Winner Kessio feels the pain
Kenya Richard Kessio claimed victory in yesterday’s marathon but it came at a price.
Shortly after crossing the finish line he was taken to hospital, although not in serious condition.
And women’s winner Elena Orlova of Ukraine also needed treatment after completing the gruelling 26.2 mile course in uncomfortable, rainy conditions.
Both winners were taken to the medical tent, with Kessio put on an intravenous drip before taken to hospital as a precaution.
He won the race in two hours, 27 minutes and eight seconds, almost a minute and a half ahead of Ethiopian, Fikadu Lemma, who finished in 2:29.29.
Teklu Deneke, who was part of a three-man lead group for the first loop, slipped back but held onto third place for the rest of the race to finish in 2:40.07, some 14 minutes ahead of Orlova who took the women’s title for the third time in four years. She also won in 2010 and last year.
Geoffrey Blee, eighth overall in 3:09.34, was the first local runner to finish.
Kessio, the 2010 winner, had Lemma and Deneke for company for the first half of the race before Deneke started to fall back just after the 15-mile mark which the front two went through in 1:23.03 as they continued down South Shore Road.
Deneke was eventually out of sight at Harrington Hundreds grocery store as the two front-runners continued to set the pace. But Lemma began to drop back at Harrington Sound Road just before Flatts when Kessio led by about 30 yards.
Kessio, at 38 the oldest of the first three runners, was looking more and more the likely winner when he opened up a lead of about 100 yards as he passed several female half-marathon runners.
And he continued to look confident for the rest of the way.
“I dropped off after about 18 miles with pains in my back and I couldn’t push through it,” said runner-up Lemma, who admitted he was disappointed not to stay with the lead runner longer.
Deneke also started to run within himself after suffering with hamstring and hip pains on his right side. Nonetheless, a third-place finish was pleasing for the 33 year-old, even if his time of 2:40.10 was well off his 2009 winning time of 2:22.27.
“I have a problem with my hamstring and hip and at 15 miles I couldn’t move but I wanted to finish and I’m happy to finish,” said Deneke.
“It was very tough. I feel good but my problem is my leg. When I was going downhill I couldn’t move, my leg was so sore. I have never run a time like this in all my running. My hamstring and my hip did not feel good, I’m just glad I finished.”
Orlova finished an impressive fourth overall while Muliye Gurmu of Ethiopia celebrated her 29th birthday with a top five finish to take second among the women, some seven minutes and four seconds behind Orlova.
“I should have followed the girl (Orlova),” said Gurmu, speaking through an interpreter, as she admitted she did not find the weather to her liking.
“We were together until 19 miles, but the rain was not good for me. My time is fine but I’m not really happy,” said Gurmu who also ran in Friday’s KPMG Women’s Elite Mile.
Gurmu was able to walk about after the finish as Orlova received treatment. “She’s got her energy and looks like she can run again,” said a friend standing with her.
Orlova, also speaking through an interpreter, revealed that she had been battling with the flu recently. “She said she had the flu for three weeks and had antibiotics,” said the interpreter.
“She wasn’t feeling good on the course today. At the finish she said she felt like she was going to fall down. She lied down and the medical people helped her for five minutes and she was okay.
“She is happy she is a winner because when she started she wasn’t feeling good. She is a third-time winner today.”
Among the locals, Geoffrey Blee led the way, placing eighth overall in 3:09.38 while Maritz Theron was 10th in 3:13.18.
Guiseppe Guglielmucci finished 21st in 3:31.12.
Bermuda’s first woman was Vera Lima who took 45th place in 3:53.35.
Claire McDevitt was the second local female, clocking 3:58.50 for 53rd place overall. And justbehind in 54th was Bermuda’s Kimberly McIvor in 3:58.59.
Of the 142 finishers, 70-year-old Antun Duzevic placed 24th in 3:36.17.