June 7, 2010
San Diego, Calif. - Former Cal State Fullerton distance runner Nick Arciniaga placed third overall and was the first American to finish the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Sunday.
Kenyan Richard Limo took the lead at the 21-mile mark and never relinquished it, crossing the finish line in 2:09:56 to win his first career marathon, an achievement that wasn't lost on the former 5,000-meter world champion as he came to a complete stop upon crossing the finish line.
"It was very important to me," Limo said of his victory. "This was my first marathon win and I wanted to take a very good picture. This is wonderful."
William Chebor of Kenya was next across the finish line in 2:10:15, and Arciniaga took nearly two minutes off his personal best to finish third in 2:11:46. Arciniaga, the first American to place in the top 10 at this race since Josh Cox's ninth-place finish in 1999, hung on to an aggressive early pace and mixed it up with the lead pack through an opening 10K of 29:34 -- a personal best for the 26-year-old from Flagstaff, Arizona.
"The plan was to just sit on the leaders no matter what they were doing," Arciniaga admitted. "I was hoping for a huge breakthrough performance. I ran strong the last 10K and was able to catch a few more guys. I was hoping for better but I'm not going to be disheartened with a two-minute PR.