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MARION, IN – Spring Arbor University’s Nathan Martin continues to amaze.  Martin now owns the fastest time ever in a collegiate marathon at 2:18.70, breaking Jim Cairns’ (Puget Sound, WA) 1985 record of 2:21.08.22.  What is even more amazing is that it was Martin’s first ever marathon.

Official times won’t be posted until later this afternoon, but it is certain that Martin’s time sets the new College Standard by almost two minutes.

So many amazing things can be said about this race, including Martin’s lead at the very first aid station that was four miles into the race.  Martin was already all by himself by over a minute, which was unheard of.  Running a clockwork steady pace of about 5:18 per mile, he left everyone behind and ran the entire race out of eye sight by the rest of the field.

By winning the 10,000 meter run on Thursday, Martin is just the second person in history to win both the 10,000, and the Marathon in the same year.  In 2003, John Ngure from Huntington University (IN) won both as well.

The time that Martin posted is now the 15th  fastest time in the United States this year and is just one minute, 18 seconds shy of the United States Olympic standard for qualifying for the Olympic Trials late this year.  Martin still has time to better his time if that is something that he would like to accomplish.

But what surprised many, if not all at the finish was that Martin accomplished all of it in his very first attempt at a marathon.  The longest he had ever run at one time is a 20 mile training run.

Bryan Burk backed up his 17th place finish last year with another top 20 performance.  Burk’s time of 2:37:06.00 improved by five minutes from a year ago and was the 19th runner to cross the finish line.

“I felt great at about the 20 mile mark,” said Burk. “About a mile later, I started hitting a wall and another mile later, I was hurting.”

Burk was running in fifth place at the 20 mile mark at about a 5:30 mile pace.

“I’m so proud of both of these guys,” said Head Coach Dante Ottolini.  “From everything that they have overcome and the way they compete.  The team, as a whole, Gold has blessed our team, and I feel that they have honored God with the way they love each other and support each other.”

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