After winning Grandma’s Marathon last June, Jane Kibii hoped to make it a Minnesota double Sunday at the Twin Cities Marathon. Pain in her left foot prevented the Kenyan from making that happen, though she still enjoyed the experience.
Kibii was part of a group of four women who ran together for much of the race. With about two miles to go, It became a two-person contest between her and Ethiopia’s Serkalem Abrha — and Abrha made the final surge, separating from Kibii over the last 800 meters to win the women’s crown in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 39 seconds. Kibii finished five seconds behind, and Simegn Abnet Yeshanbel of Ethiopia was third in 2:32:43.
“After the problem with my foot, I was just glad to finish,” said Kibii, who won the women’s title at Grandma’s with a late rush but was unable to reprise that Sunday. “I love Minnesota. First at Grandma’s and second here, I’m happy. And I’ve never run a marathon with so many [spectators]. It was great.”
The winning time was well off the course record of 2:26:51, set in 2001 by Russia’s Zinaida Semenova and equaled in 2004 by countrywoman Irina Permitina.
Elizabeth Turner of St. Louis Park was the top Minnesotan, running 2:54:12 to finish in 21st place.
Mastering the course
Mbarak Hussein has gotten used to winning masters championships at the Twin Cities Marathon, with five in the past 10 years. Sunday, the 50-year-old — who had won the past two titles — finished second to Clint Wells in a close race.
Wells, of Boulder, Colo., ran 2:24:00 to finish eighth overall and first among masters men. Hussein was right behind him in 2:24:08. Josh Metcalf of Glencoe was third in 2:24:22 and was the highest Minnesota finisher in the marathon, finishing 10th overall.
Jenny Schulze of Clive, Iowa, won the women’s masters title in 2:45:17. The Twin Cities Marathon served as the U.S. masters championship for the 25th consecutive year.
Tyler Byers considers the Twin Cities Marathon course a particularly challenging one for wheelchair racers, with its hills and tight turns. That’s just the way he likes it.
Byers, of Denver, won his third Twin Cities Marathon wheeler title in a time of 1:58:02. The champion in 2007 and 2008, Byers said the course plays to his strengths as a good climber. He was part of a lead pack of three at Mile 18, then separated himself when the terrain began to rise at Mile 20.
“You think you’re almost at the top,” he said. “Then you turn another corner, and you’ve got another hill to go up. But it’s a great course.”
• Marathon officials reported that 69 runners received treatment in the medical tent at the finish line. Two were transported to medical facilities to be treated for noncritical conditions.
• A total of 8,511 runners finished the marathon, the lowest number since 8,197 finished in 2010. The 11,639 entrants also were the lowest since 2010, down from a peak of 12,026 in 2013.
Participation in the TC 10 Mile increased to a record 9,147. More than 30,000 people participated in the marathon, 10 Mile and Saturday’s 10K and 5K races.