Cebu Marathon: Grace shows ‘ em how

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In her first ma­jor run in Cebu City, a half- marathon in 2009, the ath­lete Mary Grace de los San­tos had the gen­eros­ity of a for­eigner to be grate­ful for, as she re­ceived help with the reg­is­tra­tion fee and went on to pocket the top prize. Two years later and no longer an un­known fig­ure, de los San­tos, with the Milo Marathon na­tional ti­tle un­der her belt, proved that the African run­ners are not un­beat­able as she ruled the 21K of the 3rd Cebu Marathon, the only lo­cal run­ner to out­pace elite run­ners from abroad. De­los San­tos sliced some six min­utes off her fin­ish in 2011 to rule the 21K in 1: 24: 38, beat­ing Irine Kipchumba ( 1: 26: 07) and Stephanie Pu­ma­tong ( 1: 35: 02). In the men’s 21K, it was a Kenyan sweep with Sam­son Tuwei, Willy Rotich and Eliud Kip­ker­ing get­ting the top three spots.

For­eign run­ners, too, ruled the 42K, but not with­out con­tro­versy, as the man who crossed the fin­ish line first was dis­qual­i­fied. Kenyan John Kprop reached the fin­ish line in 2: 22 and was rest­ing in the win­ners’ lounge, when he was stunned six min­utes later. It was an­nounced that Richard Mutisya was the first to fin­ish in the men’s 42K in 2: 28: 41. “I was shocked that he was here be­fore me. He was be­hind me for al­most 21 kilo­me­ters,” Mutisya said. It turned out that a mar­shal erred and Kprop missed a turn, which was why he had to be dis­qual­i­fied. There was no drama in the women’s di­vi­sion, where Joan Jeruto, only 22, won the women’s ti­tle in her first marathon in 3: 13: 28, beat­ing Davao City’s Cyn­thia Jaro by 47 sec­onds.

( SUN. STAR FOTO/ ARNI ACLAO)

NO HALF- MEA­SURES IN THE HALF- MARATHON. Run­ners start off the 21K run in the Cebu Marathon 2012 at Cebu IT. The race, the mid­dle dis­tance in the an­nual event held a week shy of the Sin­u­log pa­rade, takes run­ners on a tour of the city, in­clud­ing his­toric Basil­ica del Sto. Niño, Fuente Os­meña cir­cle and the gru­el­ing South Road Prop­er­ties. Mary Grace de los San­tos ( left) ruled the 2012 Cebu Marathon’s 21K dis­tance, fin­ish­ing first in 1: 24: 38.

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