Heins first among U.S. runners at marathon

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Southeast coach was sixth among 10,000 participants at the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon.

Southeast Missouri State cross country coach Eric Heins picked up a consolation prize of some sorts Sunday at the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon.

Heins managed a sixth-place finish in a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 9 seconds to earn an $1,800 prize.

And he could claim the title of first American across the finish line.

Shimelis Mola of Ethiopia won the race in 2:13:08 to earn the top prize of $20,000. Mola outsprinted defending champion and fellow Ethiopian Terefae Yae in the homestretch to win by 5 seconds.

Two more runners from Ethiopia and a runner from the Ukraine rounded out the top five.

Tommy Greenless of the United States finished 17 seconds behind Heins, who won the 2004 St. Louis Marathon and finshed 102nd at Boston in 2005.

Heins has won Cape Girardeau's City of Roses Half Marathon the last two years.

His pace in the Arizona race was 5:23 per mile. He bettered his winning time of April 2004 in St. Louis (2:25:42) and his Boston time of last year (2:40:49).

The Arizona Marathon, in its third year, drew more than 10,000 runners with 8,031 finishing. A half-marathon that took place at the same time drew more than 20,000 runners. The race's course winds through Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: