Winning marathons is old hat for Geoffrey Kiprotich. Running marathons is still relatively new for Madeline Glass. They were both champions on Saturday morning at the 2014 Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon.
Kiprotich, a native of Kenya, defended his men’s title, running the hilly course in two hours, 25 minutes, 56 seconds, exactly one minute slower than his winning 2013 time. This comes on the heels of winning last Sunday’s Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita, where he wasn’t challenged and ran alone much of the race.
Saturday’s Kansas City course provided a few more challenging climbs than Wichita’s, but Kiprotich finished nearly four minutes faster.
“I’ve been training hills,” he said. “You have to train hard to get your legs under you.”
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Aaron Viets took second, finishing nearly 10 minutes behind Kiprotich, and Joffroi Holcombe was third.
Kiprotich has also picked up wins in Toledo, where he lives and trains, and Columbus, Ohio, this year. Asked how many marathons he’s won overall, a number escaped him
“Oh, so many times,” Kiprotich, 36, said. “I’ve been doing it a while.”
Glass, on the other hand, knew exactly how many marathons she has now won: one.
Glass, a Lawrence native who now lives in Colorado Springs, had ran just four marathons before Sunday. Breaking the tape at the finish line told her she had won, but it wasn’t until she caught her breath and looked at her watch that she realized how quickly she had traversed the course.
“Oh my,” she said. “That’s 20 minutes faster than I’ve ever run it. I was kind of nervous because I hadn’t trained hills much.”
Glass said she felt better than usual around mile 10 and was able to push herself the final 16 miles.
“That was key: not focusing on the entire race, just taking it moment by moment, mile by mile, and not thinking about what I’m going to feel like at the end,” she said
Glass finished six minutes ahead of second-place finisher Julie Thornton and 11 minutes ahead of Lindsay McDonald, who took third.
The clear, sunny morning had a decidedly blue tint to it as runners and spectators alike continued to revel in the Royals’ World Series run.
Friends and family of the runners came bearing homemade signs with Royals-themed signs, including at least a couple that said, “That’s What Speed Do.”
Countless runners sported Royals shirts and hats. Scott Ogan may have been alone in his choice of gaudy Royals shorts covered in large crown logos, a piece of clothing that was bought on a whim before a Royals game this summer and has since become a staple in his weekend wardrobe.
“I wear them every time I go to a game or watch a game at a bar,” said Ogan, a Wichita native who is now a student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. “This morning my favorite running shorts were dirty and I thought ‘Wait, why don’t I just wear these?’ They were just as good as running shorts.”