Kenyan, Ethiopian runners win at Pittsburgh Marathon

Boniface Kongin of Kenya and Bizuwork Getahu Kasaya of Ethiopia won the 26.2-mile Pittsburgh Marathon with times of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 34 seconds and 2:36:29, respectively.

In the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Puerto Rican Antonio Cardona Rodriguez improved his 2018 time by three minutes to repeat as the men’s champion in 1:05:08 and Stephanie Bonk of Houston, Texas won the women’s title in 1:22:02.

In the men’s race, a five-man pack including Kongin, Girma Bekele Gebre and Eluid Ngetich was together through mile nine. Kongin and Ethiopian Gebre broke away from the pack at mile 10, with Kongin separating quickly and widening the gap so far by mile 14 that he cruised across the finish line with a personal record of 2:10:34. Coming in second was Gebre, who also recorded a PR of 2:13:46. Ngetich of Kenya placed third, clocking a time of 2:14:38.

“I feel so happy and to make it more happier I did it in Pittsburgh,” Kongin said. “I felt the crowd kept me moving on such a difficult course. I am just super happy and this gave me the moral boost I needed.”

In the women’s division, the lead pack of four ran an average pace of six minutes per mile through mile seven, at which point American Christina Murphy fell behind. Ethiopian trio Kasaye, Bose Gemeda Assefa and Meseret Ali Basa continued to run together through the halfway point, which was reached in 1:18:10 and led by Kasaye. Kasaye picked up the pace in the second half to set a personal record, and Assefa was runner-up with a time of 2:39.14 and Basa took third in 2:40:49.

The top Americans in the Pittsburgh Marathon were Ian Carter from Flagstaff, AZ, who finished sixth overall in the men’s division with a time of 2:32.2, and Christina Murphy from Columbus, Ohio, who finished fourth in the women’s division with a time of 2:46:07.

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