2011 Spring Marathon Contest Recap: The Greatness Of You

By LetsRun.com
May 9, 2011

The greatest thing about LetsRun.com is you - the tremendous community of super people who are interesting in running and make our site so interesting. The greatness of the LetsRun.com community is best shown annually by the interesting winners of our prediction contests.

We've had national champions, rocket scientists, 8th grade soccer players inspired by their coach to enter the contest, and even a guy who has MS and can't run anymore but is giving back to the sport every day win our prediction contests.

This time our winners are as interesting as ever, as we recap our Boston and London Marathon prediction contest.

The winner was 22-year-old Francis Coral Mellon (born in England, now living in Canada, half Canadian, half Colombian by blood). Francis definitely had an unfair advantage in the contest, as he just got back from Kenya, where he was living in the highlands of Kenya watching the Kenyan greats train. What was he doing in Kenya? Getting material for his film, "The Greatest Distance Runners On Earth," which he is in the process of producing. We're not making this up.

Francis "fell in love with the sport" at age 13. In 2007, at the age of 18, he went to Kenya to train for 5 months (hoping to break 70 minutes for the half marathon), and he fortunately took an HD video camera with him despite knowing nothing about filmmaking. He fell in love with filmmaking as well, and soon that took off. He won a trip to the Beijing Olympics from a contest on flotrack, went to college for TV broadcasting, and started his own videography business, RedDustFilm.net. His big desire was to go back to Kenya and to finish what he started in 2007. He went back this past winter/spring for 2 months with a film editor to continue working on his film. That was when we at LetsRun.com became aware of his exploits and he began emailing us tidbits of information from Kenya. He became friends with  Jake and Zane Robertsonthe twins from New Zealand who have been training in Africa for four years.

Now, normally Francis would win a $150 gift certificate from Road Runner Sports for winning our contest. However, LetsRun.com's very own Rojo opened his mouth and said if one of four guys (Tsegaye Kebede, James Kwambai, Patrick Makau or Bazu Worku) didn't win London, we'd add $300 cash to the first prize poll. Well, guess what? Emmanuel Mutai won this year. So we're adding $300 cash to Francis's prize.

Our runner-up, Scott Rodilitz, is a sophomore at DIII power Williams College. Scott clearly is knowledgeable (he writes a DIII blog on flotrack), but he also had some unfair advantages. First, his mid-d coach has ties to Italian coach Renato Canova, so naturally Scott picked Canova's runners. And furthermore, Scott's assistant high school coach, Tyson Sacco, a Cornell alum, actually lived in the LetsRun.com headquarters bachelor pad with LetsRun.com founders Rojo and Wejo. Hopefully, Scott will not let the success get to his head and try to match blogger Tim Goldsack as the only two-time winner of a Letsrun.com contest.

Matthew Horrigan, the third place finisher, is a 23-year-old Irishman. His story is pretty incredible. Two years ago, his buddies in college bet him he could not finish the Dublin Marathon. He sure proved them wrong. With 18 weeks of training, he ran 2:43 in Dublin and fell in love with running. "Ever since it's literally taken over my life."

Scott's transformation from a non-runner to a 2:43 marathoner is amazing. He's asked us for some training advice, but we may ask him more about his training because we bet a lot of you are interested in it.

Congrats to our winners and everyone who took part.

If you participated in the contest and would like to check your scores, click here.

If you want to just see the picks of the top people, click here.


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