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IT’S HUTCHISON ALL THE WAY IN WOMEN’S MARATHON FIELD

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No-name entries. No clear-cut favorites. Likely a wide-open, competitive race. And watch out for the three H's - hills, heat and humidity - that will drain even the strongest participants.

Such was the advance billing for Tuesday's 1990 Deseret News-KSL Radio women's marathon.As if to prove that some things aren't as certain as they seem, we give you the winner, 26-year-old Lorie Hutchison of West Valley City. Her time of 3 hours, 2 minutes, 53 seconds was nearly 16 minutes better than the time of 3:18.43 by runner-up Laurie Tourney, 30, of Salt Lake City.

Genny Hale, 18, of Idaho Spring, Colo., finished third at 3:19.31; Jeri Pugh, 38, of Midvale, was fourth at 3:24.59.

Finishing second to three-time titlist Valerie Stephens a year ago, Hutchison led this year's race from start to finish, running what she termed a "stress-free" race and still having enough spark to execute a full-fledged, fist-thrust-skyward leap at the Liberty Park finish line that would have earned her a spot in the next "Oh-what-a-feeling" Toyota commercial.

But Hutchison admitted to experiencing all sorts of uncertainties herself before and during the race. She looked at the field of women's entrants and couldn't get a feel for the favorites - she became the clear-cut favorite once the race began and she jumped out in front.

Plus, she didn't think her planned training didn't seem adequate enough - until Hutchison found herself feeling stronger after the hills than her inaugural DesNews marathon attempts last year, when she came on strong and joined the leaders in the last third of the race to finish second with a time of 3:10.56.

As for the three dreaded H's, the hills didn't go away - no matter, since Hutchison had a commanding three-minute margin by the time she reached the top of Emigration Canyon. However, the heat and humidity never became the worrisome factors that the weathermen and pessimists had predicted.

One more "H" - a finish-line hurdle for Hutchison, who found herself coming up oh so quickly on a male marathoner who was experiencing the human equivalent of vapor lock and was being arm-lifted by a pair of volunteers across the line. But it was nothing that a deft sidestep manuever couldn't overcome, still allowing for her leap of self-described "ecstacy."

And where was Stephens and her title defense? Seems as though the 30-year-old North Salt Lake mother of one had become the mother of two some seven weeks previous, meaning that the marathoner had foregone the race and the training while going through another sort of physical-endurance challenge. Instead, Stephens joined as a commendtator for the radio coverage - but let it be known that one of Stephens' three titles came a year to the day after the birth of her first daughter, a July 24 baby at that.

Hutchison earned the spoils of the marathon victor - a trip for two to Hawaii and a feeling of euphoria that caused her to exclaim: "I feel great, I don't care if I ever race again." But she has been setting her sights in a direction opposite of Hawaii, hoping to run her first Boston Marathon next spring.

*****

(Chart)

Women's Marathon

1. Lorie Hutchison 3:02:53

2. Laurie Torney 3:18:43

3. Genny Hale 3:19:31

4. Jeri Pugh 3:24:59