Pictured above: 2010 Grandma's Men's Champion Philemon Kemboi of Kenya. (Photo by Jeff Frey & Associates, courtesy of .)
Pictured below, 2010 Grandma's Women's Champion Bezunesh Deba of Ethiopia. (Photo by Jeff Frey & Associates, courtesy of .)
Complete official results are posted HERE.
The Duluth News-Tribune has a race story and some video on the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon HERE.
Expect continued race-day coverage from the Duluth News-Tribune HERE.
Official Marathon Results ...
Men: 1. Philimon Kemboi 2:15:44 ... 2. Chris Kipyego 2:16:00 ... 3. David Rutoh 2:16:03 ... 4. Kipyegon Kirui 2;16:54 ... 5. Kennedy Kemei 2:16:55 ... 6. Christopher Raabe 2:17:43 ... 22. Bret Fransen 2:27:07
[Corrected] Women: 1. Bezunesh Deba 2:31:36 .. 2. Yeshimebet Bifa 2:35:28 ... 3. Everlyne Lagat 2:37:26 ... 4. Mary Akor 2:38:02 ... 5. Ramila Burangulova 2:40:08 ... 6. Frashiah Waithaka 2:41:14 ... 15 Jenelle Deatherage 2:49:25 ... 17 Katie Koski 2:50:11
Tidbits ... Kemboi is the 9th Kenyan to win Grandma's ... Kenyans have won seven of the last nine Grandma's Marathons .... Deba is the first Ethiopia to win the Grandma's women's race.
Three-time champion Mary Akor ... told reporters after the race that she was in pain from early-on today. The Nigerian-born American will have surgery to remove uterine fibroids on Friday.
Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia is the women's champion of the 34th annual Grandma's Marathon!
Deba is rolling again ... and still has a large lead.
Women's leader Buzunesh Deba suffering from stomach problems just past the 25 mile mark.
Men's finish order ... Kemboi, Kipyego, Rutoh, Kemei, Kipsang, Raabe
Philemon Kemboi wins the 34th annual Grandma's Marathon in 2:15:44, unofficially!
Inside a mile to go, Philemon Kemboi is pulling away!
With a mile to go, Philemon Kemboi has made a strong move ... Chris Kipyego is trying to follow!
With two miles to go in the men's race, it's still a three man Kenyan battle!
Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia has pulled away from countrywoman Yeshimebet Bifa after the 19 mile mark ... she has more than a 30-second lead.
After the climb up Lemon Drop Hill, the lead pack is down to three runners ... David Rutoh, Chris Kipyego, and Philemon Kemboi, a 36-year-old Kenyan with a 2:10:58 PR set last year ... Chris Raabe has fallen further behind.
At 21 miles, the men's lead pack numbers seven runners ... it also includeds Kennedy Kemei a 2:13:36 runner and Chris Kipyego a 2:12:58 man ... Chris Raabe is 100m behind the lead pack.
Joseph Mutinda's PR also came last year ... a 2:13:19 from the LaLa Marathon in Mexico. He finished 4th at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon last year ... and was the TCM runner-up in 2007.
David Rutoh, has a PR of 2:10:31 from 2009, is making his Grandma's debut.
It's an all East African lead pack now ... Kenyans David Rutoh and Joseph Mutinda appear to be the runner pushing the pace.
Just beyond the 18 mile mark, defending men's champ Christopher Raabe is losing contact with the lead pack, which is down to eight runners ... the last mile of 4:56.
Yeshimebet Bifa and Buzunesh Deba continue to lead in the women's race. The Ethiopian pair passed 13.1 miles in 1:14:40 ... they have a 3-minute lead over the nearest challenger, three-time defending champ Mary Akor.
Grandma's Marathon Course Records ... Men: Dick Beardsley 2:09:37 in 1980; Women: Fira Sultanova-Zhdonova 2:27:05 in 2003.
Temperatures are holding steady in the mid-60s ... and there's welcome cloud-cover up the course.
Men's marathoners justed crossed the half marathon stripe in 1:07:49 ... just under 2:16 pace. The lead pack numbers 12-15 runners ... including Chris Raabe, the Sauk Rapids native who won the race last year. Khalid Boumlili, however, has fallen off the pace after a series of "crazy surges," according to lead vehicle color commentator (and course record-holder) dick Beardsley.
Men's splits for miles 6-10: 5:20, 5:08, 5:21, 5:17, 5:14 ... there's a large lead pack that includes defending champion Chris Raabe.
Deba and Bifa passed 10 miles in 56:28 ... 2:28:00 pace.
Garry Bjorklund (another Olympian here in Duluth this weekend!) is being interviewed on the radio right now. He described racing the 1980 Grandma's, which he won, with a chip on his shoulder ... after President Jimmy Carter pulled the USA team out of the Olympics that year.
Buzunesh Deba won the Cal International Marathon last December, where she set her PR. She recently won the Broad Street 10 Miler in Philadelphia in 55:13.
Yeshimebet Bifa finished 7th at the Dubai Marathon in January, where she set her PR. She's also finished 2nd at the Porto Marathon in Portugal last year and was 3rd in Milan earlier this year.
Two Ethiopian women are off the front in the Grandma's Marathon ... Yeshimebet Bifa, who sports a 2:27:45 PR, and Buzunesh Deba, a 2:32:17 marathoner have opened up a lead on rest of the field in the women's race.
Women's Half Marathon champion Caroline Rotich told reporters she pulled away from the start and ran alone for the entire race.
Official Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Results ...
Men: 1. Stephen Muange 1:04.24 ... 2. Bado Worku 1:04:27 ... 3. Derese Deniboba 1:04:55 ... 4. Worku Beyi 1:05:13 ... Stephen Haas 1:05:22 ... 6. Fernando Cabada 1:05:55 .... 8. Justin Grenewald 1:06:34
Women: 1. Caroline Rotich 1:12:40 ... 2. Alemtsehay Misganaw 1:14:46 ... 3. Wendi Ray 1:14:56 ... 4. Jennifer Houck 1:15:49 ... 5. Michelle Frey 1:17:11 ... 6. Jenna Boren 1:19:21
At the 4 mile mark of the marathon, favorite Khalid Boumlili of Morocco has already thrown in a testing surge ... but the lead pack quickly reeled him back in.
Men's champion Maunge and Worku broke away from the pack at the 10 mile mark. He described a steady headwind en route.
Caroline Rotich of Kenya wins the women's division of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in 1:12:38, unofficially.
Stephen Muange of Kenya wins the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in 1:04:24 ... just missing Ryan Meissen's stubborn course record. Maunge outkicked Bado Worku in the final meters of the race.
The 34th Annual Grandma's Marathon is underway!
The wheelers are away in Grandma's Marathon!
Low flying fighter jets just buzzed Canal Park ... setting off some car alarms in the process!
Half Marathon leaders after the half-way point ... Stephen Muange of Kenya and Derese Deniboba of Ethipia for men and fromer Paynesville and University of Minnesota runner Jen Hess.
The Duluth News-Tribune has posted an odds chart for today's race. Their Grandma's Marathon favorites: Khalid Boumlili, a Moroccan who ran a 1:00:04 half marathon recent (3-1) and three-time defending women's champ Mary Akor (2-1)
Find the full odds HERE.
Kara Goucher isn't the only Olympian on hand here ... last night, Carrie Tollefson won the women's division William A. Irvin 5K in 18:24. Duluth's Scott Behling won the men's race in 16:39.
Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Records ... Men: Ryan Meissen of Hudson, Wisconsin 1:04.19 in 2002; Women: Colleen DeReuck of Boulder, Colorado 1:10:00 in 2003.
Dick Beardsley and Kara Goucher are reporting on the men's and women's marathon races today for local radio.
Half Marathon women's favorites include: Kenya's Caroline Rotich who has a 1:10:23 PR, Alemtsehay Misganaw of Ethiopia who has run 1:12:48, and Team USA Minnesota's Michelle Frey who has run 1:12:46
Half Marathon men's favorites include: Worku Beyi of Ethipia who has a 1:01.57 PR, countryman Badu Worku who has run 1:03.45, and 2008 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Champion Fernando Cabada who has run 1:02:45 and has finished 2nd and 3rd in the last two Garry Bjorklund Half Marathons.
The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is underway ... and there's drizzle reported up the course.
Welcome to Down the Backstretch's finish-line coverage of the 34th Grandma's Marathon!
It's a partly-cloudy, mild, but somewhat breezy early morning here at the finish-line at Canal Park in Duluth. At 6:25 a.m., just before the start of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, the Duluth temperature was 64 degrees, the dew-point was 55 degrees, and the relative humidity was 75%.
Reports from up the course report breezy conditions at the marathon start-line. Hour-by-hour temperature predictions forecast finish-time temperatures for the elite runners not much higher than they are now -- in the mid-60s. The high for the day is forecast at 70 degrees.
We'll update you on the progress of the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon and the 34th Grandma's Marathon as the events progress. Just refresh your browser regularly for news on all the action. The latest info will be posted at the top of the page.