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Stamps Mallon wins Santa Rosa Marathon


Hometown athlete Julia Stamps Mallon won the Santa Rosa Marathon Sunday morning, and she ran fast enough to qualify for an Olympic bid.

Mallon, 32, posted a 2:44:16 for the 26.2-mile course.

"I felt good," said Mallon, 32, soon after finishing. "It's awesome to be running here in town."

Mallon now plans to race in Houston in January in the Olympic marathon trials.

The former star Santa Rosa High School runner was also a six-year All-American at Stanford University and has been running and winning marathons repeatedly in the past several years.

Sunday, the local favorite was one of about 1,800 people participating in the Santa Rosa races.

It was the third annual Santa Rosa Marathon, an event that has grown markedly since its inception.

This year, it also earned the cachet of being a qualifying race for the prestigious Boston Marathon.

Race organizers did not release a number of total qualifiers for the Boston Marathon.

One of Sunday's runners was Boston resident Nick Pelletier.

"I did it," said a tired but jubilant Pelletier, 26, after posting his 3:04 run.

He decided to run in Santa Rosa when he realized his summer vacation and college reunion in San Francisco would coincide with the race.

An additional 5k race Sunday served as a fundraiser for Santa Rosa city swimming pools and Chops teen workforce program.

As the number of runners has increased, so has the community involvement. Juilliard Park became a large festival setting Sunday, with numerous booths, food and live music.

Runners Sunday had the benefit of foggy skies. Marathoners did two 13.1-mile loops, circling from Juilliard Park near downtown Santa Rosa to the Prince Memorial Greenway path, west along Santa Rosa Creek and back.

Mallon crossed the finish line to cheers and clapping as an announcer let people know she was approaching.

"What a finish. It's so great she could qualify on this course," said Orhan Sarabi, race co-director.

Mallon would like to run in the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil, thinking she won't be able to get her time down enough fast enough to qualifying for the 2012 London games.

But she's already running ahead of what she thought she'd be able to do.

"I didn't think I'd be running this fast as quickly as I have, so soon after this one," she said, indicating her nearby 6-month-old baby.

While marathons typically are won by men, two women came across the finish line Sunday ahead of the more than 500 or so other marathon runners.

Second place went to Tyler Stewart, 33. The Novato woman came in just behind Mallon, with a 2:45:14 time.

Stewart's time also qualified her to go to Texas for the January Olympic trial run.

Third place in the long race and first place in the men's category went to Joel Scholz, 33, of Wheat Ridge, Colo., with a time of 2:48.

The day's half-marathon again this year was won by longtime, successful Santa Rosa runner Alex Wolf-Root, 24. His time was 1:13:52.

Elaine and Richard Flin came from Chino to run in the half-marathon. They added some flare to their running outfits, Mickey Mouse ears for him and Minnie ears and a bridal veil for her.