Grandma's Marathon Recap
Posted at: 06/18/2012 6:02 PM
| Updated at: 06/20/2012 10:58 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Grandma's Marathon has long been one of the most exciting sporting events in the Northland and this year's event did not disappoint.
Berhanu Girma ran the 26.2 miles in a personal best two hours, 12 minutes and 24 seconds. He is the first Ethiopian to win the race in 36 years. Girma felt fans behind him the whole way.
After finishing third in 2010 and second last year, Everlyne Lagat of Kenya finally won the marathon women's division. She says she trusted her training.
"Before training I had an injury. I think I over-trained so my body kind of shut down a little. But I recovered and in the last mile I was feeling strong again so I had to believe in that," Lagat said.
A lot of great performances during this year's Grandma's Marathon, but perhaps the most memorable moment was watching Duluth native Kara Goucher win the U.S. Half Marathon Championships right here in her hometown.
"It's incredible," She said. "Nothing has changed but everything has changed. I just love this city so much."
Goucher credits her competitors with pushing her to run her best race.
"I never would have gotten the course record without them," Goucher said. "My race plan was to wait until nine miles and try to lay down the hammer but they made it a race from the beginning. I owe a lot to them for running such a good time."
Abdi Abdirahman became the men's half marathon champion during his first race in the Northland.
"It was a great race of competitors," Abdirahman said. "I just had to come out on top of the race and win, and I did. So I'm happy."
Jack Delehanty of Minneapolis had never run a half marathon before winning the Garry Bjorklund race.
"Really it was just get to the starting line, see who's there and have fun," Delehanty said.
It was a day of firsts, and bests, and a weekend that won't be forgotten any time soon.