Running — Portland runner wins the Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon by 8:40; Willett edges Hailey by nine seconds to capture womens title

With elite mountain runner and 2012 Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon champion Sage Canaday not entered in this year’s race, the door was open for Portland’s Chris Platano Sunday morning in Dundee.

A year ago, Platano finished 7:26 behind Canaday, who won this year’s USA 100K Trail Running National Championship in January and the USA Mountain Running national title in 2012, but was the front­runner this time around.

Platano crossed in 1:20:12 to win by 8:40 over Brian Bernier of McMinnville. Rounding out the top five were Bellingham, Wash., runners Jonathan Ralston (1:29:11) and Brent Detta (1:29:43) in third and fourth, respectively, and Portland’s Will Justice in fifth (1:29:53). Justice won the inaugural event back in 2010.

The women’s race couldn’t have been much closer, as Meredith Willett bested fellow Portland runner Theresa Hailey by just nine seconds, finishing in 1:33.31. Willett and Hailey were 11th and 12th overall.

Stephanie Howe of Bend, the 2011 USATF 50 Trail Championship winner, was third in 1:36:03, followed by Carolyn Cross (1:49:16) and Denise Burley (1:49:20), both of whom are from Portland.

David Uri, of Bend, won the men’s masters division, crossing in 1:32:12, which also placed him seventh overall. Douglas Denney, of West Linn, was second (1:36:53) and David Zucker, of Memphis, Tenn., was third (1:41.27).

Dundee Mayor Ted Crawford showed well, placing fifth in the masters division and 23rd overall with a time of 1:44.09.

Denise Burley, of Portland, won a close victory in the women’s masters division, finishing in 1:49:20, less than a minute ahead of runner-up Amber Cruzan, of Chehalis, Wash., (1:50:18).

Although the event is capped at 1,200 participants annually, 1,130 of those completed this year’s race as opposed to just 997 a year ago. The field was dominated by women, who made up 71 percent of the field with 805 competitors to 325 men.

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