Chepngeno breaks women’s mark for half marathon
PARKERSBURG — Kenyans ruled Saturday’s 33rd edition of the News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
In fact, in the women’s race it was a record-breaking performance.
That’s because 25-year-old Kenyan Vicoty Chepngeno established a new 13.1-mile course record when she finished in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 18 seconds. It was a mere second ahead of the 2010 mark previously held by Ethiopian Mare Dibaba.
For her efforts, Chepngeno not only secured the top prize of $3,000, but she also collected $300 more for having the fastest time ever.
Kenyans Martha Akeno (1:14:20; $2,000) and Areba Damaris (1:16:09; $1,500) followed as Ethiopian Meseret Merire took the fourth-place prize money of $1,000 after posting a time of 1:17:10.
Eight-time winner and three-time defending champion Julius Kogo was stuck in Kenya because of visa issues, which meant a new men’s champion would be crowned.
Taking the title was Raymond Magut, who was participating in his first-ever half marathon. Magut won $3,000 thanks to his time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 6 seconds. Edwin Kibichiy, the 2018 runner-up, once again was a bridesmaid after finishing 9 seconds off the pace. Fellow Kenyans Cleophas Ngetich (1:04:40) and Wilson Kibogo (1:04:55) followed in third and fourth, respectively.
Top American men’s honors went to University of Florida graduate Joshua Sanchez, who claimed $1,000 with his time of 1:09:37, which bested runner-up and Belpre High School graduate Breydon Gates (1:16:08, $500). On the women’s side, Texan Kelsey Bruce finished fifth overall and was the top American with a time of 1:17:58. Sarah Horbol out of Westlake, Ohio was second with a clocking of 1 hour, 19 minutes and 8 seconds.
The best efforts in the marathon from current Mid-Ohio Valley residents belonged to Jenny Brewer of St. Marys (1:31:56) and Lowell’s Scott Burnham (1:18:35).
Jennifer White, of Waverly, as well as Lee Stough of Glassport, Pa., earned $200 apiece as the women’s and men’s respective half marathon walk champions. Stough also won it in 2018.
In other age-based races for the half marathon run were the following winners: Male masters (Julius Kiptoo of Bowling Green, Ohio), grand masters (Michael Villani of Virginia Beach) and senior grand masters (Bill Long of Berea, Ohio; female masters (Yvonne Gilders of Guysville, Ohio); grand masters (Teresa Ferguson of Akron, Ohio) and senior grand masters (Jennie Rice of Mentor, Ohio).