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Korir, Utura Claim Titles

Bix 7

DAVENPORT, Iowa – The 2013 Quad-City Times Bix 7 lived up to its pre-race depth as Leonard Korir of Kenya and Sule Utura of Ethiopia claimed the Men’s and Women’s Elite titles – their first career starts at the 39th edition event.

Korir covered the seven miles in 32 minutes, 15 seconds  to outlast Silas Kipruto of Kenya by four seconds. Kipruto finished second in his attempt to win an unprecedented third consecutive Bix title. Utura clocked 36:34 to outpace Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia by five seconds.

In total, 16 new faces were part of the elite fields on a day when the Bix 7 set a record for lowest temperature as the race time mercury was an unseasonable 58 degrees (F) with a light wind. The chill put the freeze on any record-setting attempts as the participants chose to run tactical races.

Two-time United States Olympian Meb Keflezighi (32:39), returning to Bix to try and win a third title, pushed the early pace. He eventually continued his streak of top five performances in Davenport when he claimed third by surging past Julius Koskei (32:44) of Kenya. Peter Kamais of Kenya was fifth in 33:01.

However, the day belonged to Kipruto and Korir who broke away at about the 20 minute mark on the escalating grade of Kirkwood Boulevard. As they turned and moved down the Brady Street Hill, the two were shoulder-to-shoulder.

Korir used the even standing to hit the Fourth Street straightaway and accelerate to leave Kipruto short in his three-peat attempt.

In the women’s race, Betsy Saina of Kenya, the reigning NCAA 10,000 meter champion from Iowa State, was the pacesetter in her first professional start on the roads. Eventually, the pack included Deba, Caroline Rotich of Kenya, Makida Abdela of Kenya (38:34) and Utura.

Again, Kirkwood Boulevard was the equalizer as Deba and Utura broke free and made it a two-woman race. Utura also stayed even down Brady Street and like Korir on the men’s side, Fourth Street proved flat and fast enough for Utura to kick and earn the victory.

Rotich, who won in 2011 and was second in 2012, claimed third place in 37:02. Adrienne Herzog of the Netherlands continued her hot streak staying in contact for fourth (37:06) while Jane Murrage (37:21) of Kenya and Saina (37:26) were fifth and sixth respectively.

Besides Keflezighi, American men Carlos Carballo (34:39) and Mike Sayenko (35:26) were 12th and 14th. For the elite US women, Desi Davila (38:35) continued her rebound from injury to get 10th while Alexi Pappas (38:37) was 11th.

39th Quad-City Times Bix 7 Elite Top 10 Results

Davenport, IA, Saturday, July 27, 2013

MEN

1. Leonard Korir                     Kenya              32:15   ($12,500)
2. Silas Kipruto                       Kenya              32:19   ($4,000)
3. Meb Keflezighi                   USA                32:39   ($2,500)
4. Julius Koskei                       Kenya              32:44   ($1,500)
5. Peter Kamais                       Kenya              33:01   ($1,000)
6. Julius Keter                         Kenya              33:07   ($900)
7. Tolossa Gedefa                   Ethiopia           33:19   ($800)
8. Dino Sefir                           Ethiopia           33:26   ($700)
9. Mykola Labovskyy             Ukraine           33:40   ($600)
10. Shadrack Kiyai                 Kenya              33:44   ($500)

WOMEN

1. Sule Utura                           Ethiopia           36:34   ($12,500)
2. Buzunesh Deba                   Ethiopia           36:39   ($4,000)
3. Caroline Rotich                   Kenya              37:02   ($2,500)
4. Adrienne Herzog                Netherlands     37:06   ($1,500)
5. Jane Murrage                       Kenya              37:21   ($1,000)
6. Betsy Saina                         Kenya              37:26   ($900)
7. Diane Nukuri-Johnson        Burundi           37:32   ($800)
8. Rina Yamazaki                    Japan               38:17   ($700)
9. Makida Abdela                   Kenya              38:34   ($600)
10. Desi Davila                       USA                38:35   ($500)