Colorado man wins St. Croix International Marathon

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J.D. Nielsen of Parachute, Colo., cruised to a win at the 11th St. Croix International Marathon on Sunday. Nielsen finished in 3 hours, one minute and 51 seconds on a fast but challenging 26.2-mile course.

A stretch of damaged pavement near the 10-mile marker on Ham's Bluff Road slowed many of the runners, but Nielsen won by more than 28 minutes.

Two-time Olympic marathoner and St. Thomas native Calvin Dallas took second in 3:30:01. Dallas' finish was good for the V.I. Championship and the Masters Championship (40 and over).

V.I. native and 1992 Olympian Ana Gutierrez took third overall to win the women's V.I. title and the Master's division in 3:33:20.

Mark Klein, the 2012 winner of the St. Croix Scenic 50-mile Run, continued his strong year on the island with a men's third-place time of 3:47:16. In his first marathon, St. Croix's Steve Horness was not far behind in fourth with a time of 3:50:02.

St. Croix's Sissel Holloway had a strong showing in her first marathon, finishing second among the women in 3:56.08.

Christine Mette celebrated her 60th birthday and ran the race with her 20-year-old son. Both finished in 5:04:15, good enough for Mette to take third for the women.

Yen Nguyen, a member of the 50 States Marathon Club from Houston was fourth among the women in 5:50:44. Diane Weaver and her mother, Rami Weaver, both of St. Thomas, finished tied for fifth for the women in 6:20:00.

Chicagoan Susan Daley, who ran the event's first edition, was seventh in 7:32:10.

In the 38th V.I. Half-Marathon, defending champion Diego Panesso won his second consecutive title in 1:18:26, but it did not come easy. The Columbian held off two Turabo University teammates by seconds. Fellow Columbian Arbrey Escobar was second in 1:18:35. Former V.I. champion Juan Robles, the territory's record-holder in the steeplechase, finished third in 1:18.42.

Shane DeGannes, 40, a member of the St. Thomas Association of Road Runners, took fourth in 1:24:13 and won the Master's division.

STAR's Ruth Ann David won the women's title in 1:32.52.

St. Croix's Paul Evora, who qualified for the canceled New York City marathon, took fifth in 1:39:50. The NYC race was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy.

V.I. triathlete Theresa Harper was the second woman to finish. Harper ran 1:39:50. St. Thomas' Ashley Benson ran 1:46:29 for third. Previous marathon winner Heidi Snow was fourth (1:53:22) and Denmark native Camila Jenson of St. Croix was fifth (1:55.09).

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