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home > news > top news > kirwa defends, akor wins dick's sporting goods pittsburgh marathon titles

Kirwa Defends, Akor Wins DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Titles
Kogo sets UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon course record, Gesabwa women's champion; 37 Boston Marathon non-finishers run Pittsburgh

Kirwa Defends, Akor Wins DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Titles

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Running USA

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2013

PITTSBURGH - (May 5, 2013) - At the 5th DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday morning, James Kirwa of Kenya defended his title in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 37 seconds, while American Mary Akor of Hawthorne, CA won the women's 26.2 mile race in 2:37:35. In the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Kenyans Julius Kogo and Risper Gesabwa took the 13.1 mile titles in 1:02:32 and 1:13:16 respectively with Kogo setting a course record. Under clear, cool conditions, there were 22,761 entrants in both races combined, an event record.

In the Marathon, defending champion Kirwa, 29, took control of the men's race at mile 22 and went unchallenged to the tape in 2:13:37, averaging 5:06 per mile. Kirwa, who also pocketed $8000, became the first men's champion to repeat since 1994 (Abel Gisemba). Compatriot Stephen Njoroge was runner-up in 2:14:10.

"I flew in last night from Nairobi, but I thought that I could win since I knew the course and training had been going well," said Kirwa. "I cramped a bit at the end, and maybe next year I will come back to try for the 2:10 event record."

In the women's race, the pace was conservative through the first half (1:20:36) before Akor and Ethiopian Hirut Beyene Guangul increased the tempo and reduced the pack. Akor took the lead at 23 miles and held it until the end, crossing the line in 2:37:35 and taking home $9000, while Beyene Guangul was second (2:38:05).

"I put a surge on Hirut at 23 miles on the downhill and never let up. I was determined to run hard and win," said Akor, 36, who was spent at the finish.

In the Half Marathon (left, Pittsburgh Marathon), Kogo, 28, pulled away from countryman Linus Chumba in the final mile to take the men's title in 1:02:32, setting a new course record (previous record, 1:02:57, Julius Koskei (KEN), 2012). Chumba followed clocking 1:03:12.

The women's race was also a two-person Kenyan duel with Gesabwa and Chemtai Rionotukei battling each other until the final mile before Gesabwa, 23, grabbed the lead to eventually win in 1:13:16 with Rionotukei runner-up in 1:13:34. Their times are the #2 and #3 all-time women's performances for the event. First American was Sara Raschiatore of Shelocta, PA who finished 7th in 1:20:01.

"With 3 miles to go, I pushed hard, and my competition knew that I was stronger today," Gesabwa recounted.

Both half-marathon champions earned $6500 each. The overall race purse was $34,500, an event record.

5th DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
Pittsburgh, PA, Sunday, May 5, 2013

1) James Kirwa (KEN), 2:13:37, $8000
2) Stephen Njoroge (KEN), 2:14:10, $6000
3) Jonathan Kibet (KEN), 2:17:29, $4000
4) Philip Metto (KEN), 2:18:36, $2500
5) Jordan Chipangama (ZAM), 2:19:30, $1500
6) Gesera Genemo (ETH), 2:19:42, $1000
7) Joseph Mutinda (KEN), 2:19:48, $500

MASTERS MEN (40 and older)
1) Jason Bodnar, 42, USA / NC, 2:32:54, $1000

1) Mary Akor (USA / CA), 2:37:35, $9000*
2) Hirut Beyene Guangul (ETH), 2:38:05, $6000
3) Yihunilish Bekele Delelecha (ETH), 2:41:30, $4000
4) Lauren Woodring (USA / PA), 2:45:59, $4200#
5) Paula Wiltse, 45, CAN, 2:51:51, $1500
6) Simegn Yeshanble (ETH), 2:53:43, $1000
7) Laura Harnish (USA / PA), 2:56:28, $1000+
*includes U.S.-only prize money
#includes U.S.-only prize and Pennsylvania resident prize money
+includes Pittsburgh resident prize money

MASTERS WOMEN (40 and older)
1) Wiltse, see above

5th UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon
1) Julius Kogo (KEN), 1:02:32*, $6500
2) Linus Chumba (KEN), 1:03:12, $4000
3) Amos Sang (KEN), 1:03:39, $3000
4) Philemon Terer (KEN), 1:04:06, $2000
5) Pius Nyantika (KEN), 1:04:09, $1000
6) Tesfaye Assefa Dube (ETH), 1:04:43, $500
7) Tesfaye Girma Bekele (ETH), 1:04:47, $250
*course record (previous record, 1:02:57, Julius Koskei (KEN), 2012)

1) Risper Gesabwa (KEN), 1:13:16, $6500
2) Chemtai Rionotukei (KEN), 1:13:34, $4000
3) Elfneshe Yado (ETH), 1:13:59, $3000
4) Grace Wambui (KEN), 1:15:49, $2000
5) Hannah Wanjiru Gatheru (KEN), 1:16:13, $1000
6) Divina Jepkogei (KEN), 1:17:10, $500
7) Sara Raschiatore (USA / PA), 1:20:01, $250

For complete results and more, go to:

About the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
Organized by the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is a world-class event for runners across the globe. The race ignites the spirit of Pittsburgh, spanning 13 neighborhoods and boasting 9 festivals. The 2013 course will start and finish in Downtown Pittsburgh on May 5, 2013. Prior to the race, the two-day GNC Live Well Health & Fitness Expo will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. For more information, visit:



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