Craig Leon, a Ohio University graduate who is one of the nation's top long-distance runners, outlasted defending champion Joseph Purpura yesterday to win the 11th Annual Capital City Half Marathon Presented By KeyBank.
Leon, 29, who finished 12th in the Boston Marathon two weeks ago, didn't necessarily expect to win the race. He treated the event more like a training run, but his time was good enough to edge Purpura, 26, who lives in Pataskala, a Pataskala resident who ran a 1:10:24. Leon finished in 1:09:55.
“It was great to be running in again in Ohio,” Leon said. “This is my home and it was fun to see so many familiar faces. This was my first real race since Boston, so it was good to shake out the legs some.”
Tina Husted, 41, of Upper Arlington cruised to the women's title in 1:21:47. Tara Storage of Beavercreek, Ohio was second in 1:23:35, while Storage's twin sister, Kara, was seventh in 1:27:21.
Tony Marette, 24, of Blacklick, won the Patrón Quarter Marathon in 37:51, while Lacy Nagy of Twinsburg, Ohio was the top female in 44:57.
In the Commit To Be Fit 5K, James Zeuch, 25, of Galloway, was the top male finisher in 16:11, while 13-year-old Emily Matta of Powell, Ohio, was the top female in 21:24. Matta is the daughter of Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta.
The 11th Annual Capital City Half Marathon attracted a record field of 14,500 runners and walkers. The Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon and 5K all started at the Town and Front streets in downtown Columbus and finished at the Columbus Commons, site of the Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line Party and Michelob Ultra Post-Race Concert.
Complete results can be found at www.capitalcityhalfmarathon.com.