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Hudson native places fourth among females in Cleveland Marathon's half marathon

by Frank AcetoAssociate Sports Editor Published: June 22, 2014 12:00 AM
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Hudson native Maria Innamorato isn't the type of person who likes to sit still.

"I lead an active lifestyle," she said. "I like to run and if I'm not running, I like to paint or play the piano."

Thanks to her never-ending energy, the 2008 Western Reserve Academy graduate placed fourth among females with a time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, 23 seconds at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon half marathon May 18.

Innamorato, 24, who finished second in the female 20-to-24 age group, is a nurse in the cardiothoracic stepdown unit at University Hospital in Cleveland Heights.

She was a standout in the 1,600-meter race at Reserve and did her first half marathon last fall in Fairport Harbor.

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Innamorato, a 2012 Case Western Reserve University graduate, averaged 6 minutes, 53 seconds per mile during the half marathon in Cleveland.

"I got my PR [personal record] by 15 minutes," Innamorato said. "I normally run 8 to 10 miles about five to seven times per week. I just love racing."

Innamorato had to battle some cooler temperatures during the 13.1-mile race.

"I think it was 40 degrees at the start of the race, but I warmed up pretty quickly," she said.

Innamorato decided to pace herself during the early stages of the race. She decided to turn it up a few notches later in the race.

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"I stuck with a seven-minute pace, which felt kind of slow," Innamorato said. "And then I just accelerated after the 10K mark. I finished really strong in the last 100 meters. I was told that I passed six people."

At WRA, Innamorato lacked that final "kick" that she desired to finish a race.

"Coach Geno [Reserve head girls track and field coach Eugene Thomas] always tried to get me a kick," Innamorato said. "I definitely found my kick during this race."

Innamorato has her sights set on the Akron Road Runner Marathon half marathon in September. Someday, Innamorato may consider running the 26.2-mile race.

"I could see that in my future," she said. "I don't need to be in a race. I just love to run. I'll run with anyone, any place, any time."

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