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Kirwa Defends, Akor Wins in Pittsburgh

James Kirwa

James Kirwa

PITTSBURGH –  May 5, 2013 – At the 5th DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday morning, James Kirwa of Kenya defended his title in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 37 seconds, while American Mary Akor of Hawthorne, CA won the women’s 26.2 mile race in 2:37:35.

In the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Kenyans Julius Kogo and Risper Gesabwa took the 13.1 mile titles in 1:02:32 and 1:13:16 respectively with Kogo setting a course record. Under clear, cool conditions, there were 22,761 entrants in both races combined, an event record.

In the Marathon, defending champion Kirwa, 29, took control of the men’s race at mile 22 and went unchallenged to the tape in 2:13:37, averaging 5:06 per mile. Kirwa, who also pocketed $8000, became the first men’s champion to repeat since 1994 (Abel Gisemba). Compatriot Stephen Njoroge was runner-up in 2:14:10.

“I flew in last night from Nairobi, but I thought that I could win since I knew the course and training had been going well,” said Kirwa. “I cramped a bit at the end, and maybe next year I will come back to try for the 2:10 event record.”

In the women’s race, the pace was conservative through the first half (1:20:36) before Akor and Ethiopian Hirut Beyene Guangul increased the tempo and reduced the pack. Akor took the lead at 23 miles and held it until the end, crossing the line in 2:37:35 and taking home $9000, while Beyene Guangul was second (2:38:05).

“I put a surge on Hirut at 23 miles on the downhill and never let up. I was determined to run hard and win,” said Akor, 36, who was spent at the finish.

5th DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
Pittsburgh, PA, Sunday, May 5, 2013

MEN
1) James Kirwa (KEN), 2:13:37, $8000
2) Stephen Njoroge (KEN), 2:14:10, $6000
3) Jonathan Kibet (KEN), 2:17:29, $4000
4) Philip Metto (KEN), 2:18:36, $2500
5) Jordan Chipangama (ZAM), 2:19:30, $1500
6) Gesera Genemo (ETH), 2:19:42, $1000
7) Joseph Mutinda (KEN), 2:19:48, $500

MASTERS MEN (40 and older)
1) Jason Bodnar, 42, USA / NC, 2:32:54, $1000

WOMEN
1) Mary Akor (USA / CA), 2:37:35, $9000*
2) Hirut Beyene Guangul (ETH), 2:38:05, $6000
3) Yihunilish Bekele Delelecha (ETH), 2:41:30, $4000
4) Lauren Woodring (USA / PA), 2:45:59, $4200#
5) Paula Wiltse, 45, CAN, 2:51:51, $1500
6) Simegn Yeshanble (ETH), 2:53:43, $1000
7) Laura Harnish (USA / PA), 2:56:28, $1000+
*includes U.S.-only prize money
#includes U.S.-only prize and Pennsylvania resident prize money
+includes Pittsburgh resident prize money

MASTERS WOMEN (40 and older)
1) Wiltse, see above

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