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Peacock And Puzzullo Win Emerald Nuts Midnight Run

Over 5000 runners took part in the race's 33rd edition.

Over 5000 runners took part in the race’s 33rd edition.

Stephanie Pezzullo is the new Emerald Nuts Midnight Run Champion. Photo: Miles for Meso

By David Monti

(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

NEW YORK (31-Dec) — Two athletes training in North Carolina, Landon Peacock of Blowing Rock and Stephanie Pezzullo of Charlotte, won the 33rd Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a four mile road race held here in Central Park at the stroke of midnight.

Peacock, 24, a former University of Wisconsin Badger who now runs for the Reebok-sponsored ZAP Fitness program, clocked 18 minutes and 35 seconds, three seconds up on Tesfaye Dube, an Ethiopian athlete who runs for the New York-based West Side Runners club.  Stephen Pifer, who runs for the Nike Oregon Track Club in Eugene, finished third in 18:48.

“It was a whole lot of fun,” Peacock said after running the race for the first time.  He smiled and added:  “It was the most interesting way I’ve started a year.”

Pezzullo, 29, who represents Saucony, outlegged rivals Sarah Porter and Carmen Douma-Hussar in the final mile to win in 21:05, a personal best for the distance by 55 seconds.  For Pezzullo it was her first Midnight Run victory; she was second back in 2006.

“Awesome, awesome,” Pezzullo said when she was asked how the race went.  She continued: “It was just a great experience, and the crowd support was unbelievable.”

Porter, who like men’s winner Peacock runs for the ZAP Fitness program, crossed the finish line in 21:17 in her debut at the race.  Douma-Hussar, a Canadian Olympian and former Midnight Run champion and course record holder, ran 21:26.  Former Providence College standout Katie DiCamillo was fourth in 21:38.

Both Peacock and Pezzullo earned $600 each in prize money and time bonuses.

The New York Road Runners, the race founders and organizers, said about 5000 runners took part.  A nearly 20 minute fireworks display accompanied the race.