MONTERREY, Mexico – Ethiopia’s Absida Sori Bedada and Kenya’s Risper Biyaki on Sunday won the men’s and women’s marathon – respectively – in Monterrey, Mexico, at the start of a new era for the race that aspires to become one of the key athletic events in Latin America.
Sori Bedada triumphed with a time of 2:13:29, followed by Kenyans Rogers Ondaki (2:14:10) and Simon Karuki (2:19:09) on a cold morning during which Biyaki won the women’s event with a time of 2:45:18, coming in ahead of her compatriots Carolina Jebiwot (2:46:00) and Viola Chelagat (2:52:15).
Bedada remained patient within the pack as the group passed the 10-kilometer mark at 33:06 and the halfway point at 1:07:54.
However, during the second half of the race, he attacked and at Km 30 pulled out ahead with a 37-second advantage over Ondati, who also opened up a space ahead of his closest rivals, thus assuring himself the No. 2 spot.
Biyaki, the queen of the Mexico City Half Marathon this year, once again reconfirmed her position as the favorite in a rather slow race in which she had to pick up the pace after Km 30 to deal with the threat posed by Jebiwot.
The race carries with it a prize of some $100,500, which attracted higher quality runners than in the past, who often could not meet the requirements for additional awards because their times were far off what was demanded.
After the Torreon marathon, which came to be Latin America’s fastest, failed to attract top-level athletes, Monterrey – with its 42.195 km (just over 26 miles) length – should become in the next few years one of the main Latin American races.