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Yoko Shibui Tunes Up for World Champs with Win at San Francisco Marathon
by: San Francisco Marathon
July 26, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - (July 26, 2009) ­ Andrew Cook, 28, of Flower Mound, Tex. and Japan's Yoko Shibui, 30, scored dominant victories at The San Francisco Marathon(TM) today. Cook topped the men's field in a finishing time of 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 32 seconds for his third win in this race. He also won in 2006 and 2007. Shibui won the women's race in 2:46:34 as she successfully tuned up for the marathon at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany on August 23.

A record turnout of over 21,000 entrants participated in the marathon (26.2 miles) and two accompanying half marathon (13.1 miles) races, plus a 5K run/walk. Ideal, overcast conditions, with temperatures in the low to mid 50s greeted the throng. Runners from all 50 U.S. states and 26 countries came to the City by the Bay for its world-famous marathon.

Both Cook's and Shibui's wins were convincing. By the 8-mile point on the hilly, city-wide loop that includes an out-and-back segment over the Golden Gate Bridge, Cook shed co-leader Allen Wagner (Huntington Valley, Penn.) and then proceeded alone to the finish line near the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero.

"It's awesome to be a three-time winner here," said Cook, who is a history teacher and cross country coach at Flower Mound (Tex.) High School. "But, mentally it was hard running most of the race alone. You just want to try and push yourself and stay mentally tough. I kind of fell apart a little over the last 10 miles. I was very happy to come out on top today because Allen (Wagner) is very experienced."

Wagner, whose personal best marathon of 2:18:25 is over a minute better than Cook's, faded to fifth place after making several porta-pottie stops. 45-year-old Guillermo Gonzalez (Mexico/Pasadena, Calif.) captured second place and the masters (age-40-and-over) men's victory in a distant 2:33:55. Fritz Van de Kamp, 28, of Salt Lake City, Utah was third in 2:34:01. San Francisco's Daniel Feldman, 26. was fourth in 2:35:15.

Japan's Shibui demonstrated why she is the all-time seventh fastest female marathoner in the world, with a blazing 2:19:41 personal best on her resume. Despite using the race as a long training run in preparation for the World Championships Marathon in Berlin, the Japanese star's margin at the finish line was 13 minutes ahead of former Santa Rosa High School and Stanford University standout Julia Mallon (nee Stamps). Mallon, who now resides in Miami, Fla. was second woman in 2:59:32. Mexico's Ligicz Ortega, 26, finished third in 3:02:29.

Shibui and her team of coaches and trainers have made Flagstaff, Ariz. their training base for the past two months in preparation for the IAAF World Championships marathon race. She wanted to briefly come down from Flagstaff's 7,000-foot altitude to test her fitness at sea level, but, she found more variances in altitude than she expected in San Francisco.

"This is a very hard course," Shibui commented through an interpreter about the up-and-down San Francisco Marathon route. "It's the toughest course that I've ever run. It was much more hilly than I expected, but overall it was a very good tune-up for me. I think if I was in top condition, like I will be in a month, I would have run with the lead man today."

Women training at altitude for the World Championships also dominated the competitive 2nd Half Marathon, which runs over the second half of San Francisco's marathon route. Tera Moody, 28, of Colorado Springs, Colo. topped the women in 1:13:37 followed by second-placer Fiona Docherty, 33, of New Zealand, who spends half the year training in Boulder, Colo. Docherty finished in 1:17:25. Both Moody and Docherty will face each other again as members of their respective USA and New Zealand national teams in Berlin. Jessica Minty, 24, of Blowing Rock, N.C. made a successful debut at the half marathon distance by placing third in 1:17:48. Masters standout Sylvia Mosqueda, 43, of Los Angeles was fourth in 1:18:20.

Abiyot Endale, 23, an Ethiopian athlete who resides in New York, topped the 2nd Half Marathon men in 1:07:36 followed by Miguel Nuci, 29, of Turlock, Calif. in 1:07:58.


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