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Kiptoo Sets Grandma's Marathon Course Record

by Brett Larner
photo by Kenji Ogura

Japan's #3 independent runner Sho Matsumoto (Nikkei Business Service) made his international debut  June 22 at the 37th running of Grandma's Marathon.  Appearing through an invite from outgoing race director Scott Keenan and support from JRN after running a 2:13:38 best at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon, Matsumoto ran comfortably in the lead pack on mid-2:12 pace until eventual winner Bazu Worku (Ethiopia) made his race-breaking move near 30 km.  Worku went on to record the fifth-fastest winning time in Grandma's history, 2:11:14, with Kenyans Ernest Kebenei and Eliud Ngetich joining him under 2:12.  A total of 22 men ran sub-2:20 thanks in part to strong tailwinds throughout much of the point-to-point race.

Unable to follow Worku's play, Matsumoto lost ground and struggled over the final 5 km, ultimately finishing 17th in 2:17:53.  "I should have been able to make the podium," he told JRN post-race.  "I'm really, really disappointed."  Despite his disappointment, Matsumoto's time was the second-best of his relatively short marathon career.  Broadcast announcers took special note of him during the race, saying that at the pre-race press conference Matsumoto had sought out course record holder Dick Beardsley to talk and pay his respects.

The women's race was a Kenyan sweep, with Sarah Kiptoo marking a major PB of 2:26:31 to win by almost four minutes on the way to a new course record and runner-up Doreen Kitaka also setting a new PB of 2:30:21 to beat defending champion Everlyne Lagat, 3rd just off last year's winning time in 2:33:27.

37th Grandma's Marathon
Duluth, MN, June 22, 2013
click here for complete results

Men
1. Bazu Worku (Ethiopia) - 2:11:14
2. Ernest Kebenei (Kenya) - 2:11:45
3. Eliud Ngetich (Kenya) - 2:11:59 - PB
4. Matthew Kiplagat (Kenya) - 2:12:09 - PB
5. Weldon Kirui (Kenya) - 2:12:55
6. Christopher Kipyego (Kenya) - 2:13:00
7. Jordan Chipangama (Zambia) - 2:13:08 - PB
8. Kennedy Kemei (Kenya) - 2:13:17 - PB
9. Michael Reneau (U.S.A.) - 2:13:53 - PB
10. Edward Mbuni (Kenya) - 2:14:28
-----
17. Sho Matsumoto (Japan/Nikkei Business Service) - 2:17:53

Women
1. Sarah Kiptoo (Kenya) - 2:26:31 - CR/PB
2. Doreen Kitaka (Kenya) - 2:30:21 - PB
3. Everlyne Lagat (Kenya) - 2:33:27
4. Divina Jepkogei (Kenya) - 2:34:21 - PB
5. Pasca Myers (Kenya) - 2:34:24 - debut
6. Hirut Guangul (Ethiopia) - 2:35:29
7. Tibnit Gidey (Ethiopia) - 2:36:50
8. Jenna Boren (U.S.A.) - 2:40:38 - PB
9. Laurie Knowles (U.S.A.) - 2:41:59
10. Tezata Dengersa (Ethiopia) - 2:43:30

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2013 Kenji Ogura
all rights reserved

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Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
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Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
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Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
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July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 26: New Caledonia International Marathon, New Caledonia
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