Grandma’s Marathon 2011 Recap

Grandma’s Marathon 2011 Recap

The closest finish in Grandma’s Marathon history highlighted the 35th running of Grandma’s Marathon. A photo finish saw Kenya’s Chris Kipyego edged Ethiopian Teklu Deneke by two-tenths of a second to claim the title.

The 37-year-old Kipyego’s winning time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, 16.36 seconds was narrowly better than Deneke’s 2:12:16.56. Sammy Malakwen placed third in 2:12:39.

The previous closest finish was in 1999 when Kenya’s Andrew Musuva beat Tesfaye Bekele by four seconds.

Kipyego earned $10,000 for the victory plus a $1,500 bonus for finishing in under 2:13:00.

James Derick, 45, of Big Flats, N.Y., claimed the men’s masters title in 2:27:47.

In the women’s division, Ethiopia’s Yihunlish Delelecha took the crown in 2:30:39, the sixth fastest in race history. Delelecha, 29, topped Kenya’s Everlyne Lagat’s 2:31:32.

Delelecha, making her Grandma’s Marathon debut, claimed the $10,000 winner’s check plus a $2,500 bonus for running sub-2:31:00.

Svetlana Ponomarenko, 41, placed 11th in 2:38:03 to earn the women’s masters crown.

Saul Mendoza won his seventh Grandma’s Marathon men’s wheelchair division title in 1:28:53. Amanda McGrory broke her own course record in the female wheelchair division with a time of 1:39:30.

The 2011 Grandma’s Marathon had 8,319 registrants and of those, 6,444 runners started the race and 6,335 finished. The annual Two Harbors-to-Duluth 26.2-mile race had entrants from 42 countries, 49 states and the District of Columbia.

In the 21st Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, Ethiopian Derese Deniboba, 28, set a new course record, breaking Ryan Meissen’s 2002 mark by two minutes. Deniboba’s time of 1:02:19 was one of nine faster than Meissen’s 1:04:19.

American Katie McGregor, 33, claimed the women’s title in 1:13:18.

A record number of 7,223 people registered for the 2011 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon with 6,004 runners starting the race and 5,997 finishing.

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Grandma's Marathon weekend was presented by Target, Toyota and Wells Fargo Bank Duluth. Mark your calendars for the 36th running of Grandma's Marathon on Saturday, June 16, 2012.