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Horse Capital Marathon titles go to Lexington and Hoosier

Betsy Laski of Lexington was the top woman in the Kentucky Ale Horse Capital Marathon. The race passed about 40 horse farms before finishing at Fasig-Tipton.
Betsy Laski of Lexington was the top woman in the Kentucky Ale Horse Capital Marathon. The race passed about 40 horse farms before finishing at Fasig-Tipton. Herald-Leader

Saturday's inaugural running of the Kentucky Ale Horse Capital Marathon and Half-Marathon went off with a few snags, but nothing the runners couldn't overcome.

At Fasig-Tipton, where the races started and finished, traffic was so significant that the start was delayed 30 minutes until 7:30 a.m.

Soon after the start, there was light rain and then a downpour.

None of that seemed to bother the winners, though.

Jason Land, from Newburgh, Ind., won the marathon in 2 hours, 56 minutes, 13 seconds — a 6:43 per mile pace. Runner-up Jeffrey Lammers was timed in 2:57:28 for the 26 miles, 385 yards.

Lexington's Betsy Laski was the first female finisher, 10th overall, in 3:17:40. Linda Mihalec took second in 3:27:52.

The half-marathon titles went to Ian Prochaska and Maria Tupayahi.

Saturday marked what is thought to be the first full marathon to be held in Lexington since the Kentucky Relays Marathon in 1978. Of some 1,865 entries, 491 ran the long distance.

Competitors came from 38 states, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Land, 37, didn't stick around for the awards ceremony.

Laski did, though, and the mother of two said she played it loosey-goosey when formulating a strategy.

"Just kind of went out," said Laski, 31. "Didn't want to go out too fast, although I did and kind of bonked around mile 18 — slowed down a whole lot, but was able to luckily hold on to win. So not too much of a strategy.

"The rain was actually kind of nice. I think it helped with the humidity of it. It was really hard at around mile four or five, where it was kind of hard to see. But it was kind of refreshing, too."

The marathon course was looped on rolling, scenic country roads past some 40 horse farms.

"The marathon did two loops," Laski said. "The first loop around, I thought the hills weren't too bad. They were tolerable. The second loop, I felt they were like mountains."

In the half-marathon, twins Ian and Zach Prochaska crossed the finish line together. Ian was given the official nod for first place in 1:20:38, with Zach in 1:20:39.

The brothers, 23, are 2013 University of Michigan graduates. Now physician-assistant students at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, they are spending several weeks in Lexington while on emergency medicine rotation.

"It's a great race. They did a really nice job putting everything together," Ian said. "Everything was well-marked. Lead cars out the whole race. For a first-time race, this is a really good one."

"Just top-notch," Zach said. "The weather wasn't exactly ideal running conditions, but they did a great job organizing this race, and everything went off without a hitch. So A-plus."

Tupayahi, a University of Kentucky physician from Peru, clocked in at 1:39:06, some 26 seconds ahead of runner-up Kelly Chung.

"I felt good," Tupayahi said. "I'm four months pregnant, so I was taking it easy. ... (The course) was pretty nice. It was green everywhere."

Partial proceeds from the races benefit the Blue Grass Farms Charities.

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