011

1) Mark Chepsis (KEN), 2:24:07, $2000
2) Julius Kosgei (KEN), 2:29:17, $1500
3) Matthew Fecht (MI), 2:29:19, $1000

1) Leah Thorvilson (AR), 2:45:51, $2000
2) Uli Bromme (CO), 2:47:52, $1500
3) Donna Palisca (NC), 2:52:29, $1000

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