Nicole Tassello, of Mercer County, says she ‘never thought I’d win in my first marathon.’ She won the Ocean Drive Marathon in Sea Isle City on Sunday.

Nicole Tassello not only won the women's division of Sunday's 16th annual Ocean Drive Marathon, she did it in record time.

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Tassello, a 22-year-old resident of Hamilton Township (Mercer County), covered the 26.2-mile distance from Cape May to Sea Isle City in 2 hours, 58 minutes, 03.3 seconds. The former runner for Rider University became the first female to run the Ocean Drive Marathon in under three hours and broke the women's record of 3:00:29 set by Jacquie Merritt, of King of Prussia, Pa., in the inaugural race in 1999.

Eric Bofinger, of Langhorne, Pa., was Sunday's overall winner. The 29-year-old finished in 2:39:40.2. That was the third-fastest winning time in event history. A.J. Kelly, of Altoona, Pa., set the record of 2:34:29 last year. Nick DeSantis, of Blackwood, won the 2009 ODM in 2:39:08.

Douglas Schmitt, of Havertown, Pa., won Sunday's 10-mile race in 1:01:11.2. Lauren Sanders, of Wyomissing, Pa., who was last year's women's marathon champion, took top honors among women in the 10-miler in a record time of 1:03:13.3. That broke the mark of 1:05:49 set by New York's Alexandra Brown in 2012.


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