Ethiopian Wins 20th Running Of Hartford Marathon

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Video report by Mike Magnoli, Fox CT

Text by Lori Riley, The Hartford Courant

Getachew Asfaw of Ethiopia won the ING Hartford Marathon in 2:19:23 and Erica Jesseman of Scarborough, Maine won the women’s race in 2:38:11 and she and runner-up Hilary Dionne of Charlestown, Mass. qualified for the Olympic Trials marathon Saturday morning in Hartford.

Matt Pelletier of West Greenwich, R.I. finished second in 2:21:19 and Eric MacKnight was third (2:22:19).

Dionne finished in 2:39:37. Sarah Bard of Somerville, Mass. was third in 2:43:13, 13 seconds off the Olympic qualifier. Jesseman won the race in 2011 and Dionne won last year.

Today is the 20th running of the ING Hartford Marathon, which first ran Oct. 1, 1994 with 1,700 runners in the marathon, half-marathon, 5K and marathon relay.

Julius Mbugua of Kenya broke the half-marathon race record, running the 13.1-mile course in an unofficial time of 1:05:14. Phillemon Terrer of Kenya was second (1:05:25) and Bernard Mwangi, also of Kenya, was third (1:06).

Megan Hogan of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. won the women’s half-marathon in an unofficial time of 1:13:18.

William Sanders of Wethersfield unofficially broke the 5K record at the ING Hartford Marathon Saturday morning in 14 minutes, 54 seconds.

“I wanted to at least take a shot at it,” Sanders said. “I didn’t know I was going to do it until I hit the first mile and the clock wasn’t even ready. I realized I was feeling good.”

Sanders is a 2010 UConn graduate.

Christa Ferguson of Wallingford won the women’s 5K in an unofficial time of 18:17.

The race has grown over its 20 years: approximately 15,000 runners are expected to flood downtown Hartford and Bushnell Park for the races, which include a kids K at 9:30 a.m.

The races started at 8 a.m.

Last year’s women’s marathon winner Hilary Dionne is back, as is the 2011 winner Erica Jesseman. Both ran PRs at the Boston Marathon this spring. Katie Edwards of Glastonbury is another top marathoner, who was supposed to run the New York City marathon but ended up running and winning the Harrisburg (Pa.) marathon last fall after New York was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. Edwards would like to run a 2:50 marathon.

Additional security measures have been taken and police presence has been expanded after the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April.

Joe Darda of Willimantic, who was the top state finisher at Boston, will run the half-marathon today in preparation for next month’s New York City Marathon.

“As scary as that day was, I also realized it’s a highly unusual thing,” Darda said last week. “I don’t have any anxiety it will happen in Hartford or New York City. It will probably be the safest half and marathon I ever run.”

 

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