By Mandi Peterson
Kenya’s Elisha Barno successfully defended his title and became the first four-time consecutive Grandma’s Marathon champion by claiming victory in the 42nd annual Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday morning.
Barno finished the course with a time of 2:10:06. Coming in second was Birhanu Dare Kemal, 31, from Ethiopia, who finished in 2:12:21. Christopher Kipyego, 44, of Kenya, won the masters men’s division for the second consecutive year crossing the finish line in 2:22:56.
In the women’s division, American Kellyn Taylor (right), claimed the women’s championship title and set a new event record. Taylor, 31, of Arizona, cruised to an easy victory in 2:24:28 ahead of Askale Merachi, 31, of Ethiopia, with a time of 2:30:18. Ramona Sanchez, 40, of Nevada, finished in 2:49:52 and earned the female masters title.
Barno earned $10,000 for the victory plus a $1,500 time bonus for finishing in under 2:13:00.
Taylor earned $10,000 for the victory plus a $10,000 time bonus for finishing in under 2:29:00. She also set an event record on the modified race course, which earned her the opportunity to accept a new Toyota vehicle or the cash alternative of $16,000. Taylor ran the fastest women’s marathon in Grandma’s Marathon history. The accomplishment is classified as an event record due to the 2018-2020 course being a different USATF certified route.
Aaron Pike, 32, of Illinois, repeated his victory for the second consecutive year with a time of 1:26:48 in the men’s wheelchair division. He beat Juan Ram N Valladares Hern Ndez, 40, of Venezuela, who finished in 1:28:04.
Susannah Scaroni, 27, of Illinois, won the women’s wheelchair division and set a new PR with a time of 1:37:32. She is now an eight-time Grandma’s Marathon Champion. Katrina Gerhard, 21, of Massachusetts, came in second place at 1:44:44.
There were 8,217 people registered for the 2018 Grandma’s Marathon. There were 6,294 participants that started the race in Two Harbors, and of those participants there were 6,103 runners that finished by 3:30 p.m.
In the 28th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, Panuel Mkungo, 24, of Kenya, won with a time of 1:02:50. Monicah Ngige, 24, of Kenya claimed the women’s title in 1:09:55 setting a new PR. Duluth native Kara Goucher, 39, finished in 1:18:15.
There were 9,272 people registered for the 2018 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon with 7,627 starters and 7,584 finishers.
For complete results, log on to www.grandmasmarathon.com. All results are unofficial.
Grandma’s Marathon weekend was presented by Toyota and Members Cooperative Credit Union. The 43rd annual Grandma’s Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 2019.