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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania • Page 58

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE 1 SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2001 if mm Till FITTSBUHGI1 MARATHON 1 courso k5K course i6th TENNIS PHIL AXELROD Tennis a smash in total sales Imarker: 16th Street tfA7 0 Grant smmXlk i i Post-Gazette Approximate street closing times Miles Section Closing Reopening Start Grant Street from Boulevard of the Allies to Sixth Avenue 6:15 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 1 5 Grant Street from Sixth Avenue through Strip District and back to 1 6th Street Bridge 7:15 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 5-8 1 6th Street Bridge through North Side to West End Bridge 7:30 a.m.

10:00 a.m. 8-11 West End Bridge along W. Carson Street through South Side to Birmingham Bridge 7:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 11-16 Birmingham Bridge through Oakland, Shadyside, and Point Breeze to Penn and Braddock avenues 8:00 a.m.

12:30 p.m. 16-21 Penn and Braddock avenues through Homewood and East Liberty to Baum Blvd. and Liberty Ave. 8:15 a.m. 1:45 p.m.

21-25 Baum Blvd. and Liberty Ave, through Bloomfield to Penn Avenue through Strip District to 1 6th Street 8:30 a.m 2:45 p.m. 25 26.2 Penn Avenue and 1 6th Street to Point State Park 8:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Held returns to give race his ultra best effort iiiwiw mi Mia jl Himj, mm ill).

a i i Two Kenyans entered late this week, bringing the number of runners who have run faster than 2:14 to five. Held is the only non-Kenyan among them, and his personal best is from 1994. Gilbert Rutto (2:10:01 in 1996) and Nicholas Kioko (2:11:39, 1996) were entered, and they are joined by Nelson Ndereva who won two marathons last year, and Elly Rono (2:12:53, 2000), who entered after dropping out of last week's Country Music Marathon in Nashville at mile 9 with stomach problems. Held hasn't run a marathon recently. After he dropped out of the 1999 race, he was committed to running a shorter race the next week, but he broke some toes while playing with his children, and he just jogged through the race.

"I went, and I drank some beers with Keith Brantly and some other guys and I said, 'I'm Held said. He actually ran one more marathon that fall because he got the opportunity to go to Scotland. Then, he said, he was done. And then he found himself looking for another challenge, which turned out to be the ultramarathons. The training was far different than he did for marathons.

No longer did he need to squeeze in three or four hard days between working and spending time with his family. For the ultras, one or two "quality" days were enough. Said Held, "All you have to do is go out and do some four- and five-hour runs." Still, the 50-mile trail race was hard. And the 100K race was even worse. "About a foot past the finish line, I bent over and said, 'I'm never going to do this Held said.

"It is too long. It's insanity." The ultramarathoning community tried to lure Held back, naming him to this year's world team although he hadn't run an ultra. Held declined, politely but firmly. "All the expectations were back," he said. "I don't want to get into that whole trap again." By Lori Shontz Post-Gazette Sports Writer Dan Held was tired of the expectations.

Every time he showed up at a race, he was expected to live up to his standing as a marathoner who had once broken 2 hours, 14 minutes and had placed third at the 1997 U.S. national marathon championships in Pittsburgh. He found the pressure stifling. What he needed, he thought, was an event he could go into with no expectations. Which led him to try ultramarathoning.

Said Held, "When you're running 100K, is 62 miles, how can you say what "you're going to do?" What Held did was excel. He won the U.S. 50-Mile Trail Championship, which earned him a spot on the world championship team, "and then he finished fourth at the 100K world championships. UltraRunning Magazine named him its 2000 Runner of the Year. So what is Held doing running today's UPMC Health SystemCity of Pittsburgh Marathon, which is a mere 26.2 miles? "I was fourth in the world at 100K, and that earned me $350," Held said.

"I'm hon- estly not in this for the money, but if I were the fourth best in the world at the marathon, then I could be a professional runner. "You run for six and a half hours. A 10K loop, 10 times. Fourth in the world, that's fantastic. But it hurt." Held is also returning to the Pittsburgh Marathon for the third time because he has bad memories from his last attempt at the race.

After finishing third in Pittsburgh in 1997, he returned two years later to attempt to make the 1999 world championship team and qualify for the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials, but he ended up dropping out before the race was halfway over. "I didn't want to leave Pittsburgh like that," Held said. "I'd like to go out on a good note." Held, 34, of Waukesha, Wise, is seeded No. 4 in a field that is getting stronger by the day.

"ith all due respect to Mark Twain, the re ports of the death of tennis have been great ly exaggerated. At least more people are buying more tennis stuff than ever before. For the second consecutive year, sales of tennis balls are on the rise according to the Tennis Industry Association. There were 6.7 percent more balls sold in 2000 than in 1999, which had a 5.4 percent increase from 1998. More rackets are being sold, too.

The biggest area of growth is in the entry-level category of rackets (under $50), which indicates that new players are taking up the sport. Sales in 2000 are up nearly 15 percent over 1999. The TL projects a 6 percent increase in balls, rackets and other tennis equipment during 2001 that is expected to reach $260 million. May celebration There will be free clinics and festivals this month at a number of locations in the city to celebrate May as USA Tennis Month, starting Saturday at Mellon Park and May 16 at West Park. USA Tennis Month is part of the USA Tennis Plan for Growth, a five-year, $50 million commitment to increase tennis participation throughout the country.

District campus courts The 30th-ranked Presbyterian College Blue Hose (20-10) defeated California, 5-0, in the first round of the NCAA Division II women's East Region tournament in Clinton, S.C. California (10-10) was down, 2-0, before the match started because it brought only five players and had to forfeit at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles. The Robert Morris women completed a record-setting season by reaching the semifinals of the Northeast Conference tournament.

The Lady Colonials set a school record with 14 victories and Nora -Peters' 14 wins at No. 2 singles were a school record. She established the record for wins at No. 1 singles last season with The Robert Morris men, under Coach Eric Ratchford, lost to University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the final of the NEC, 4-0. Junior John Hollis became the Colonials' career leader with 51 wins in doubles and moved into second in singles wins with 48, 10 behind Mark Wallace.

Duquesne freshman Alina Klinova and sophomore Leia Zin-gone were named to the Atlantic 10 women's All-Conference team by a vote of the league coaches. It was the first time the Dukes had two players selected. Klinova and Zingone helped the Dukes to a fifth-place finish in the A-10 tournament to tie the school's best finish. Allegheny's Katy Trostle, a junior from Knoch, is second-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference. Teammates Carrie Perkis and Janie Senchak, a junior from Chartiers Valley, are third team.

We're No. 1 The Stanford men and women are No. 1 in the latest Collegiate Tennis rankings. Stanford's Alex Kim and Laura Granville are No. 1 in men's and women's singles, respectively.

Stanford's Lauren Barnikow and Lauren Kalvaria are No. 1 in doubles. Virginia's Huntley Montgomery and Brian Vahaly are the top men's doubles team. Stanford (21-1) is favored to defend its NCAA Division I men's team championship and the Stanford women (24-0) are the team to beat after being the runner-up to Georgia last year. Oldies but goodies Val Wilder will defend his singles title in the National Men's 40 Indoor Championships that will be at the Oxford Athletic Club East for the seventh consecutive year.

The singles and doubles competition will run May 18-23. Honorees Carnegie Mellon's Peter Moss, the coach of the men and women's teams, received the Allegheny Mountain District award as the Coach of the Year. Rochelle Seil-hammer of the Oxford Athletic tlub East in Monroeville is Pro of the Year and Fox Chapel Racquet Uub received a plaque for Organization of the Year. fee to go Torn Fleming will be the instructor for free clinics every Saturday morning, beginning May 26, at Settlers Cabin Park. For more In-iormation, call 412-928-8241.

AWIflU Photo Run Dan Held is making his third Pittsburgh Marathon appearance. He finished third in 1997. Running hasn't gone to the dogs for top seed 1 Today is Kryza's 31st career marathon. She has dropped out of only two, both times when she was sick. "In one marathon, I finished in over three hours," she said.

"I walked to the finish, about 10K. I just wanted to finish." For several years, she sandwiched her running around her studies. Once she decided to concentrate on athletics, she dropped her average time from about 2:38 to about 2:33. Kryza still loves animals when she travels, she misses her dog, a Chow-Chow named Ajax but she doesn't think she'll try to get a job as a vet when her running career ends. "It is difficult," she said.

"I would like next to work in sports, to be a coach or work in physical education." race circuit race, Kenyan Nicholas Kioko, who once won a marathon in Mombassa that was contested when the temperature was 38 degrees Celsius. That's more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. "At about 40K almost 25 milesl, I was almost fainting," Kioko said with a smile. "So I walked a little bit." The walk barely slowed him. Kioko finished in 2:13:16, about four minutes ahead of the runner-up.

A crowded field Registration numbers as of Friday were still on track for the second-highest number of participants in the event since UPMC took over title sponsorship in 1996. For the marathon, 2,676 runners had entered, and for the 5K, there were 716 participants. The relay competition had 453 teams, for a total of 1,796 runners, giving the entire event 5,188 runners. Race director Larry Grollman expected between 500 and COO more people would register during the race expo at the David Lawrence Convention Center. 1 ik i By Lori Shontz Post-Gaetto Sports Writer She spent years studying veterinary science in her native Poland, but Violetta Kryza soon realized that jobs in her country are hard to come by.

So to make a living, she turned to her other love running. The past several years, she has averaged six marathon victories, running everywhere from Luxembourg (where she has won the Echternach Marathon for the past four years) to Bangkok, Thailand, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. She will run in the United States for just -the: third time in her career today in the Health SystemCity of Pittsburgh Marathon. Kryza, 32, didn't plan to run here. She ex Recovered Rutto ready to get back in broken 2:40 Russian Tatiana Maslova, who trains with Pozdnyakova; Kenyan Margaret Kagiri, who finished ninth in the 1999 New York City Marathon; and two local women, Mary Alico of Shadyside and Tammy Slusser of Monroeville.

Kryza grew up enjoying all kinds of sports. She even played volleyball for a year in school until her coach told her she was too short to be of much use. The coach suggested she try track. "The first time, I ran 800 meters," Kryza said. "The next time, the coach said, 'I don't think you have too much and told me to run the 3,000 meters." The longer race wasn't easy at first, but Kryza learned to like it.

As the years passed, she ran farther and farther, and finally in 1991, she tried her first marathon. Jeff Dellovade, 31, of Canonsburg, a four-time champion in the quadriplegic division, returns three weeks after winning the quad division at the Boston Marathon in 2:26:58. Weather forecast The weather forecast brought good news for runners and race organizers, who were dismayed by last year's hot, humid conditions. Dr. Ronald Roth, the marathon's medical director, said forecasts are showing it will be 47 degrees with 60 percent humidity and light winds when the race starts at 7:45 a.m.

today. By noon, he said, the temperature is expected to rise to 70 degrees, and by 3 p.m., 15 minutes after the course officially closes, it should be 73 degrees. The best news for Roth and the medical team was this: As the day goes on, the humidity is expected to drop. A heated race Hot, humid weather wouldn't have been a problem for the second seed in the men's pected to return to Cleveland after winning last year's marathon there. "The race director is our friend, but he said there was not much money and no tickets," said Kryza's coach, Leen van den Ende of Holland.

"We said, 'OK, she is a professional and she needs money to live." So she came to Pittsburgh as part of a strong women's field, the quality of which has dropped a bit in the past week. Two "women who have run personal bests of 2 hours, 29 minutes, Inna Suvorova and Alevtina Naoumova, have withdrawn. So has Ukraine's Yelena Plastinina, who has run 2:33:26. Kryza, whose personal record is 2:33:44, is the top seed, followed by masters sensation Tatyana Pozdnyakova, 46, who ran 2:29:25 in 1998. Four other women in the field have HOTE200IC ner and mentor, Tatyana Pozdnyakova.

"She isn't only my coach," Maslova said through a translator, "but a teacher to my life." The two have been training together in Gainesville, Fla. Have they designed a strategy for today's UPMC Health SystemCity of Pittsburgh Marathon? Said Maslova, "I will try to follow Tatyana all the way." Wheelchair division Today's wheelchair marathon field has five participants, most of whom have Pittsburgh Marathon experience. Ken Carnes, 44, of Fayetteville, N.C., who has won the open or masters division title at Pittsburgh 10 times, heads the field. He is joined by Scott Gilger, 37, of North Olmsted, Ohio, who finished third last year, and Mark Graham, 37, of Waterford, who finished fourth. Also competing is Jeff Fisher, 44, of Medina, Ohio.

By Lori Shontz Post-Gazetto Sports Writer The running community thought Gilbert Rutto had retired. What he was doing, how-, ever, was recovering. Rutto, 35, was injured in a bus accident in his native Kenya. He still has a scar on his forehead and he hasn't been able to run a marathon in a year and a half, but he was One of the lucky ones. Six people died.

Rutto last ran the Pittsburgh Marathon in '1994, finishing fifth, and went on to post a 'personal best of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 1 sec-. ond in 1996, three top-seven finishes at the 'Berlin Marathon and two top-10 finishes at the Boston Marathon. He is wearing the No. 1 jersey today. "I've been running really well and train- well," he said.

"I'm really, really in good shape." Follow the leader Tatiana Maslova was 15 when she met the woman who became her training part-.

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