Kenya’s Elisha Barno won the 41st edition of Grandma’s Marathon that was held on Saturday (17) in Duluth Minnesota.
Fatigue didn’t stop Barno from a record-setting day as he arrived 15 hours before the start of the race.
The 31 year old led a 1-2-3 kenyan finish as he cut the tape in 2:12.08 to make history as the only man to have won the race three times in a row.
“I was feeling very tired at the start. I was worried. There were so many good runners in the race, so many Kenyans,” said Barno, who won the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon on March 19. “But the marathon is about preparation and doing long runs. I was prepared. I said ‘I will trust myself. I’m going to make it.’ I’m very happy because I could win this race three times.”
Geoffrey Bundi took second place with 2:13.32 with third place going to 28 year old Macdonard Ondara of 2:14.42 closing the podium finish.
Five other men had two championships in race history: Garry Bjorklund (1977, 1980), Dick Beardsley (1981, 1982), Doug Kurtis (1989, 1993), Patrick Muturi (1996, 1997) and Wesly Ngetich (2005, 2007).
With the Kenyan 1-2-3 sweep, East African runners have now won 18 of the last 22 Grandma’s Marathon men’s titles, and eight straight. Barno has entered the race three times and won three times, including 2:10:28 in 2015 and 2:11:26 in 2016.
Former champion Christopher Kipyego, 43, a Kenyan, won the 40 and older masters division, fifth overall in 2:15:14. Matthew Schmitz, 40, of Woodbury was the first Minnesotan, 24th in 2:24:45.
The race participants were 6,695 with the winner pocketing a cool $ 11,500.