FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Americans Complete Grandma's Marathon Sweep
Raabe, Akor Earn Historic Victories
(Duluth, Minn.) Chris Raabe made Grandma's Marathon history today becoming
the first U.S. runner to win the race since 1995.
Raabe, 30, a native of Sauk Rapids, Minn., now living in Washington, D.C.,
dominated the men's field winning in a personal-best time of 2 hours, 15
minutes and 13 seconds. Mark Kurp, of Lee's Summit, Mo., was the last
American winner 14 years ago. Raabe earned $10,000 for the victory plus a
$900 bonus for finishing in under 2:16:00.
Kenyans Charles Kanyao (2:18:36) and David Tuwei (2:19:49) placed second
and third, respectively. Reuben Chesang, 46, claimed the men's masters
title and set a new 45-49 age group mark – 2:19:54.
In the women's division, Mary Akor, of Lomita, Calif., also placed a
permanent mark on the Grandma's Marathon record books. Akor, 32, won her
third consecutive title with a winning time of 2:36:52, outlasting Russian
Alina Ivanova by six seconds.
Akor becomes just the second three-time open division winner in the event's
history. Lorraine Moller won three straight titles from 1979-1981. Akor, a
native of Nigeria but now a U.S. citizen, claims the $10,000 winner's check
plus an $800 bonus for running sub-2:37:00.
Ivanova, 40, placed second in 2:36:58 to earn the women's masters crown.
Robyn Friedman, of Lamb's Grove, Iowa, finished third in 2:38:03.
Amanda McGrory, 23, set a new course record in the female wheelchair
division with a winning time of 1:44:19. The victory – McGrory's fourth
straight at Grandma's – broke the previous top time of 1:46:29 which she
set in 2007.
Josh George, of McLean, Va., won his first Grandma's Marathon men's
wheelchair division title with a time of 1:32:01.
The 2009 Grandma's Marathon had 8,377 registrants and of those, 6,366
runners started the race and 5,851 finished. The 33rd annual Grandma's
Marathon had entrants from 44 countries, all 50 states and the District of
In the 19th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, Kenya's Ernest Kebenei
ran the fifth fastest time in race history, winning with a time of 1:05:15.
Ethiopian Belainesh Gebre claimed the women's title in 1:11:57.
A record number of 6,670 people registered for the 2009 Garry Bjorklund
Half Marathon with 5,695 runners starting the race and 5,604 finishing.
For complete results, log on to GrandmasMarathon.com. All results are
The 34th annual Grandma's Marathon is Saturday, June 19, 2010.