Around the 32-kilometre mark, things weren’t looking good for David Cheruiyot.
Already a three-time winner of the Ottawa Marathon, the 39-year-old from Kenya had developed a stitch in his side and fell behind the leaders. But he came back — blowing past the second and third place finishers — to become the second person to win his fourth Ottawa Marathon, with a time of 2:13:23.
“It was hard,” said Cheruiyot. “I trained hard for this one. The organizers are great and I like this city.” He added that he hopes to come back for a fifth win.
“It was a pleasant surprise to see him come storming back,” said Manny Rodrigues of the race’s elite athletes division.
The first woman to cross the finish line was Morocco’s Asmae Leghzaoui with a time of 2:27:41, beating the course record of 2:28:44‚ a record she set herself in her 2008 marathon debut. “I’m very happy,” said the 32-year-old.
Ottawa’s marathon course isn’t easy, she said. “The first half is a lot of hills.”
Leghzaoui’s husband and coach, Mohammad Ar-Ar, said the athlete plans on returning next year and is focusing on the Ottawa Marathon because “we want to fix her name here.”
More than 100,000 people came out to watch 36,690 runners take part in seven events over the weekend.
Canadian Lioudmila Kortchaguina finished second in the women’s race. Reid Coolsaet was the first Canadian man to finish the race with a time of 2:17:10.
On Saturday, two world records were broken in the 10K. Deriba Merga from Ethiopia broke the 8K world record with a time of 21:48 minutes en route to finishing the 10K race at 27:24.
Orillia’s Rick Ball also broke the world record for a single leg amputee with a time of 37:55.
“It is rare that one, let alone two world records are broken at a single race,” said race weekend’s general manager Jim Robinson. “This solidifies our position as a world-class running destination.”
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