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Cheruiyot wins Half Marathon

August 16, 2015
By JAY W. BENNETT ( , News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - Not yet 30, Kenyan Kimutai Cheruiyot ran away with the 29th edition of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Saturday morning.

Racing in Wood County for the first time in his career, this year's Pittsburgh Half Marathon winner easily topped the field with a victorious time of 1 hour, 2 minutes and 53 seconds.

Cheruiyot, who runs marathons and won the 44th MetroPCS Dallas Marathon this past December, ran all alone for the vast majority of the 13.1-mile race.

Article Photos

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Kenyan Kimutai Cheruiyot crosses the finish line to win his first Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon Saturday. Holding the finish line tap is Jim Spanner, Parkersburg News and Sentinel publisher, left, and mayor Jimmy Colombo.

Five-time defending champion Julius Kogo, who actually finished three seconds behind Cheruiyot in Pittsburgh, wasn't in the field.

After traversing the first couple of miles, a pack of eight continued on and managed to break away from the field. Included in that mix was former champion Alene Reta, who admitted afterward he didn't have his best race and felt his Friday dinner was the main culprit.

By the time mile three and mile four were in the books, it was all Cheruiyot. Noah Chepngabit and Duncan Kwemboi managed to stay somewhat close to Cheruiyot, who won $3,000 for finishing first, but after the victor logged a 4:12 fourth mile, the battle was only on for second place.

As it turned out, both Chepngabit and Kwemboi went off course as the showdown for runner-up would've been between them. In the end, Josphat Kiptanui Too finished in 1:05:21 and secured the $2,000 runner-up prize money. Julius Koskei finished third, nine seconds behind Too and won $1,500. Nicholas Kipngetich was four ticks behind Koskei and grabbed the final cashing spot of $1,000 for fourth place.

"The course, some of it is good," admitted Cheruiyot, who with the victory was named the Road Runners Club of America National Half Marathon champion. "There are a lot of rolling hills, so I was trying to move."

Cheruiyot, who came from Kenya a week ago Friday, said he was worried running with the lead because "I think somebody was coming, so I tried to push.

"I like the course and it's been a good season for me. The sun is high and the humidity is high."

Although Cheruiyot was a little more than a minute slower than Kogo's course record, he added, "I wasn't close (to getting it). Maybe next time I will come and try for the course record.

"I was trying to get my pace (early). When I got to three miles, I saw how my body was going and I tried to go."

Indeed he did go, all the way down Market Street to break the tape.



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