9th Outback Steakhouse Corridor Classic 8K
Prince George's Plaza, Hyattsville, MD
Sunday, November 18, 2001
Conducted by Hyattsville Dept. of Rec.

For Immediate Release

Contact: George Banker

E-30-1839-7957, D-301-803-2392 


Hyattsville, Md., November 18, 2001 - The Outback Steakhouse received a warm community welcome at Prince George's Plaza as six hundred plus runners and walkers took part in the 9th Outback Steakhouse Corridor Classic 8K. The temperature was in the mid 40s with a light fog at race start. The course had a series of short rolling hills as a challenge with a few flat stretches.

At the start, Sammy Ng'eno and David Njuguna both of Kenya (West Chester, Pa.) pressed the pace with Vincent Temu of Kenya (Richmond, Va) and Mikhail Khobotov of Russia (Rockville, Md.) were five meters back. Into the first mile, 4:35, Ng'eno pulled ahead slightly of Njuguna and started to control the pace. Into the second mile, 9:20, Temu managed to gain control over second place with Khobotov and Njuguna close off the shoulder. Ng'eno had opened a gap by the third mile (14:05) and ten meters back, Temu was being chased down by Khobotov and Njuguna.

Temu began to fade slightly but Ng'eno showed no signs of slowing as he was working the up hills and the down hills and showing not signs of discomfort. Into the fourth mile (18:58) he was in position to smash the event record of 24:05 (Lemma Bonssaa-1999) and to collect the $100 bonus. Ng'eno pulled the final stops to open a wider gap and set the record at 23:34.

It was a race for number two, Temu was no longer a factor and it was down to a sprint between Khobotov and Njuguna. At the outer loop of the Plaza, Njuguna set a pace to ensure a second place finish in 23:55 followed by Khobotov in third with 24:01.

John Tuttle of Douglasville, Ga., was holding in eighth place in the earlier miles of the race and moved into seventh place over the final miles and finished in 25:12. Tuttle missed the master's bonus by 2 seconds (Chris Fox 25:11- 2000). Joe Abernethy of College Park, Md., took second in 25:42. Abernethy was third master last year in 26:30. Dave Berardi of Baltimore, Md., was third in 25:44.

The women's race was dominated by Irina Safarova of Russia (Rockville, Md.) with team mate Dorota Gruca and Carole Zajac-Tynan of Sterling, Va., about ten meters back. In fourth place was Heather Hanscom of Team Pacers of Old Town Alexandria, she took the correct turn.

At three and half miles into the race a critical turn was missed as Safarova ended up running long and adding almost a couple of minutes while Gruca and Zyjac-Tynan missed the same turn and added distance. At the point Safarova came back on course she was back in fifth place. There was less than a mile and half remaining, Gruca and ZyjacTynan now had the lead.

Unfortunate as it was, it was judged to award the places of finishes based upon positions at the time of the error with input from the runners and judges. The award money was added and divided three ways. The times for the top three are not official and the event record remains unchanged at 27:20.

Hanscom took fourth place in 28:03 followed by Grace Njoki of Kenya in 28:24 for fifth place.

The first master in seventh place overall was Lee DiPietro of Ruxton, Md., in a record setting 29:45 collecting $300 plus the $75 bonus. The old record was 36:57.

Seven of the top 25 men and nine of the top 25 women were master runners.

"I knew it was going to be a tough course. I was trying to break away for the first three miles fast. When I train, I go up hill fast and go fast down hill. I was trying to stay focused. I had the people cheering me", said Ng'eno.

"I didn't expect my fitness to come around as quick as it did. My first mile was 5:12. They (Irina and Dorota) were in good shape. I raced against them before and I could not keep up, today I had to dig a little deeper", said Zyjac-Tynan.

The race was a benefit for Special Olympics Maryland Prince George's County.

The Outback Steakhouse Corridor Classic 8K and 2 Mile Fun Walk is sponsored by the City of Hyattsville Recreation Department and the Outback Steakhouse in partnership with Prince George's Plaza and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), adidas Stripe 3, Prince George's County Government and supporting sponsors.


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