The two training partners already had finished first and second in a Minnesota marathon this year, as Elisha Barno beat Dominic Ondoro at Grandma’s Marathon. “I was happy for him,” Ondoro said. “And he is happy for me when I win.”
Sunday, it was Ondoro’s turn. The Kenyan won the Twin Cities Marathon in two hours, 11 minutes, 16 seconds, breaking away from Barno late in the race. Barno finished second, and Jacob Chemtai was third to complete the Kenyan sweep.
Serkalem Abraha, of Ethiopia, was the top female finisher, finishing in 2:31:40, with Jane Kibii second and Simegn Abnet Yeshanbel third.
Despite ideal weather conditions, the course record stayed intact on its 30th anniversary. Phil Coppess set the mark of 2:10:05 in 1985.
Ondoro won Grandma’s Marathon in 2014 in course-record 2:09:06, breaking Dick Beardsley’s 33-year-old record. He ran comfortably throughout Sunday’s race, pulling away from his countrymen in mile 18.
A lead pack of six men hit the halfway point of the race — along the eastern shore of Lake Nokomis — in 1:07:05. By mile 18, the group had dwindled to four, then to three as the field approached the steep grade that starts at Mile 20 from the Mississippi River to Summit Avenue.
The group picked up the pace along that grueling three-mile stretch, running Mile 22 in 4:46.”He was faster,” Barno said of Ondoro. “It was a good race.”