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Sunday, September 30, 2001 -- Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Great Race (iPO Event Id#: 3237)
Story and photos by Neil Riemenschneider

[Details] [Coverage]

Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
Links to race results on Runner's High: [5K Results] [10K Results]
[2000 Coverage]

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The leaders of the pack
When is a great race a Great Race? At the 25th running of the Richard S Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race, that's when. With over 10,000 registrants for the 5K and 10K, a substantial prize money package, and a host of Kenyans running, the city of Pittsburgh was ready for another great event.

Kenyans Gilbert Koech and Gilbert Okari were the only 2 runners remaining at mile 5 after a 12 man pack went through the first mile in a pedestrian 4:47. The 2 ran shoulder-to-shoulder to mile 6 and as they hit Point State Park it came down to a sprint to the finish. "I was confident in my kick, "said the 20 year old Koech. "I went as hard as I could and when I got a lead I just kept running hard to the finish line." Koech got there first hitting the tape in 27:32 with Okari just 2 seconds back. Finishing third was fellow Kenyan Lazarus Nyakeraka in 27:44.

Race Pic
Determination for the finish line
In the women's race, last year's second female Gladys Asiba took the lead from Naomi Wangui just past 2 miles. "I wanted to get a lead early and then ran hard to the finish," explained the Kenyan runner. Asiba did just that as she maintained a lead over the rest of the race and took the women's victory on 32:10. Wangui (32:18) hung on for third while the fast closing Elena Paramonova (32:22) took third. Top masters were Pittsburgh runner Laura Hruby (34:27 and 6th female) and Cedar Creek, TX resident Paul Zimmerman (30:20, 14th overall). The winners of the 5K were second year law student Andrew Jenkins (15:15) and Physical Therapist Tricia Snyder (18:47). The wheelchair winners were Jeff Fisher and Diana McClure in the 10K and Jeff Hantz in the 5K.

This silver anniversary of the event also recognized those 29 runners who have completed every Great Race held. Among them are current Mayor Tom Murphy and the inaugural winner Carl Hatfield. Running in the race for the first time was 1984 and 1988 Olympic gold medallist Roger Kingdom. Kingdom still holds the American Record for the 110-meter hurdles and finished in 52:46.

The Great Race is put on flawlessly by the Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation and the Department of Public Works. Major sponsors were Dollar Bank, Allegheny Hospital, Eat'n Park, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Verizon Wireless, US Airways, Hilton Pittsburgh, Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, WPXI-TV, 92.9 LITE FM, Channel 97 FM WRRK, and Lamar.