For the first time in 15 years a Kenyan man -- Evans Rutto -- won the London Marathon, beating countryman Sammy Korir yesterday by 30 seconds in 2 hours 6 minutes 18 seconds in a chilly rain.
Kenyan Margaret Okayo, who won the Boston Marathon two years ago, was the women's victor in 2:22:35, more than three minutes ahead of Russia's Lyudmila Petrova. In sixth was Svetlana Zakharova, last year's Boston champion.
Rutto, who also won Chicago last fall, survived a nasty fall at 22 miles, taking down Korir with him. Dropping out at 6 miles was Olympic champion Gezahegne Abera of Ethiopia, whose wife, Elfenesh Alemu, is one of today's favorites in the women's race.
Also yesterday, Frederick Cherono of Kenya won the Turin Marathon in Italy, beating Italian Alberico DiCecco by nearly a minute in 2:08:38.
And in Hamburg, Vanderlei Lima of Brazil outran four Kenyans to win in 2:09:39. Kenyan Emily Kimuria was the women's winner in 2:28:56, outsprinting countrywoman Alice Chelangat by 1 second.
A long way
With today's new separate start for women, Zakharova goes into the books as the final women's champion in a mixed-gender race, along with Nina Kuscsik, the first official women's winner in 1972 and Roberta Gibb, the first known female finisher in 1966. Says Kathrine Switzer, who was body-blocked out of the race by unofficial gatekeeper Jock Semple in 1967: "We've gone from excluded to exclusive." . . . Late entrant Kevin Collins, who finished 12th at the US Olympic Trials in February, is now the top American men's runner in the field, with a personal best of 2:15:31 . . . Want to spend a week training in Addis Ababa with Abera and other top Ethiopian runners? Make an online purchase of teff, the grain used to make injera, the country's daily bread and its prime distance-running fuel. The winner gets round-trip airfare and six nights' accommodations. Check www.teffco.com for details . . . John "The Elder" Kelley, the champion in 1935 and 1945, on the difference between winning then and now: "I got a laurel wreath, a medal, and a bowl of beef stew. Now, they get $80,000. I was before my time."
Material from Associated Press was used in this report.