Death of half-marathon runner mars Kenyan sweep in Country Music Marathon

Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 9:22am
Staff Reports
Amos Matui of Kenya won the hottest Country Music Marathon on record. / Courtesy Country Music Marathon organizers

A Kenyan raced home first in Saturday’s Country Music Marathon, taking over first place in the last mile of the 10th annual event, and holding on for the win.

Amos Matui’s unofficial time was 2:13:40, short of the record Luke Kibet set in the first year in Nashville.

However, the win was soured by the news that an unidentified man collapsed at the finish line of the half-marathon and died at the scene. Medical personnel attempted to revive the man during the hottest race day in the event’s 10-year history.

The first woman to finish was Tatiana Pushkareva of Russia at 2:36:44, and overcome by the 80-plus-degree heat and exhaustion vomited just after finishing and was attended to by medical staff. Many runners on Saturday were seen behind treated with ice or removed from the course on stretchers.

Kenyans took the first three places. Alphonce Yatich Kibor finished only one second ahead of third-place runner Noah Tatem, both just a minute behind Matui.

Under sunny skies, Nashville’s packed Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon got started cleanly on Saturday despite more than 30,000 runners taking part in the 10th annual event.

Temperatures were expected to rise into the low 80s before many runners finish the race, which made it more challenging this time. In previous years, clouds, light rain and drizzle have kept runners cooler.

The number of entrants gathered in front of Centennial Park along West End was in sharp contrast to the inaugural marathon in 2000 that drew fewer than 6,000 entrants. After the half-marathon was added in 2002, the number of runners jumped to nearly 10,000 and has grown steadily since.

For race results go to the official site for details.

1 Comment on this post:

By: TheHunter on 4/26/09 at 1:20

well, that effectively ends my aspirations of running another marathon ever again