Defending New York City Marathon champion Andres Espinosa has withdrawn from today's 25th anniversary event citing poor conditioning, related in part to salmonella poisoning in July and August. His countryman and 1991 NYC winner Salvador Garcia, will be joined by 1992 champion Willie Mtolo of South Africa in an attempt to reclaim the Big Apple crown.
Meanwhile, a major New York (Chemical) bank will pay tribute to the late NYC Marathon Race Director Fred Lebow by having sky writers type the message, "For You Fred" six times along the course in celebration of Lebow, who died last month of cancer. Officials also will unveil a statue of Lebow looking at his watch near the finish line in Central Park.
PLAYBOY AFTER DARK: In 1983, Charlotte Helmkamp stood at the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton doing a promotional bit in her role as a Miss Budweiser. "I thought these people were nuts," Helmkamp said.