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Tellez, Flaherty Win Miami Beach Half

MIAMI BEACH – (March 6, 2011) – Triathlete Miguel Tellez won his first career half-marathon, beating a cramping Bryan Huberty to the finish line at the Miami Beach 13.1 Marathon on Sunday morning that finished on beautiful Ocean Drive on South Beach.

Miami Half Marathon

Miami Half Marathon

Dana Flaherty won the women’s division.

Huberty, who led for the first 11 miles of the race, experienced severe cramping in his side, forcing him to stop twice.

“He led for most of the race,” said Tellez, a 39-year-old Aventura resident from Spain who ran 1 hour, 17 minutes, 15 seconds. “But then I could tell he was in trouble. I kept pushing and then I passed him in the last mile. Then it was just a question of getting to the finish line. Once I passed him I knew that was it. He had cramps.”

Huberty finished in 1:18:26, while third place Christian Saporta of Miami covered the 13.1 miles in 1:20:07.

“I thought I had it won,” said the 32-year-old Huberty, who lives in Miami Beach and was running for the same Runners Depot Club as Tellez. “I thought I had it in the bag. It was a little frustrating. I felt (the cramps) coming on at Mile 3.”

Huberty experienced the same cramping at the Fort Lauderdale A1A half-marathon two weeks ago, and said it began to take its toll at Mile 9.

Tellez said he was “shocked and surprised” at the outcome of the race. “I’m a triathlete,” said the industrial engineer, who has begun to run half-marathons and finished 14th at the 2011 ING Miami Half Marathon, six places behind Huberty. “I’m not a runner.”

Flaherty, a 24-year-old Chicago transplant from West Palm Beach, who ran 1:30:42, worked the race into a short three-day vacation that included attending the Chicago Bulls-Miami Heat game Sunday afternoon. She ran her first 5K race just six months ago.

“I’m excited. I kept telling myself ‘just get it done’,” said the former University of Illinois-Champaign field hockey player. “I passed one girl and I said ‘I’m going for it.’ I think at mile nine I passed the last girl. I like to keep a steady pace. That’s the way I like to run.”

Second place among the women went to Ali Fracasso of Alexandria, VA, who finished in 1:31:18, while Jill Czarnik of Chicago was third (1:32:34).

Miami resident Victor Delrosso won the Karhu 5K – a race run in conjunction with the 13.1 Marathon. After taking a seven-year hiatus from competitive running, the 27-year-old’s recent training paid off with a winning time of 17:33.

Christy Espinoza, 33, of Miami was second overall and the first woman to finish (18:03) while Karhu field marketing manager Megan Nedlo, 28, was third overall (18:10) and the second woman.

Delrosso, who works for Caterpillar as a South American mining equipment support representative, moved to Miami from Illinois last June.

Also running in the Karhu 5K was the Karhu Bear “mascot” who offered a free pair of shoes to any runner who could beat him to the finish line. Nearly 100 runners received free shoes courtesy of the 99th-place Bear, who was overcome by heat and ended the day in the first aid tent.

Nedlo, who immediately put on her corporate hat and began handing out free Karhu shoe coupons at the finish line, saw the race as good workout while she trains for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials.

“It was a lot of fun,” said the Charlotte resident. “It was a good opportunity to run while I was working here. It was a little windy, but it was nice and flat.”

The 13.1-mile race began on South Beach’s Ocean Drive and 12th Street under clear skies. Although it was an unseasonably warm 74 degrees at the start, a 9 to 14 mph southern breeze provided some relief. A new race route took runners over two bridges – a first the McArthur Causeway and later the challenging twin hills of the Julia Tuttle Causeway – eventually winding along the coastal boardwalk of South Beach to the finish line between Lummus Park and the Art Deco District’s Hotel Victor.

The 3,093 registered runners marked a 50 percent increase from the 2010 Miami Beach 13.1 Marathon, while the combined 4,120 runners from both the half-marathon and Karhu 5K nearly doubled last year’s totals.