Geoffrey Kiprotich wins Kansas City Marathon

Kansas City isn’t so flat after all.

“All those hills,” said

Geoffrey Kiprotich

, who won Saturday’s Waddell and Reed Kansas City Marathon. “A lot of hills.”

The hills slowed Kiprotich, who won the event in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 56 seconds, about 10 minutes off his personal best.

Kenya natives Kiprotich and

Richard Chelimo

ran shoulder to shoulder for much of the race, but Kiprotich pulled away down the stretch and finished 25 seconds ahead of Chelimo.

“It was time to go,” Kiprotich said.

Both runners and

Richard Kessio

, who finished third, are based in Toledo, Ohio, and took home the cash prizes of $1,500 for first, $750 for second and $500 for third.

The race attracted a core of elite runners, holding spots for 25. The top three finishers fit into that category. Earlier this year, Kiprotich won the St. Louis Marathon and Kessio won a marathon in Houston.

Saturday, in the women’s marathon,

Julie Thornton

of Manhattan, Kan., repeated as champion, finishing in 3:01.41.

Half-marathon winners were

Geofrey Terer

of Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1:07.47 and

Hayley Sutter

of Lincoln, Neb., in 1:20.34.

Cheri Madsen

of Union, Neb., sped across the marathon line in 2:32.10 and won the wheelchair division.

The event attracted a record 12,100 entrants, spread across the five races: marathon, half-marathon, team relay, 5K and kids mini-marathon.

(Results, B19)

The half-marathon was the most popular race with 7,100 participants.

“It grows every year,” said

Kathy Nelson

, president of the Kansas City Sports Commission, which operates the event. “This year, we sold out the half-marathon.”

Only the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in August attracts a larger field for a Kansas City running event.

As thousands stretched along Grand Boulevard, bouncing, awaiting for the starter’s gun, the temperature was 37 degrees.

An added attraction to this year’s race: Two runners from the marathon will be selected to accompany a Kansas City Sports Commission delegation on a trip to China next year to run in the Xi’an City Wall International Marathon.

Xi’an and Kansas City are sister cities, and the marathon in Xi’an will send two runners to Kansas City next year.

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