In last year's Grandma's Marathon, Kenyan native Christopher Kipyego was the runner-up, finishing second to fellow countryman Philemon Kemboi by sixteen seconds. This year, with Kemboi having to withdraw because of visa issues, Kipyego delivered his first victory in the 26.2-mile race, and he did so in the closest finish in race history.
Kipyego was in a dead heat with Ethopian Teklu Deneke as both men approached the finish line, and the marathon turned into a sprint to the finish for the championship. Both men crossed the finish line in a virtual dead heat, and after much discussion, Kipyego was declared the winner of the race. He finished with a time of two hours, 12 minutes, and 17 seconds.
The women's race was not nearly as close, as 29-year old Yihunlish Delelecha of Ethiopia took the 2011 Grandma's Marathon crown with a time of two hours, 30 minutes, and 39 seconds. That was almost a minute faster than the second-place competitor, Kenya's Everlyne Lagat, who finished with a time of two hours, 31 minutes, and 32 seconds.
In the wheelchair races, defending champion Saul Mendoza of Wimberly, Texas won his seventh Grandma's Marathon crown, edging out Spain's Jorge Jiminez by five-tenths of a second. Mendoza finished with a time of one hour, 28 minutes, and 53.4 seconds.
On the women's side, Amanda McGrory of Savoy, Illinois set a new women's wheelchair record en route to the victory, winning the race with a time of one hour, 39 minutes, and 30.9 seconds. That's nearly five minutes faster than the previous course record, also held by McGrory, set two years ago in her last appearance at the Grandma's Marathon.
Congratulations to all of the winners on their accomplishments today.