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Coordt Earns Record Fourth Victory at Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon

NAPA, Calif. - March 7, 2010 - Michael Arnstein, 33, of New York, NY and Mary Coordt, 40, of Elk Grove, Calif. garnered wins today at the 32nd Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon (NVM). They topped a capacity crowd of approximately 2,300 runners who enjoyed perfect weather for marathon running during their 26.2-mile journey through the picturesque Napa Valley wine growing country. Cool, windless conditions under clear skies dotted by colorful hot air balloons helped numerous runners score personal records on the fast, rolling marathon course from Calistoga to Napa. The 2010 NVM served as the Road Runners Club of America’s Western Regional Marathon Championship race.

Arnstein’s winning time was 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 26 seconds. Coordt crossed the finish line at Vintage High School in 2:46:08 and added a fourth NVM women’s victory to her resume, the most ever by a woman at NVM. Coordt also won NVM in 1997, 2005, and 2009.

Arnstein, who owns a small, New York-based software company, improved upon a runner-up finish in this race in 2008. He has won several of the 40 marathons he has raced, including last year’s New Jersey Marathon.

Kenneth Burgess, 29, of Piedmont, Calif. led for almost ten miles of the men’s race as Arnstein was content to stick about 20 seconds back. Burgess, a naval engineer in the U.S. Coast Guard, was coming off a cross country season that culminated at the U.S. Armed Forces National Cross Country Championships in Spokane, Wash. last month.

“I’m coming off running pretty quick miles in cross country, so my initial 5:45 per mile pace seemed slow to me,” said Burgess, “but after 13 or 14 miles I could feel the pace kind of creep up on me.”

Once Arnstein took the lead, he didn’t relinquish it. Although he emerged as the winner, he missed a longtime goal.

“I’ve been on a quest to break 2:30 in the marathon for a very long time, about ten years,” Arnstein said. “I was on pace for about 23 miles. After that the wheels kind of fell off. The mind wants to go, but the body doesn’t respond. I always get really close. Always, I’m pushing myself as hard as I can.”

Several feet from the finish line, Arnstein kneeled to the ground and bowed his head for several seconds to reflect on his race. Burgess finished second in 2:40:16, a personal record time. Donald Courter, 34, of Mountain View, Calif. was third in 2:44:19, a five-minute PR.

“This was a surprisingly fast course for me,” said Courter after competing in his first NVM.

Arnstein, also, went home pleased, despite narrowly missing his race goal.

“I’m extremely excited. It’s been a dream of mine to win this race,” Arnstein said. “The event is super high class. If you want the highest quality marathon, the most beautiful scenery, the absolute best organization, you come here. It’s by far the best marathon in the United States outside of the Boston Marathon. It’s the kind of race that I want to come back to every year.”

In the women’s race, Coordt was initially accompanied by Abigail Larson (age 30, Salt Lake City, Utah) and Meghan Arbogast (48, Corvallis, Ore.). By ten miles, the contest was between Coordt and Arbogast. Last October, Coordt qualified for her fourth U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials race while running a 2:45:00 PR at the USA Women’s Marathon Championships in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. She plans on running the 2012 Trials in Houston. Arbogast, an accomplished ultra marathoner and a three-time Marathon Trials qualifier, was looking for a sub-2:46:00 time at Napa that would also qualify her for the 2012 Trials. So, the pair worked together.

“I told Meghan ‘I’ll try to run 6:19 minute (per mile) pace as long as I can with you,’” said Coordt who had planned to run only 20 miles of the race because she is pointing towards the Two Oceans Ultramarathon in Cape Town, South Africa on April 3rd. “At 20 miles I felt really good, and my husband wasn’t there to pick me up. So, I was getting excited about helping Meghan to a qualifier, and decided to keep going.”

When Arbogast fell off Trials qualifying pace at 23 miles, Coordt jettisoned to the lead. “I was suffering a little bit more than I wanted at that point,” Arbogast said. “My legs were just tired out. I knew at that point that it was going to be really tough to make the Trials qualifying standard.”

Arbogast finished 34 seconds behind Coordt, in 2:46:42, earning second place honors. Yiou Wang (24, Mill Valley, Calif.) ran strongly over the last several miles, and captured third place in 2:55:00, a personal record. Molly Friel (42, Fresno, Calif.) and Abigail Larson, the early co-leader who is a two-time winter Olympian in cross country skiing, followed in 2:57:50 and 3:00:42 respectively for fourth and fifth places.

Among masters (40 years and older runners), Robert Evans (43, Pollock Pines, Calif.) garnered the men’s masters win in 2:46:40. Coordt, 40, earned women’s top masters honors.

Chris Houde (50, Carmichael, Calif.) won the men’s wheelchair division in 2:22:05. There were no female wheelchair participants.

In the accompanying, Kiwanis 5K Fun Run, Brian Collett (25, San Lorenzo, Calif.) was the men’s winner in 16:55 and Michelle Lines (28, Chicago, Ill.) was first among women in 19:45.

Full race results for the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon are available on the event’s web site at www.napavalleymarathon.org. All proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit organization) are donated to local charities in the Napa Valley.

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The Napa Valley Marathon appreciates generous sponsor support from Kaiser Permanente/Thrive, Calistoga Mineral Water Company, ASICS America Corporation, Gatorade, Silverado Trail Wineries Association, Marathon & Beyond, Road Runners Club of America, USA Track & Field, MarathonFoto, Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, GU, CBS 5, Napa Valley Register, KVYN/99.3 The Vine, KVON 1440 AM, the Napa Running Company, KCBS 740 AM, Silverado Brewing Company, Napa Valley Bike Tours, Wine Country Inn/Napa Valley, Clover Stornetta Dairy, and Calistoga Bed & Breakfast Consortium.

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