The second-place women's finisher in Sunday's District of Columbia Marathon was incorrectly identified yesterday. Molly Pyle of Washington finished second with a time of 3:19.56.
Jim Alexander was worried that the time he spent moving from Pennsylvania to Florida during the past three weeks had cut into his training. Perhaps the break did him some good.
Alexander led from the start in yesterday's fifth annual District of Columbia Marathon, finishing nearly six minutes ahead of a field of 1,800 runners and shattering the course record by 1:32 with a time of 2 hours 25 minutes 8 seconds.
Jim Berka of Albuquerque, N.M., who finished third in 1981, and Lucius Anderson of Silver Spring followed in 2:31:03 and 2:32:47, respectively.
Stephanie Schneider of Oley, Pa., moved into the lead after eight miles to win the women's division by almost 15 minutes in 3:05:04. Molly Kyle (3:19:56) of Washington and Susan Stroud (3:24:05) of Maryville, Tenn., were next.
Alexander ran the 26-mile 385-yard race virtually alone, after leaving Anderson behind at the four-mile mark, in Georgetown. "I could tell in the first half mile that I was going to do well," said Alexander, who won the 1983 race but last year lost by 50 meters when Scott Bagley of Ontario, N.Y., set a course-record 2:26:40.
Alexander, now living in Boca Raton, Fla., and working as a special education teacher, decided Friday to run here because he felt he was not in good enough shape to compete in the Boston Marathon, which will be run today. He also wanted to avenge his performance in last year's race, in which he had spotted Bagley a four-minute lead with five miles remaining, only to fall short on his kick.
"I'm glad I ran here," said Alexander, who is 6 feet 3 and 165 pounds. "I was beaten outright last year."
Alexander was more concerned with avoiding traffic as he passed through Washington's eight wards than with the competition.
"The way I've run in the past two years I'm faster in the second half of the race," he said. "I didn't think I'd get beaten at the end this year. When you're on 2:20 pace, they would have to be a world-class runner to beat me."
Schneider completed her first marathon in four years. She had been bothered by an injured Achilles' tendon. She had hoped to run 3:15, 15 minutes faster than her best marathon time from 1980, and was surprised by her feat.
"I'm a cold-weather runner," said Schneider, a 5-foot, 105-pounder. "Give me zero degrees and I'm happy. I've had problems in the heat in the past."
Schneider ran into a little trouble at the 18-mile mark, where she said she "felt really bad and stopped for about three steps and almost threw up. At 22 miles, I was feeling good again."
Ken Archer also had to stop during the race: the wheelchair competitor from Bowie had to pull to the side of the road three times to fix his wheelchair.
Archer nevertheless won his fourth straight race, in his slowest time of 2:43:13.
The oldest finisher was 77-year-old Ed Benham of Ocean City, Md., who completed his fifth D.C. Marathon in 3:47:13.