Ngetich, Akor Claim victories at Grandma's Marathon
The second half of the 31st running of Grandma's Marathon quickly turned into the Wesly Ngetich show. The 29-year-old Kenyan dominated the final nine miles of the annual race from to Two Harbors, Minn., to Duluth, on his way to a time of 2:15:55 ...
The second half of the 31st running of Grandma's Marathon quickly turned into the Wesly Ngetich show. The 29-year-old Kenyan dominated the final nine miles of the annual race from to Two Harbors, Minn., to Duluth, on his way to a time of 2:15:55 and his second Grandma's Marathon title in the past three years.
Ngetich broke away from the competition about mile 17 and distanced himself from the lead pack, which included fellow Kenyans Joseph Kahugu, James Karanja and Stephen Muturi. Kahugu, 36, posted a second-place time of 2:17:29 while Karanja, 31, placed fourth in 2:18:56. Australia's Andrew Letherby, 33, was the only non-Kenyan in the top five, finishing third in 2:18:00. Stephen Muturi, the 31-year-old younger brother of two-time Grandma's Marathon champion Patrick Muturi, rounded out the top five in 2:20:27.
On the women's side, Mary Akor, of Gardena, Calif., became the first U.S. runner to win the female division crown since 1996. Akor, 33, pulled away from the field and cruised to victory in 2:35:40, more than three minutes ahead of Russia's Ramilia Burangulova, 46, whose time of 2:38:55 earned her second place in addition to the female master's title.
Both Ngetich and Akor, a native of Nigeria but now a U.S. citizen, earn a first-place cash award of $10,000.
Canadian Bruce Deacon, 40, won the men's 40 and over division and finished 13th overall with a time of 2:23:02. He will take home $2,500 in prize money.
Amanda McGrory, 21, successfully defended her title in the female wheelchair division and set a new course record in the process. Her winning time of 1:46:29 was two seconds faster than the previous mark set in 1999 by Candace Cable. In the men's wheelchair race, Spain's Rafael Jiminez prevailed in 1:28:45.
The 31st annual Grandma's Marathon had entrants from 50 countries, all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Out of 7,283 starters there were 6,898 finishers (2,515 women; 4,383 men).
In the 17th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, Chad Johnson, 31, of Rochester Hills, Mich., claimed the men's championship in 1:05:51, while Littleton, Colorado's Paige Higgins, 24, handily took the women's title, running a personal best 1:14:46.
A record number of 6,395 people registered for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and of those 5,296 runners started the race and 5,243 finished.
More results are included in the attached documents. For complete results, log on to www.grandmasmarathon.com .
-Grandma's Marathon press release