Eliud Kiptanui of Kenya and Guteni Imana of Ethiopia win, respectively, the men and women’s titles of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon 2017 on Sunday

By Gord Holder  (Ottawa Citizen) |

OTTAWA, ON―Eliud Kiptanui and Guteni Imana were the big winners in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon on Sunday (May 28), but there was little doubt that Hiwot Gebrekidan learned a bigger lesson.

Eliud Kiptanui, a 27-year-old from Kenya, ran with the lead group the entire way before building an insurmountable lead over the final stretch of the 42.195-kilometre course through Ottawa and Gatineau. He crossed the finish line in two hours 10 minutes 14 seconds, well off the record of 2:06:54 established by 2014 champion Yemane Tsegay, but worthy of a 17-second victory over Ethiopia’s Seboka Dibaba and the $40,000 top prize.

That was also the payday for Guteni Imana, who was clocked in 2:30:18, 35 seconds faster than Hiwot Gebrekidan. The kicker in their case was that Hiwot was the individual who had the race seemingly under control before she didn’t.

A silver medalist on the track in the 3,000 meters of the 2012 world junior championships, Hiwot Gebrekidan, 22, raced through the first half of the Ottawa marathon in roughly 71 minutes and had an estimated one-minute lead over Guteni Imana, but paid dearly for that early exertion and was passed by her 25-year-old compatriot before the runners made the turn onto the final stretch down the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.

“I really thank God for the victory I had and for my success. Yes, I’m excited,” said Guteni Imana, whose only previous marathon victory was in Seoul in 2012.

Hiwot Gebrekidan received her silver medal and flowers during a media conference because she had missed the official ceremony while receiving intravenous fluids following the race conducted in sunny and warming conditions.

Continue reading this story at Ottawa Citizen

Top 3 Women’s Results
1. Guteni Imana (Ethiopia) 2:30:18
2. Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia) 2:30:53
3. Aberash Fayesa (Ethiopia) 2:31:27

Top 3 Men’s Results
1.  Elius Kiptanui (Kenya) 2:10:14
2.  Seboka Didaba (Ethiopia) 2:10:31
3.  Levy Matebo (Kenya) 2:10:48

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