Monday, May 16, 2011

Chepkurui Gets Historic Third “W” at Bay to Breakers

Lineth Chepkurui returned to the site of arguably her greatest performance — the fastest 12k every run by a woman and a dominant victory over the reigning world cross country champion, in 2010 — to notch her third Bay to Breakers victory in four years. Running 39:12 to defeat runner-up Mamitu Daska, Chepkurui became the first woman to claim three titles since the elite race began attracting a world-class (and international) field in 1985. Former champions include road-racing superstars Joan Samuelson, Grete Waitz, Tegla Loroupe, KIMbia’s Elana Meyer, and Catherine Ndereba; none have run within thirty seconds of Chepkurui’s best performance here, and none have won more than once.

A pair of KIMbia men showed well, too. Allan Kiprono ran an impressive race to place third in 34:31, just two ticks behind Boston Marathon champion Deriba Merga, and five seconds away from race winner Ridouane Harroufi. Jason Hartmann took a solid 6th in 35:28, beating Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Bolota Asmerom to be the first American across the line. After the race, Hartmann said he’s “starting to get fitter. It’s just now about the racing.”

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