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Ondoro Breaks Beardsley's Course Record at Grandma's

Updated: 06/22/2014 9:02 AM
Created: 06/21/2014 11:52 AM WDIO.com
By: Eyewitness Sports

Duluth, Minn. - It took 33 years, but someone has finally run the course at Grandma's Marathon faster than Dick Beardsley.

Dominic Ondoro, a native of Kenya, made history today while winning the 38th running of Grandma’s Marathon.

The 26-year-old ran the fastest time ever run on the Grandma’s Marathon course – 2 hours, 9 minutes and 6 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 2:09:37 set in 1981 by Minnesota’s Dick Beardsley.

Ondoro, making his Grandma’s Marathon debut, claimed the $10,000 winner’s check plus a $5,000 bonus for running sub-2:10:00. He also receives a new 2014 Toyota, courtesy of one of the events two presenting sponsors.

"I was so happy and it made me excited and I was so happy," says Ondoro.

"It stood a long time and I have said this for 20-plus years, someday it will be broken and I want to be one of the first people to congratulate that person and I was (emotion) able to do that and that was pretty neat and pretty special for me," said Beardsley.

It is the 38th Annual Grandma's Marathon and the record falls in Jon Carlson's first year as Executive Director of the Marathon. Scott Keenan held that position for 37 years, before stepping down last year.

"What happens is that the word gets out that this is the place to set a personal record and knowing that people like the elite athletes can set a course record, it makes people think that this is the place to do it," says Carlson.

Betram Keter placed second in 2:11:58 ($7,500), while Chris Kipyego – the 2011 men’s champion – finished third ($5,000) and also won the masters division ($2,500). Both are from Kenya.

Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Kenya’s Pasca Myers ran a personal best 2:33:45 and claimed the women’s title. Myers, who lives in Fort Dodge, Iowa, earned $10,000 for the victory plus a $1,250 bonus for finishing in under 2:34:00.

American Brianne Nelson, of Golden, Colo., was runner-up with a new personal best 2:34:44. Defending champion and course record holder Sarah Kiptoo was third in 2:34:55.

South Korea’s GyuDae Kim won his first Grandma’s Marathon men’s wheelchair title in 1:36:11. Susannah Scaroni, of Urbana, Ill., also won her Grandma’s title, winning the women’s race in 2:02.53.

The 2014 Grandma’s Marathon had 7,964 registrants and of those, 6,229 runners started the race and 6,211 finished. The annual Two Harbors-to-Duluth 26.2-mile race had entrants from 44 countries and all 50 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia.

Kenyans also swept the titles in the 24th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. Julius Koskei took the men’s crown in 1:03:36, while the women’s race was won by Cynthia Limo with a time of 1:09:50. Limo’s time was the second fastest in race history and just four seconds off of Kara Goucher’s 2012 course-record mark.

A record number of 8,498 people registered for the 2014 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon with 7,308 runners starting the race and 7,298 finishing.

For complete results, log on to GrandmasMarathon.com. All results are unofficial.

The 39th running of Grandma's Marathon is Saturday, June 20, 2015.

For more from the 2014 Grandma's Marathon, click here.

(Contributions from Bob Gustafson, Public Relations Director for Grandma's Marathon.)

Dominic Ondoro poses with Dick Beardsley. Ondoro broke Beardsley's course record at Grandma's Marathon.
Executive Director Jon Carlson greets Dominic Ondoro.
Dominic Ondoro crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of 2:09:05, setting a new course record.

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