2007 Grandma's Marathon champion Wesly Ngetich has withdrawn from Sunday's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, according to TCM race officials. Ngetich, who ran 2:15:55 last June to become the 5th two-time winner of the Duluth race, pulled out of Twin Cities with a calf muscle injury.
Ngetich's withdrawal means that Andrew Musuva's claim to fame as the only male athlete to complete the same-year Grandma's/Twin Cities double will go unchallenged. Musuva turned his "double-play" in 1999. Grandma's 2007 women's champ Mary Akor, however, can become the first woman to complete the same-year sweep. She was the TCM runner-up in 2006.
The men's field still boasts 2004 TCM champ Augustus Kavutu of Kenya who sports a 2:11:39 marathon best. Fellow Kenyans Thomas Omwenga (2:10:44), Jonathon Ndambuki (2:10:58), and Fred Mogaka (2:12:03), Russian Mykola Antonenko (2:13:00), who finished runner-up to Kavutu at TCM in 2004, and Ethiopian Abebe Yimer (2:13:52) will be among those vying for this year's title.
Akor, who has a 2:33:27 PR from last year's race, will face Svetlana Ponomarenko of Russia, the fastest female entrant in the field at 2:29:00, Tatiana Borisova of Kyrgyzstan who has run 2:30:39 and Magdelena Lewy-Boulet of the USA has marathoned 2:30:50.
Our Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Coverage ... Down the Backstretch will offer extensive Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon coverage starting with tomorrow's Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Mile/USA Men's 10 Mile press conference. We'll have the latest news leading up to this weekend's races and finish-line coverage of the TC 5K, the TC-10, and, of course, the marathon itself.
Other than running in a race, there's no better place to experience TCM than with DtB!