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home : news : local   May 25, 2016

5/10/2014 11:34:00 AM
Starved Rock Country's first marathon had rocky finish


NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
Participants in the Starved Rock Marathon run over the 178 bridge in Utica on Saturday. There was some confusion at the finish line, and the original winners were disqualified because they ran without numbered bibs.
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NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson

Participants in the Starved Rock Marathon run over the 178 bridge in Utica on Saturday. There was some confusion at the finish line, and the original winners were disqualified because they ran without numbered bibs.

NT Staff




Runners still were crossing the finish line as of 11:50 a.m. at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa at the conclusion of the Starved Rock Country Marathon, which began at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The first runner finished at about 9:50 a.m., but organizers still were sorting out the official times two hours later — and determining whether the first male and female finishers would be disqualified, since they ran without bib numbers.

After the wait, the original winners Erik Bergstrom and Chloe Staub were disqualified from the race and Josh Rogowski of Braceville and Julie Speck of Chicago were announced as the winners of the innagural marathon.

Bergstrom of New Munster, Wis. and Staub of Milwaukee came together to compete in the marathon and were the first male and female to complete the race. (Staub finished about 25 minutes after Bergstrom.) However, when they arrived they were unable to locate the bibs that were being distributed to number the runners. They ran without them, which cost them the race.

Tom Smith of Peru was the first area runner to cross the finish line as he came in third place with a time of 2:58.50.

The race was scheduled to coincide with National Travel and Tourism Week, and race director Matt Skelly said the idea behind the marathon was to pump tourism into the area.

In that respect, they succeeded, since Skelly said the Ottawa hotels were nearly fully booked, and the race drew 1,300 runners from 23 other states and two foreign countries: Canada and Ireland.












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