FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bob Gustafson
Public Relations Director
Ngetich, Akor Claim Victories at Grandma's Marathon
(Duluth, Minn.) The second half of today's 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
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
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.
The 32nd annual Grandma's Marathon is Saturday, June 21, 2008.