New resident wins third Charleston Marathon; former collegiate runners take 3 of top 4 finishes

Craig Coon

After moving from New York to Mount Pleasant two weeks ago, Craig Coon’s new roommate suggested that he jump in Saturday’s third annual Charleston Marathon.

Coon, who was coming off competing in the Ironman World Championship in October, decided to give a try. Not only did the 24-year-old former collegiate runner win it, but he beat the second-place finisher by more 12 minutes.

“I looked up the times from the previous marathon and thought I had a good chance,” said Coon, who finished his third marathon in 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 45 seconds and chalked up his second marathon victory.

“The weather was perfect — cool and sunny — though the wind was definitely a little bit of a factor.”

Unlike Coon, 34-year-old Faith Korbel of Arlington, Va., celebrated her first marathon victory in 14 attempts with a time of 3:03:16, though the time was not a personal best.

“I liked that (the course) was flat and that the first stretch was near the water. That’s where I got my stride,” said Korbel, an administrative assistant who had to forego last year’s Marine Corps Marathon after a fall off her bike injured her hip.

Like Coon, Korbel is a triathlete and has her sights on an Ironman event in Montreal later this year.

Also like Coon, the male and female winners of the half marathon come from collegiate running backgrounds.

Alexandra “Alex” Cadicamo, 24, of New York City, ran for Yale and Tom Clifford, 29, of Wilmington, N.C., ran for Eastern Michigan.

Cadicamo was looking for a race after training for the New York City Marathon, which was cancelled because of Superstorm Sandy, and chose the Charleston race partly because her boyfriend has family here.

“Plus, it’s fun to run in places other than New York,” said Cadicamo, who works at Goldman Sachs.

Cadicamo set a personal record with a 1:22:03. Her next goal is to run the New York City Marathon.

Of the top finishers, Clifford seemed the most relieved to be done with the race, noting that he suffered “gastrointestinal problems” around Mile 3.

Clifford, a running coach with Without Limits and director of the Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Marathon, was among many runners who noted the strong headwinds on the course that started at Burke High School in downtown Charleston and ended at North Charleston High School.

“It’s a great race and beautiful course,” said Clifford.

The 5K was won by Matthew Devillers, 24, of Mount Pleasant, in 16:05, and Sarah Allers, 52, of Columbia, in 20:53.

Another notable performance at Saturday’s event was the first- place finish in the grandmasters division (age 50 and up) for the marathon. Scott James, 73, of Goose Creek, finished in 3:12:04 — a finish that put his average pace at 7 minutes, 19 seconds per mile.

Complete results are available on the Charleston Marathon website.

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