COMPLETE RESULTS AT WWW.MARDIGRASMARATHON.COM 28 MARTY SCHAIVONE 47 BRIDGEPORT CT 3:04:29 7:03 1947 65 PETER BLACK 35 SIMSBURY CT 3:15:13 7:27 986 108 ROBERT SABRE 50 FAIRFIELD CT 3:26:18 7:53 1111 28 DARLENE GILLOTTI 38 DANBURY CT 3:38:40 8:21 583 45 LEANNE GILL 41 NEW CANAAN CT 3:44:09 8:33 55 264 JEFF LISMAN 21 RIDGEFIELD CT 3:51:43 8:51 345 560 PAUL COUZELIS 58 NORWALK CT 4:34:43 10:29 324
RETURNS TO N'AWLINS
Spicy times in N'awlins; by Marty Schaivone
Michael Mullan's triumphant return to New Orleans ended on many different emotional levels. His victory in the 2001 Mardi Gras Marathon was bittersweet compared to his first one here in 1993. "I dedicated this race to my mother who has breast cancer. The pain I endured would never equal hers", said a tearful Mullan. A former local high school coach (now living in Texas) he was hoping that this win "Would show people I'm still around & get my name out there again". He was hoping that at 41 years old his 498th career victory would be just the publicity he needs to land a coaching role at his alma mater, S.E Louisiana University.
Just as in last years race the lead changed hands during the turn around section through Audubon Park "I was kind of surprised I was in 2nd at that point", said Mullan who ran with a hooded neck wrap despite the near perfect 55 degree temperature. "I get cold easily & have actually had my diaphragm cramp up" he added in response to the obvious question. His 2:32:22 was a minute better than his '93 time and 3 minutes up on 2nd place. His story is even more interesting considering he had stopped full time running for two years to concentrate on duathlons. He was ranked the #1 master duathlete in the Southwest last year.
For a person with her first marathon win in only her 3rd try, Jody Jackson seemed almost emotionally reserved. "I was just trying to finish", said the subdued winner. Her 3:01:53 was an 8-minute PR. "Jodiana's" previous two efforts were in her native Hawaii. The 23-year-old Tulane grad student lives on the course and "had run on most of these roads, so it was very comfortable". With a busy school schedule the former Stanford Univ. swimmer turned to running as the most time efficient way to keep aerobically fit. "I do a lot of Stairmaster in our dorm" she added. Her victory was decided much earlier on as she came into Audubon Park with a 3+ minute lead over defending champ Amy Hayes (3:06:14) and stretched it out from there. Ultra-specialist Hayes had decided just 5 days before to return. "I got a call from the race director and thought 'what the heck', but I certainly wasn't training for this", she said. Indeed, after finally breaking the 3-hour barrier in Chicago she had been resting in Albuquerque from her 5-marathon effort of 2000.
Over 2300 finished the marathon. Another 2400 ran the half marathon and 5K. Once again some of the most colorful water stops I have encountered in 30 marathons were on display in the Big Easy. The unique "Cross Dressing" stop upon entering and leaving the park is always a huge hit with the runners. Race director Bill Burke is still hoping for more sponsor dollars next year to bring in some high quality participants. The race date will move to mid Feb. in 2002 and out of the spacious finish line in the Superdome due to the Super Bowl date and the actual Mardi Gras falling in early February.
"There is no reason this shouldn't be a huge, spectacular event," said the winning Mullan. And I agree. This is a tremendous destination city, an amazingly flat and scenic course, with great support and phenomenal traffic control despite running through some of the busiest portions of the city. A traditional N'awlins post race feast, 50+ massage therapists, and enough hops & barley to rehydrate an additional 2000 will mean I return for my 3rd in a row. With this course, cruising to a 3:04 without a sore muscle in my body will hasten my rerun as well.
Marty also finally broke the 3-hour barrier last October at Steamtown.
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