Kenya’s Sammy Rotich took top honors at the 30thh edition of the Austin Marathon that was held on Sunday (20) in Austin, Texas.
Rotich was registered and all set to run Sunday’s Austin Half Marathon, but on Saturday, he made a last-minute decision and switched to the full 26.2-mile marathon.
Rotich, a half-marathon specialist who has won the Lincoln Half Marathon seven times, held off former Longhorns ace Will Nation and fellow Kenyans Elijah Saolo and Jackson Limo.
Saolo set the pace in the early miles, cruising through five kilometers in just more than 16 minutes, and hung on to his lead at the 10K mark, passed in 32:01. But by 15K, the real race began as Saolo fell back and a duel between Nation, 29, and Rotich, 35, took shape, with Limo trailing in third.
Rotich had to battle Nation at the finish line but he too superior with the kick to cut the tape in a new personal best of 2:14.24.
“I knew the course was hilly, so I thought I’d run around 2:20. But the cool weather really helped, said Rotich, who plans to run Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., in June. “It’s my fastest marathon and my first marathon wins. I’m so happy,” said Rotich.
Nation from the United States was forced to settle in second as he crossed the line in a time of 2:15.32.
Limo closed the podium three finishes in a time of 2:21:25
Rotich pocketed $3,000 with second and third taking home $2,250 and $1,200 respectively.