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Up to the turnaround point of the ninth annual Sedona Marathon, Thomas Puzey and Brian Tinder were keeping pace with each other.

Top finishers at the ninth annual Sedona Marathon on Saturday, Feb. 1, include Randi Simon, 39, a Prescott Valley teacher who finished as fastest female in just over three-and-a-half hours.

But at about the 14-mile mark, for the first time since Tinder began running the marathon its inaugural year in 2006, the two Flagstaff residents parted ways — and Puzey took the lead for good.

“I got some more oxygen,” Puzey said. “There’s quite a bit more oxygen down here.”

And it was on full display on a balmy and crisp Sedona morning that allowed most of the record 2,627 runners to shed jackets by the two-hour mark of the race, won by Puzey in a time that bested Tinder’s winning effort the last two years, 2:46.20.

“Brian’s a great runner, but I know he was coming off downtime from a couple injuries,” Puzey said. “He’s a big bear, so winter for guys like him is kind of like coming out of hibernation.

“I’ve got to do this to get my legs to remember how to run,” he joked.

Puzey has been living in Flagstaff for just over a year after coming from the big island of Hawaii, where he finished the full Ironman Challenge in October 2012.

The fastest local finisher in the full marathon was Sedona resident Arjomand Kalayeh, who finished ninth overall at 3:27.14.
Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain High School teacher Randi Simon was the fastest female runner, coming in at 3:30.20 to win her second full marathon. Simon won the inaugural race as well in 2006.

The overall winner of the Sedona Marathon was Flagstaff resident Thomas Puzey, who posted a 2:46.20. Puzey was up against fellow Flagstaff resident and two-time defending marathon champion Brian Tinder for most of the race before pulling ahead at the 14-mile mark.“The last mile, I was just dying,” she said. “But I just kept pushing myself."

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Feb. 5, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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