Lauren Kleppin celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon outside Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Lukas Keapproth/Press Gazette Media
Lauren Kleppin has been told since she was in high school that she should be a marathon runner.
Itís a good thing she listened.
The Milwaukee native won the womenís Cellcom Green Bay Marathon on Sunday morning, finishing the 26.2 mile race in 2 hours, 47 minutes, 20 seconds and dominating the field while doing it.
The next closest competitor was runner-up Alexandrova Irina of Kentucky, who finished almost 13 minutes behind Kleppin. Kaylie Trombly of De Pere finished third.
Kleppin, who received $3,000 in prize money for the win, ran alongside one other elite womenís runner for the first four or five miles of the race, but after that she separated and never saw anybody else near her the rest of the way.
Any win is nice, but this one might have been a bit more special.
ďIím a Wisconsin girl, so I wanted to come back to Wisconsin and hopefully bring back a win,Ē said Kleppin, a graduate of South Milwaukee High School who now lives in Big Bear Lake, Calif. ďI was happy to be the first one to cross the line.
ďIíve never been to Lambeau, and Iím a huge Packers fan. So, it was really cool to run around the field and get up to Green Bay. Going through the tunnel, you always see it on TV. I canít wait to brag about it when I get back home.Ē
Kleppin, 24, is a former standout at Western State College, an NCAA Division II school in Colorado. She was a nine-time all-American and holds the DII national record in the 10,000 meter run.
She ran both cross-country and track at the school.
Kleppin has won both marathons she has competed in since recently becoming an elite runner. Her first career marathon was in Carlsbad, Calif., in January, a race she finished in 2:42.
ďIím undefeated right now,Ē Kleppin said, laughing. ďMy (Cellcom) time was slower than my first one, it was a little more hot today. Thatís kind of what I expected.
ďIt got a little warm for me. I just tried to keep it easy and stay relaxed. Running along the river was nice and refreshing. I just had to stay tough.Ē
Kleppin might be taking a break from marathons for a while. She has qualified for the USA Track and Field national championships in the 10K.
Kellyn Johnson of Arizona won the womenís half marathon. She finished in 1:12:27 and averaged 5:32 per mile.
Jenna Boren, who is a three-time half marathon winner and set the former course record in 2011, finished second with a time of 1:16.55.
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