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Kenyan Boniface Kongin, who entered in the citizen field after the elite field filled up, won his first Grandma's Marathon men's race Saturday by overcoming hamstring and Achilles problems to win in 2 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds.
Kongin, who has stayed in West Duluth and trained in town since arriving April 19, stopped several times during the 26.2-mile race and walked across the finish line while pointing to the sky and dropping to his knees.
Kongin won the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5 in a personal-best time of 2:10:34 but injured his left hamstring and right Achilles in the process. Running a 2:06 pace nearly halfway through the race, he slowed down several times in the last half of the race as his ailments worsened.
He beat runner-up Andrew Colley of Blowing Rock, N.C., by 17 seconds. Harbert Okuti of Uganda was third, 1:05 off the pace.
Four-time defending champion Elisha Barno and course-record holder Dominic Ondoro each finished outside the top 10.
(06/22/2019) Views: 988 ⚡AMP
Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...more...