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Lizano, Matthews Win St. Jude Half

Cesar Lizano

Cesar Lizano

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The sands and the sounds of South Beach made for an exhilarating finish line as thousands of runners took part in the St. Jude Latin Music Miami Beach Half Marathon. The race started on iconic Ocean Drive and finished on the sand in Lummus Park, with live bands entertaining runners every mile of the scenic 13.1-mile course.

Costa Rican Olympian Cesar Lizano executed his race plan to perfection, winning the men’s race in dominant fashion this morning in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 46 seconds. Lizano was Costa Rica’s lone marathon representative at the 2012 London Olympics, where he finished 65th overall in challenging conditions. The Miami race was the first step toward his goal of qualifying for the 2013 IAAF World Championships next August in Moscow, which he hopes to attain at the Chevron Houston Marathon in January.

“My goal was to come here and run between 1:07 and 1:08, and I’m happy with the results,” said Lizano (left, MarathonFoto), 30, who will look to run a faster time in two weeks at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. “The first half of the race was challenging running alone into the wind, but the second half was great.  To see the city, cruise ships and water views the second half of the race and to have the finish line on the beach was special. I’m already looking forward to competing in Las Vegas and running a faster time.”

Virginia’s Richard Morris took second with a time of 1:11:48 and Chris Carrier of New York (1:13:28) finished third.

In the women’s race, 28-year-old Angela Matthews of Michigan found herself atop the podium in her second year running the race. Matthews came up a few minutes shy of her goal, finishing in 1:21:12. Nevertheless, she ran most of the 13.1 miles with little competition, and said she was mostly enjoying the sunshine.

“When I left Michigan we had snow flurries,” she said, laughing. “I’m just glad to come down here where it’s warm. My time wasn’t great, but it was a good competitive effort, and I kept a consistent pace. I love that it finishes on the beach, near the ocean. I might come back every year.”

Matthews plans to take the winter off before training begins for steeplechase competitions in the spring. Behind Matthews was Jacy Kruzel, 22, of New York City, who finished in 1:27:52 and in third, Kiernan Delaurier, 32, of Tampa, Florida.

Crowds gathered on the sand at Lummus Park to dance and relax as Alexis Y Fido performed at the post-race concert. Among the participants was “Real Housewives of Miami” star Ana Quincoces, who took on the second leg of the half-marathon relay, which her and her partner completed in 2:09:44. Also participating was Univision’s Satcha Pretto, co-anchor of the network’s popular morning show Despierta America, who finished with a time of 1:58:03.

Photocredit: Photorun

2nd St. Jude Latin Music Miami Beach Half Marathon

Miami Beach, Fla., Sunday, November 18, 2012

Men’s Half Marathon

1) Cesar Lizano, 30, Costa Rica, 1:07:46, $1000
2) Richard Morris, 25, Burkeville, VA, 1:11:48, $500
3) Chris Carrier, 26, New York, NY, 1:13:28, $250

Women’s Half Marathon

1) Angela Matthews, 28, Westland, MI, 1:21:12, $1,000
2) Jacy Kruzel, 26, New York, NY, 1:27:52, $500
3) Kiernan Delaurier, 32, Tampa, FL, 1:30:04, $250