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World’s Best Road Runners Take Top Spots In Hy-Vee Road Races At The Drake Relays

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: April 28, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa – More than 5,000 runners of all ages raced through the streets of Des Moines on Sunday morning in the Hy-Vee Road Races at the Drake Relays on the final day of action at the 2013 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.

The Hy-Vee Road Races featured a half marathon, 10k and 6k races with all three finishing inside Drake Stadium as competitors raced for $120,000 in prize money.

That purse drew some of the world’s best road runners to Des Moines as fans watched the fastest men’s and women’s half marathon times run in Drake Relays history.

Mark Kiptoo of Kenya won the men’s Hy-Vee Half Marathon and $12,000 first-place prize in 1:02.27 after switching to the event from the 10k race at the last minute.

“It was a tough race,” Kiptoo said of the climb to the finish. “I tried to move in the beginning, but I realized that the other runners were very strong and we should work together. It was my first time here in Des Moines and this was my first half-marathon in the U.S. I’m so grateful.”

Kiptoo’s performance on Sunday was the fastest in the history of the Drake Relays. The previous record of 1:07.45 was set by Matt Gabrielson in 2007.

Merkebu Birke, a native of Ethiopia, finished in a close second place with a personal best time of 1:02.30 with Alene Reta of Ethiopia finishing on his heels in third as a strong pack of seven runners kept pace for most of the race.

“I expected it to be tough because the group was strong and I knew anything could happen,” Birke said. “I was happy yesterday that race officials were able to show me the start and the finish of the race so I could plan my race.”

The women’s half marathon also saw the fastest time in Drake Relays history as Belainesh Gebre won by five seconds in a time of 1:12.10. Her time was nearly four minutes better than the previous best of 1:15:59 set by Robin Friedman in 2011

“I’m happy to win because it’s my first time at this race and it was very nice,” Belainesh, who hails from Ethiopia said. “All of the people really supported me to keep going, so it was a great race.”

Belainesh held off Ogla Kimaiyo of Kenya down the stretch on the Blue Oval with Kimaiyo finishing in 1:12.14.

“We were running good together until the very end when she [Belainesh] pulled ahead just outside of the stadium,” Kimaiyo said.

The 10k race, benefitting the Healthiest State Initiative, also saw fast times on a beautiful morning in Des Moines. Emmanuel Bett, who owned the fastest 10,000-meter time in the world last year, easily won the race in 28:25.

“I’m really happy about today, to be a winner,” Bett, who hails from Kenya, said. “What contributed to my win was that the weather was nice and the competitors really worked together, pushing each to get a great time.”

Bett was pushed by his fellow countryman in Kenneth Kipkemoi who finished second in 28:31.

“The race was really good and the weather was really, really good,” Kipkemoi said. “I think this is a great course and a tough course. We’d have liked to run 27 [minutes] but the race was a little bit slow at the start.”

That tough course featured a finishing climb up 28th Street to the Drake campus that women’s 10k winner Makida Abdela also navigated to win the women’s race in 33:29.

“The course was very tough, very hilly,” Abdela said. “This is a tough course. We were trying to run hard at the start but that never happened.”

Abdela, an Ethiopian, ran with the pack for the first half of the race before breaking away to lead the entire second half and defeat Everlyne Lagat. Lagat, a Kenyan, was second in 34:01 couldn’t make up that space despite giving a strong effort.

“I thought I had a chance just outside the stadium but she [Abdela] was very strong,” Lagat said of the finish. “She had a good kick at the end to pull away.”

Following the half marathon and 10k, select elite athletes along with other took part in the 6k race benefiting Character Counts in Iowa. The race length reflected the organization’s Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Character Counts In Iowa is a nonprofit organization headquartered at Drake that promotes.

As the 6k runners crossed the finish line, all competitors were treated to a concert by acclaimed singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson inside Drake Stadium. The closing awards ceremony marked the end of the 104th edition of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. Over the four days of action at Drake Stadium, 45,838 fans and a national television audience on the ESPN family of networks witnessed 13 Drake Relays records and 11 world bests being set inside Drake Stadium.

Men’s Hy-Vee Half Marathon
Elite Finishers
1. Mark Kiptoo, 1:02.27
2. Mekebu Birke, 1:02.30
3. Linus Chumba, 1:02.34
4. Alene Reta, 1:02.34
5. Macdonard Ondara, 1:02.38
6. Shadrack Kosgei, 1:03.31
7. Ayele Megersa, 1:04.16
8. Benson Cheruiyot, 1:04.21
9. Bado Worku Merdessa, 1:04.24
10. Jordan Chipangama, 1:05.00
11. Bernard Langat, 1:05.51
12. Belete Assefa, 1:05.55
13. Robert Wambua, 1:06.21
14. Daniel Kirwa, 1:06.45
15. Gilbert Okari, 1:07.16
16. Alex Onchwari, 1:09.59
17. Tabut Edward Kitum, 1:11.03
18. Nic Penning, 1:12.54
19. Andrew Musuva, 1:14.32
20. Joseph Ekuom, 1:16.19

Masters Finishers
1. Andrew Musuva, 1:14.32
2. Joseph Ekoum, 1:16.19
3. Jay Pennington, 1:22.19
4. Patrick McGowan, 1:24.20
5. Barry Sackett, 1:24.48

Women’s Hy-Vee Half Marathon
Elite Finishers
1. Belainesh Gebre, 1:12.10
2. Ogla Kimaiyo, 1:12.14
3. Shewarge Alene Amare, 1:12.51   
4. Hannah Wanjiru Gatheru, 1:12.54
5. Pasca Cheruiyot, 1:14.34
6. Alevtina Ivanova, 1:14.47
7. Mary Akor, 1:16.57
8. Michelle Frey, 1:18.43

1. Jenny Schulze, 1:25.25
2. Tiffany Mosher, 1:34.38
3. Ellen Pollard, 1:34.43
4. Lisa Fraizer, 1:41.23
5. Tricia McClain, 1:41.47

Men’s 10k Benefiting The Healthiest State Initiative
Elite Finishers
1. Emmanuel Bett, 28:25
2. Kenneth Kipkemoi, 28:31
3. Simon Ndirangu, 28:41
4. Kidane Tadese, 28:42
5. Julius Kogo, 29:10
6. Solomon Deksisa, 29:12
7. Goumrin Othmane, 29:24
8. Philip Mosima, 29:45
9. Shadrack Kiyai. 29:45
10. Philemon Kiplangat Terer, 29:48
11. Girma Gebre, 29:51
12. Yonas Mebrahtu, 30:07
13. Elly Sang, 31:07
14. Fedele Jefferson, 31:08
15. Festus Kigen, 32:19
16. Richard Kandie, 33:16
17. Julius Rotich, 34:07

Women’s 10k Benefiting The Healthiest State Initiative
Elite Finishers
1. Makida Abdela, 33:29
2. Everlyne Lagat, 34:01
3. Katie McGregor, 34:37

Men’s 6k Benefiting Character Counts in Iowa
1. Alene Reta, 17:49
2. Boniface Biwott, 17:50
3. Emmanuel Bor, 17:56
4. Dan Kremske, 17:59
5. Brett Carter, 18:14
6. Mathew Chesang, 18:17
7. Justin Garrard, 18:44
8. Colin Swaney, 19:02
9 .Peter Kemboi, 19:16
10. Emil Bojanov, 19:27

Women’s 6k Benefiting Character Counts in Iowa
1. Sarah Kiptoo, 20:13
2. Everlyne Lagat, 20:50
3. Mary Akor, 21:36
4. Ellen Ries, 21:56
5. Erin Block, 22:13
6. Danielle Burke, 22:59
7. Yelena Nanaziashvili, 23:15
8. Courtney Carter, 23:41
9. Flannery Cerbin, 23:54
10. Casey Owens, 24:07

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