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Kenya’s Kemei Sets Richmond Marathon Course Record

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 14, 2011
  • Updated Nov. 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM UTC
Kennedy Kemei breaks the tape in Richmond. Photo: Times Dispatch

He improved it by nearly a minute.

Kennedy Kemei breaks the tape in Richmond. Photo: Times Dispatch

From: Running USA

RICHMOND, Va. — With a time of 2 hours, 13 minutes, 45 seconds, Kenya’s Kennedy Kemei, 33, set a new course and Virginia state record Saturday morning at the 34th SunTrust Richmond Marathon. The previous record was 2:14:32 set by Andrei Gordeev in 2005. Kemei walked away with a total of $5500 in prize money – $2500 as race champion, an additional $2500 for setting a new course record plus a bonus of $500 for finishing under two hours and twenty minutes. Mekides Bekele, a 25-year-old Ethiopian, was the first female to cross the finish line, clocking 2:47:50.

In the fourth year of the McDonald’s Half Marathon, a course record was also set in the women’s division. Nineteen-year-old Bekelech Bedada of Ethiopia crossed the finish line in 1:13:33, besting the previous course record set in 2010 by nearly three minutes. Kenya’s George Towett, 27, won the men’s division (1:04:34) for the second consecutive year.

In the HCA Virginia 8K, Charlottesville’s Donnie Cowart (22:56.20) inched past Julius Kogo of Kenya (22:56.26) in the closest 8K finish in memory, both times round up to 22:57. On the women’s side, 21-year-old Alemtsehay Misganaw of Ethiopia captured first place in 26:17.

New in 2011, the SunTrust Richmond Marathon added the Richmond Region Marathon Championship and awarded prize money to the top three local male and female marathon finishers. Chris Carrier was the first male Richmonder to cross the finish line with a time of 2:39:13 ($500) and Catherine Sykes, 29, was the first female in 3:01:22 ($500).

An all-time event record of 17,073 runners participated in this weekend’s events. The 26.2-mile SunTrust Richmond Marathon drew in 4,922 runners, while the McDonald’s Half Marathon had a record 7,493 and the HCA Virginia 8K had 4,658 participants.
In addition to a record-breaking number of participants, spectators also crowded the streets cheering and handing out water and snacks to the runners. There were 29 bands and musical performers lining the courses as well as 22 official cheering stations and four SunTrust / NBC 12 Party Zones.

The 35th SunTrust Richmond Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2012. A special $55 marathon entry fee and $45 half marathon entry fee is available through 11:59pm on Thursday, November 17.

34th SunTrust Richmond Marathon
Richmond, VA, Saturday, November 12, 2011
MEN

1) Kennedy Kemei (KEN), 2:13:45*, $5500
2) Njoroge Maina (KEN), 2:15:16, $2000
3) Jynocel Baswetti (KEN), 2:16:00, $1250
4) Abiyot Endale (ETH), 2:19:19, $1000
5) Mark Chepses (KEN), 2:19:56, $750
*course record (previous record, 2:14:32, Andrei Gordeev (BLR), 2005)

WOMEN
1) Mekides Bekele (ETH), 2:47:50, $2500
2) Aimee Phillippi-Taylor (PA), 2:49:53, $1500
3) Hirut Mandefro (ETH), 2:53:26, $750
4) Alem Ashebir (ETH), 2:53:59, $500
5) Gina McGee (VA), 3:00:02, $250

4th McDonald’s Half Marathon
MEN

1) George Towett (KEN), 1:04:34, $1000
2) Kipyegon Kirui (KEN), 1:06:31, $500
3) Jay Lumpkins (FL), 1:06:34, $250
4) Austin Richmond (FL), 1:06:36, $150
5) Ben Massam (NJ), 1:07:18, $100

WOMEN
1) Bekelech Bedada (ETH), 1:13:33*, $2000
2) Esther Erb (NC), 1:16:50, $500
3) Rena Chesser (VA), 1:19:27, $250
4) Julia Webb (VA), 1:20:17, $150
5) Sallie Ford (VA), 1:20:40, $100
*course record (previous record, 1:16:05, Maria-Elena Calle (ECU), 2010)

22nd HCA Virginia 8K
MEN

1) Donnie Cowart (VA), 22:57, $1000
2) Julius Kogo (KEN), 22:57, $500
3) Samuel Ndereba (KEN), 23:01, $250
4) Derese Deniboba (ETH), 23:07, $150
5) John Itati (KEN), 23:18, $100

WOMEN
1) Alemtsehay Misganaw (ETH), 26:17, $1000
2) Lilian Marilta (KEN), 26:25, $500
3) Nicol Traynor (VA), 26:35, $250
4) Mulu Seboka (ETH), 26:54, $150
5) Hellen Jemutai (KEN), 26:59, $100

Full results and more at: www.richmondmarathon.org

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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