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Peters, Benton make mark at Walt Disney World Marathon

Runners get started at Sunday’s Walt Disney World Marathon in Lake Buena Vista. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Peters was the second-fastest woman overall.

Associated Press

Runners get started at Sunday’s Walt Disney World Marathon in Lake Buena Vista. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Peters was the second-fastest woman overall.

Sunday's Walt Disney World Marathon drew a record crowd. Brazilian Adriano Bastos won his fifth straight race, his sixth in seven years.

Bastos covered the course in 2:20:38 and crossed the finish line in a Goofy hat. Lisa Mizutani of Japan won the women's race in 2:46:27, finishing seven minutes ahead of St. Petersburg's Melanie Peters.

Peters, the defending champion, is still recovering from a bad automobile accident she was involved in last summer. The 25-year-old said last week she didn't expect to be in top form, but managed to run a 2:53:49. She also might have been a tad tired from the Disney half-marathon the day before.

"They call it the Goofy Challenge," she said. "You run the half on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday and they combine your times."

Hot on Peters' heels was fellow St. Petersburg resident Christa Benton, who was the third woman overall. A member of the Florida's Finest Team, Benton ran a 2:54:35.

The Tampa Bay area dominated the Florida Finest crew this year. Locals won six of the 10 spots on the team and had their entry fees and accommodations picked up by Disney.

Florida's Finest

Lee Stephens, 28 of Tampa, finished 11th overall and second in his age group (25-29) with time of 2:37:48; Dana Parrot, 39 of Tampa, finished seventh among the women and first in her age group (35-39) with a time of 3:01:20; Keith Sawayda, 45 of Clearwater, finished 38th overall and second in his age group (45-49) with time of 2:50:12; Terri Rejimbal, 40 of Tampa, finished 11th in the women's ranks and first in her age group (40-44) with time of 3:04:57; Denise Skinner, 53 of St. Petersburg, finished 46th (women) and first in her age group (50-54) with time of 3:21:08.

Top locals

Other local runners who broke that magic four-hour mark included: (96) Andrew Horne, South Pasadena, 3:04:13; (185) Bret Jardine, Palm Harbor, 3:12:11; (368) Bryan Prushinski, St. Petersburg, 3:21:33; (415) Jason Withrow, Safety Harbor, 3:24:35; (626) John Steigenberger, Tarpon Springs, 3:31:39; (633) Todd Kenner, Palm Harbor, 3:31:54; (779) Christina Crowe, St. Petersburg, 3:36:02; (841) Ken Kunsman, Palm Harbor, 3:37:41; (1005) Amy Mcclenathan, St. Petersburg, 3:41:26; (1018) Brian Zielinski, St. Petersburg, 3:41:52; (1025) Patrick Bene, Palm Harbor, 3:41:56; (1068) Doug Lyons, Dunedin, 3:43:08; (1088) Herm Brames, Clearwater, 3:43:49; (1132) Sissi Hethershaw, Palm Harbor, 3:44:55; (1149) Cathy Krajnik, St. Petersburg, 3:45:17; (1170) Lisa Mcfadden, Seminole, 3:45:47; (1201) Brian Aungst, Clearwater, 3:46:23; (1212) Debra Donald, St. Petersburg, 3:46:43; (1236) Karina Gardano, St. Petersburg, 3:47:08; (1282) Suzanne Jarl, Dunedin, 3:48:05; (1301) Janine Bowman, St. Petersburg, 3:48:28; (1447) Patrick King, St. Petersburg, 3:51:06; (1605) John Schlemmer, Tierra Verde, 3:53:55; (1683) Christopher Steigenberger, Tarpon Springs, 3:55:11; (1691) Heather Ellison, Clearwater, 3:55:18; (1841) Brian Dwyer, St. Petersburg, 3:57:33; (1883) John Voor­his, St. Petersburg, 3:57:57; (1995) Virginia Edmonds, St. Petersburg, 3:59:16; (1997) Ben Wright, Palm Harbor, 3:59:16; (2029) Brian Balboni, St. Petersburg, 3:59:42.


Peters, an accomplished runner at all distances, ran Saturday's half-marathon as a warmup. She won her age group (25-29) in 1:24:08. Larry Yost, an avid triathlete from Treasure Island, took second in his age group (75-79) in 2:46:45.

Pinellas County had a strong contingent in Saturday's race. Local runners who broke that magic two-hour mark included: (114) Vincent Vercamen, Dunedin, 1:30:49; (225) John Steigenberger, Tarpon Springs, 1:36:32; (307) Brian Darrow, St. Petersburg, 1:38:57; (337) Keith Matthews, Clearwater, 1:39:49; (412) Beth Wonicker-Cook, Palm Harbor, 1:41:52; (593) John Atkins, St. Petersburg, 1:45:10; (679) Brian Duffy, Clearwater, 1:46:30; (694) Tyre Weaver, Pinellas Park, 1:46:52; (781) John Schlemmer, Tierra Verde, 1:48:30; (940) Bob Demaio II, Seminole, 1:50:43; (1024) James Krivacs, Palm Harbor, 1:51:54; (1157) Linda Davis, Palm Harbor, 1:53:23; (1159) Caitlin Davis, Palm Harbor, 1:53:23; (1260) Jennifer Juchno, St. Petersburg, 1:54:21; (1468) Kurt Shackelford, Clearwater, 1:56:00; (1534) Donald Rasdall, Seminole, 1:56:33; (1536) Ernie Glode, Seminole, 1:56:33; (1587) David Marinich, Clearwater, 1:56:57; (1725) Frank Papa, Clearwater, 1:57:48.

Do you have running, swimming, biking, triathlon or adventure racing news? Send it to Terry Tomalin at or call (727) 893-8808. You can also submit news online at

upcoming events


Progressive Training Team, track workouts, 6:30 p.m., University of Tampa Track, Tampa. Contact Dror Vaknin (813) 846-5021 or


• Eighth annual Bolt Run, 5M, 5K and 1 mile, 7 a.m., St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. Contact Kelvin Woodson: (813) 301-6832;

• Fishhawk Road Race, 10K and 5K, 8 a.m., Fishhawk, Lithia. Call (813) 685-7500.

• Gaither workout (for experienced bikers), 7:45 a.m., behind Lifestyle Family Fitness in Northdale, Tampa. Call Richard Johnson (813) 238-2464 or visit

• Marathon training, various group runs, 5:30 a.m., Downtown YMCA, Tampa. Contact Fred Vasconi (813) 222-1334 or

• St. Pete Beach Classic, 10K/5K run and walk, Sirata Beach Resort. Call (727) 367-7223 or visit

• Stanley breakfast ride, 7:45 a.m., Seffner Elementary, 109 Cactus Road, Seffner. Contact Terry Farrell (813)684-3503, or visit

• West Florida "Y" Runners Club, 6 a.m. at City Hall Plaza in Clearwater, 7 a.m. at John Chesnut Park in Palm Harbor. Call Michael Weiss (727) 644-7702 or visit


• Fourth annual Clearwater Halfathon, 5K, 7 a.m., Coachman Park, Clearwater. Contact (727) 347-4440,

Feb. 14

Caring Heart Run, 5K and 1 mile, 7 a.m., 400 Lake Ave. NE, Palms of Largo. Call (727) 437-1639 or visit

Peters, Benton make mark at Walt Disney World Marathon 01/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 3:30am]
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