Olga Appell of Mexico, running with the strongest incentive known to amateur athletes--a chance to make an Olympic team--emphatically won Sunday's 11th annual Long Beach Marathon in a time of 2 hours 30 minutes 43 seconds.
Appell, who trains in Albuquerque, N.M., beat former teammate Maria Trujillo, who ran 2:35:40, and Maureen Custy-Roben, third in 2:41:54.
Alfredo Rosas of San Pedro won the men's race, a tactical one, in a time of 2:18:40, beating Sam Rotich of Kenya, who was timed in 2:19:13, and Doug Kurtis of Northville, Mich., who ran 2:19:26.
Local favorite Jim Knaub won the men's wheelchair race in 1:44:47, and De Anna Sodoma won the women's division in 2:53:03.
Appell, taking advantage of excellent conditions on a cloudy and cold day, led from the start and was never challenged. She had to run faster than 2:32 to qualify for the Mexican Olympic team, and was hoping to break 2:30. Her time was a Mexican record, bettering Trujillo's mark of 2:32:09, set in 1983.