Maslova, Sidame race to 5K wins

Russian woman, 36, uses run for speed work

Tanzanian, 18, is top man

Baltimore Marathon

October 20, 2002|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

One was a veteran who uses races like yesterday's Fila 5K morning event near Ravens Stadium for mere training runs. The other was a relative newcomer to the competitive running scene in the United States.

Oddly matched, 36-year-old Tatiana Maslova and 18-year-old Eliya Sidame both left Baltimore with victories in the women's and men's races, respectively, and a $300 purse.

Maslova, a Russian native who resides in Gainesville, Fla., overtook Hannah Njeri, of Kenya, over the final half-mile and went from Lombard and Eutaw Streets to a stadium parking lot to finish in 16 minutes, 59.1 seconds. Njeri finished in 17:06.3, and third place went to Silver Spring's Ishibe Naoko in 17:29.4.

Sidame, who came from Tanzania last winter, had an easier time winning the men's race. He led from start to finish and his 14:52.9 time was 33 seconds faster than runner-up (and three-time Columbus (Ohio) Marathon winner) Abdel Haki of Baltimore. Former Towson University standout John Supsic finished third in 15:28.6.

It was the first win at this distance for Sidame, a West Chester, Pa., resident who has been running for the past five years but has only recently started racing in America. He finished seventh at the CVS/Pharmacy Downtown 5K in Providence, R.I., on Sept. 15, and he recorded a personal-best 14:02 in an eighth-place showing at the Syracuse Festival of Races two weeks ago.

In addition to the prize money, he wished for the opportunity to improve his personal record. But with no apparent competition, he cruised for much of the race.

"I wanted to have someone with me so that they could increase the pace," Sidame said as Njeri interpreted. "I ran alone. That's why I didn't improve my time."

Maslova came into the race well-decorated, winning the Columbus, Detroit and Helsinki marathons in 1998 (repeating the latter in 1999.) This year, she finished fourth in both the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and the Hartford Marathon last weekend.

But three-mile races are also a sideline for Maslova. She recorded a personal-best 16:05 in June in Moscow, and she won the Edison Festival of Light 5K in February.

"Five-K for me is for training," she said. "I run the shorter distances -- from 3K to 5K -- it's because I need the speed work."

Maslova, who has been running at the world-class level for the last 20 years, has her sights set on a trip to Sacramento, Calif., where she plans to run in a marathon.

A runner who specializes in 10-mile races, Njeri, 28, led most of the race. But she felt Maslova's presence as well, up until the time that she was passed.

"I could feel her on my legs," said Njeri, who estimates she was overtaken in the last half-mile. "She started sprinting and I couldn't recover."

5K results

Men

1. Eliya Sidame, 18, West Chester, Pa., 0:14:52.9; 2. Abdel Haki, 31, Baltimore 15:25.7; 3. John Supsic, 23, Baltimore 15:28.6; 4. Musa Gwanzura, 30, Kenansville, N.C., 15:34.1; 5. Eric Estrada, 30, Parkville 15:39.9; 6. Youssef Ennaciri, 22, Baltimore 16:46.2; 7. Layne Party, 42, Towson 17:01.5; 8. Bryan Thorn, 16, Abingdon 17:26.2; 9 Joseph Breslin, 42 West Chester, Pa., 0:17:36.2; 10. Austin Steg, 16, Abingdon, 17:36.3

Women

1. Tatiana Maslova, 36, Gainesville, Fla., 16:59.1; 2. Hannah Njeri, 35, West Chester, Pa., 17:06.3; 3. Ishibe Naoko, 33, Silver Spring, 17:29.4; 4. Autumn Fogg, 22, Sparks, 17:51.6; 5. Erin Chlumsky, 23, Fallston, 19:05.5; 6. Sherry Esposito, 24, Westminister, 19:13.3; 7. Gloria Santarpia, 41, Odenton, 19:55.0; 8. Jen Purgason, 25, New Market, 20:15.5; 9. Marjorie Boyd, 41, Annapolis 20:16.8; 10. Becky Alvarez, 23, Westminster, 20:25.4

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