Saturday, June 21, 2008

Grandma's: Mokono Wins; Akor Defends

Lamech Mokono of Kenya and Nigerian-born American Mary Akor won today's Grandma's Marathon titles.

Mokono (pictured), wearing the same race number -- #6 -- that fallen champion Wesly Ngetich wore for his win last year, ran 2:13:39.

Akor defended her 2007 title in 2:38:50.

Both Mokono and Akor broke away from their competition early in the race and battled bothersome headwinds en route to their victories.

The race was run under sunny skies with a start-time temperature of 63 degrees.

Wearing Ngetich's race number proved inspirational for Mokono, who was a friend of the murdered two-time Grandma's champion.

"At Mile 21 I felt I was the defending champion," he said. "I looked at the chest number and I said, 'This is a winning number.' so I was helped by that."

Akor joins Lorraine Moller and Svetlana Sultanova-Zhdanova as the only women to successfully defend titles at Grandma's. She could match Moller, a Grandma's three-peater, with a win next year.

Christopher Raabe, a Sauk Rapids native, was the top Minnesota native in the men's field in 6th at 2:17:35. Jenna Boren of St. Paul was the top Minnesota woman in 8th at 2:49:01.

Mathew Chesang of Kenya and Liza Hunter-Galvan of New Zealand won the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. Chesang clocked 1:04:48, while Hunter-Galvan ran 1:04:48.

Mike Reneau, a former Minneapolis resident who now competes for the Brooks-Hanson's group in Michigan was the top runner with Minnesota ties in the race in 3rd at 1:05:21. Duluth's own Katie Koski was the top Minnesota woman in the race in 5th at 1:18:29.

Defending Garry Bjorklund champ Chad Johnson, a University of Minnesota alum, was 7th in 1:06:53.

Full results for all the Grandma's events can be found HERE.

Duluth News-Tribune race coverage:
Men's race story
Women's race story
Half marathon story
Photo gallery

Star Tribune race coverage:
Women's race story
Men's race story
Half marathon / wheelers / etc.
Photo gallery

Photo by Charlie Mahler

1 comment:

Britta said...

Is your Hunter-Galvan time for the half marathon correct?

"Chesang clocked 1:04:48, while Hunter-Galvan ran 1:04:48."

Thanks for the great updates!