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Hill, Nielsen Lead Novato Finishers in Bay to Breakers

Hill takes 15th in 40-49 age division, best among Novato runners in cross-city 12K footrace.

Brian Hill of Novato covered the 12-kilometer Zazzle Bay to Breakers course in 46 minutes, 48 seconds on Sunday to take 15th in the men's 40-49 age group and 142nd overall in the famed footrace across San Francisco.

James Nielsen, a San Marin High graduate now living in Mountain View, finished in 46:10 to take 16th in the men's elite division and 120th overall. Nielsen, 32, was a top cross country and track runner during his Novato days and competed for Stanford.

Also earning a top-100 finish within his age group was Novato's Brian Burbank, taking 67th among the 40-49 group at 51:25, good for 372nd overall.

Dan Marvier of Novato cracked to top 500 overall, taking 476th with his time of 53:05, earning him 139th among men aged 30-39.

The top female finisher from Novato was Robin Diederich, who finished in 1:08:34, 51st in the women's 50-59 age group and 714th among all women.

More than 50,000 runners and walkers blanketed the streets of San Francisco for the 101st Bay to Breakers race. Professional runners and jovial amateurs alike started out on the 7.46-mile course from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach just before 7 a.m.

Teams of contestants in gold disco shorts, bumble bee outfits, tutus and more revealing costumes made their way west past Alamo Square and through the Panhandle.

Despite a ban on drinking that went into effect at last year's Bay to Breakers, alcohol appeared to be openly and widely consumed along the race route. As of 11 a.m., police had arrested one contestant for public intoxication and resisting arrest, according to the San Francisco Police Department. Officers had also given out eight citations for carrying open containers and possession of marijuana, police said.

According to preliminary results, an Ethiopian woman was the first runner to cross the finish line Manitu Daska, 28 — last year's second fastest woman — was the first to finish the course with a time of 39:03, race spokeswoman Stephanie Reichin said. Daska will take home a $37,000 cash prize for first place, Reichin said.

The second runner to cross the finish line was Sammy Kitwara, 25, of Kenya. Kitwara's course time was 34 minutes and 41 seconds, but a time "equalizer" that allows the women's field to start the race about 4 minutes and 30 seconds before the men put him across the finish line just seconds behind Daska, Reichin said.

The equalizer is the difference between the course record for the best men's time and the record for the best women's time, Reichin said.

The second fastest runner in the men's field was Allan Kiprono, 22, of Kenya, who finished the race in 34:49.

Click here to search for all the Bay to Breakers results.

– Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Christine Koenig May 21, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Congratulations, Robin!!!! That is the way to show what the new 50 is!!!!

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