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Misganaw is Surprise Winner of More/Fitness Half Marathon

April 16, 2012 at 12:30pm EST | by Barbara Huebner, NYRR News Service

For 11 miles, Jen Rhines led the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon on Sunday morning, with Alemtsehay Misganaw close behind.

Near the end, the 31-year-old Ethiopian who lives in New York City took over the lead to go on to win in 1:13:25, setting a new course record.

But if Rhines was disappointed, it wasn't apparent.

"I actually felt really good out there," said Rhines, 37, who will seek to make her fourth U.S. Olympic team this summer. "You know, I had a hard time at the ING New York City Marathon [last] year, so it was nice to come back to New York and feel good in the race. We battled the whole time and she had a bigger move than I had left at the end. But it was fun out there." Last November, Rhines had an off day in the Marathon, dropping out midway. She is a 2004 Olympian in the marathon, as well as competing in 2000 at 10,000 meters and 2008 at 5000 meters.

Rhines, of Mammoth Lakes, CA, finished in 1:14:05, also bettering the previous course record. American Michelle Frey, celebrating her 30th birthday on race day, was third in 1:16:52. A total of 7,088 women finished the event, in its ninth year, on a cloudy morning that even saw a brief drizzle just before the gun.

"Oh my gosh, it was so much fun," said Frey, who lives in Minneapolis and was especially excited to be running an all-women's race the day before the 40th anniversary of women being allowed to officially compete in the Boston Marathon. "This time of year there's always a lot of women-and-running talk. It's a really empowering time to be a woman running."

Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "The View" again served as host for the race, as well as competing for the second year in a row with Team NOGII to raise money for celiac disease research. She finished 100th overall, in 1:40:05.


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