Lelisa Desisa Sets 60:34 Course Record at 2013 BAA Half Marathon but Stephen Sambu is Big Winner on Day with $100,000 Payday

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By Chris Lotsbom, with additions by LetsRun.com
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved.

BOSTON (13-Oct) — 2013 Boston Marathon champ Lelisa Desisa returned to Boston today and won the 13th running of the B.A.A. Half Marathon in a course record 60:34, but the big winner on the day was Kenya’s Stephen Sambu who finished third in 60:41 as with that he won $100,000 as the winner of the B.A.A. Distance Medley and its $100,000 prize.

BOSTON MARATHON CHAMPION DESISA RETURNS TO SET COURSE RECORD

Lelisa Desisa has found a home in Boston. In April, the Ethiopian 23-year-old won the 117th Boston Marathon, then returned two months later to place second at the B.A.A. 10-K. Here today, Desisa claimed yet another victory in the Massachusetts capital city, setting a new course record of 1:00:34 to win the B.A.A. Half Marathon.

“When I win I am happy,” said the quiet Desisa. “I like Boston. I like the people of Boston. And I am one of the people of Boston.”

Desisa used his adoration for the city –and the support shown from its citizens– to win the 13.1-mile contest through the Jamaica Plain and Dorchester neighborhoods.

Coming into the race, Desisa –the only man entered to have run under 60:00 for the half-marathon– was battling a head cold. He wouldn’t let any illness get in between him and the $6,000 first place prize, though.

Sticking with a large lead group through the opening miles, Desisa was building up as much energy as he could for the race’s final stretch. At ten miles –hit in 46:04– he was right where he wanted to be: among a pack. Joining him were Kenyans Daniel Salel, Stephen Sambu, Sam Chelanga, and Lanni Rutto. Notably missing was Ethiopian Gebre Gebremariam, who stopped between miles six and seven.

“The three or four guys from Kenya are very fast so I follow them. Then after ten miles I ran to win and ran as fast as possible,” he said.

Though Desisa was increasing his pace, he couldn’t quite shake Kenyans Salel and Sambu.

For Salel and Sambu, more than just the B.A.A. Half Marathon title was on the line. Both were in contention for the three-race B.A.A. Distance Medley crown and it’s $100,000 prize, the largest non-marathon award in road racing.

Entering today’s contest, Sambu held a 26 second advantage on reigning B.A.A. Half Marathon champion Allan Kiprono, and a 32 second cushion on Salel. One male and one female with the lowest cumulative time between April’s B.A.A. 5-K, June’s B.A.A. 10-K, and today’s B.A.A. Half Marathon would earn the $100,000 check.

Time to worry about prize money would come after the race’s conclusion, though.

Running through the Franklin Park Zoo with roughly a mile remaining, Desisa managed to pull away from both Kenyans. Crossing the finish in 1:00:34, Desisa had broken the previous course record by a whopping minute and ten seconds.

All Desisa could do was emphasize his love of Boston following the win.

“I see when I won Boston Marathon in 2013 that they give me support,” he said. “I am happy when I see the people of Boston.”

Will Desisa return to Boston for next April’s Marathon? Count on it.

“I will come back to Boston. I win, and will do more training to do Boston again,” he said. “I will come again.”

Salel, second, and Sambu, third, were given the same finish time of 1:00:41. Place didn’t matter to Sambu, though. All he cared about was the Medley standings, which he clinched with ease.

“When I entered the stadium I knew I was going to win,” said Sambu, who trains with Olympians Abdi Abdirahman and Bernard Lagat under coach James Li in Arizona. “When I was over there I knew I was going to win so I was very happy.”

With the $100,000, Sambu plans to build a water filtration and purification system at home in Eldoret, Kenya.

“I am so happy because now I am going to Kenya and bring clean water, give back,” said the recent graduate of the University of Arizona.

Rounding out the top five were Chelanga (fourth, 1:01:04) and Rutto (fifth, 1:01:32). Sixth went to last year’s champion in Allan Kiprono, while Jeffrey Eggleston crossed as the top American, seventh in 1:03:41.

Top 50 Results Below

 13th Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon
       Presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund
       October 13, 2013 (USATF Certified #MA12008RN)  Boston, Mass.
                   MYLAPS Bibtag timing by Mtec Results

Place Div/Tot  No.  Div   Name                            Ag S City               St  5 Mile  10 Mile Nettime  Guntime Team        
===== ======== ==== ===== =============================== == = ================== === ======= ======= =======  ======= ======== 
    1   1/250     1 M2024 Lelisa Desisa                   23 M Ethiopia                 22:52   46:05 1:00:34  1:00:34 Nike     
    2   2/250     5 M2024 Daniel Salel                    22 M Kenya                    22:52   46:04 1:00:41  1:00:41          
    3   1/527     4 M2529 Stephen Sambu                   25 M Kenya                    22:51   46:04 1:00:41  1:00:41          
    4   2/527     3 M2529 Samuel Chelanga                 28 M West Lebanon       NH    22:52   46:05 1:01:04  1:01:04 Nike     
    5   3/250     7 M2024 Lani Rutto                      24 M Kenya                    22:51   46:30 1:01:32  1:01:32          
    6   4/250     6 M2024 Allan Kiprono                   23 M Kenya                    22:51   46:07 1:02:00  1:02:00          
    7   3/527    18 M2529 Jeffrey Eggleston               29 M Boulder            CO    24:07   48:32 1:03:41  1:03:41          
    8   4/527    10 M2529 Harbert Okuti                   27 M Uganda                   23:30   48:19 1:03:51  1:03:52          
    9   5/527    15 M2529 Aaron Braun                     26 M Englewood          CO    23:48   48:20 1:03:52  1:03:52          
   10   1/559     9 M3034 Henry Rutto                     31 M Kenya                    23:18   48:09 1:03:58  1:03:58          
   11   2/559    11 M3034 Mark Kenneally                  32 M Ireland                  23:49   48:21 1:04:07  1:04:07          
   12   6/527    14 M2529 Christopher Barnicle            26 M Charlestown        MA    23:48   48:30 1:04:29  1:04:29          
   13   3/559    16 M3034 Scott Wietecha                  32 M Hendersonville     TN    24:20   50:08 1:07:18  1:07:19          
   14   4/559    22 M3034 Tekeste Kebede                  32 M Ethiopia                 24:24   50:54 1:07:54  1:07:54 ADI      
   15   5/250  8290 M2024 Bo Waggoner                     24 M Somerville         MA    25:38   51:43 1:08:19  1:08:19          
   16   7/527    21 M2529 Mike Popejoy                    27 M Somerville         MA    25:24   51:52 1:08:46  1:08:46          
   17   1/687    41 F3034 Kim Smith                       31 F New Zealand              25:41   52:03 1:09:14  1:09:14          
   18   5/559   101 M3034 Tadesse Biratu                  33 M Malden             MA    25:39   52:16 1:09:23  1:09:23 RUN      
   19   1/966    49 F2529 Aheza Kiros                     27 F Ethiopia                 25:41   52:43 1:10:03  1:10:03 ADI      
   20   1/671    43 F2024 Alice Kimutai                   21 F Kenya                    25:42   52:57 1:10:37  1:10:37          
   21   8/527   109 M2529 Jonathan Baker                  29 M Cambridge          MA    26:34   53:48 1:11:00  1:11:00 BAA      
   22   2/687    45 F3034 Kristen Fryburg-Zaitz           32 F Broomfield         CO    27:07   55:13 1:13:12  1:13:12          
   23   1/395    33 M4044 Joseph Ekuom                    43 M Kingston           NY    26:30   55:05 1:13:38  1:13:38          
   24   6/559   108 M3034 Nils Schallner                  33 M Cambridge          MA    27:06   55:41 1:13:44  1:13:46 BAA      
   25   9/527   112 M2529 Garry Cuneo                     27 M Groveland          MA    27:12   55:44 1:13:49  1:13:49 SISU     
   26   2/966    42 F2529 Millicent Kuria                 27 F Kenya                    26:45   55:34 1:13:53  1:13:53          
   27   6/250   117 M2024 Daniel Dillon                   24 M Somerville         MA    28:16   56:16 1:14:03  1:14:06          
   28   2/671    47 F2024 Katie Matthews                  22 F Allston            MA    27:07   55:53 1:14:29  1:14:29 SAUC     
   29  10/527   115 M2529 Norman Mininger                 28 M Colorado Springs   CO    27:51   56:28 1:14:31  1:14:32          
   30   7/250  8387 M2024 Mike Burnstein                  24 M Brookline          MA    28:57   57:23 1:14:34  1:14:36          
   31  11/527   104 M2529 William Washer                  27 M Ogdenbsurg         NJ    27:43   56:21 1:14:44  1:14:45          
   32  12/527   110 M2529 Keith Drake                     29 M Brookline          MA    28:13   56:55 1:15:00  1:15:01          
   33   1/497    44 F3539 Jess Draskau-Petersson          36 F Denmark                  28:04   57:01 1:15:14  1:15:14          
   34   8/250  8261 M2024 Dave Brown                      24 M Brighton           MA    28:16   57:06 1:15:31  1:15:34 BAA      
   35   7/559   120 M3034 Brian Lawney                    30 M Jamaica Plain      MA    28:18   57:19 1:15:49  1:15:52          
   36   1/438   107 M3539 Matthew Carter                  35 M Saugus             MA    28:28   57:17 1:15:56  1:15:57 BAA      
   37  13/527   174 M2529 David Harris                    27 M Boston             MA    30:10   59:09 1:16:18  1:16:20          
   38  14/527  8417 M2529 Alex Godfrey                    25 M Somerville         MA    28:23   57:32 1:16:27  1:16:35          
   39   1/269    32 M4549 Wayne Levy                      48 M Waban              MA    28:18   57:31 1:16:28  1:16:29 BAA      
   40   2/438   133 M3539 Nicola Beretta                  37 M Avon               CT    28:33   58:06 1:16:55  1:16:57          
   41   9/250   207 M2024 Joe Damron                      22 M Brookline          MA    28:29   58:14 1:17:02  1:17:04          
   42  15/527   202 M2529 Corey Watts                     25 M Cambridge          MA    29:47   59:27 1:17:38  1:17:45          
   43  16/527   121 M2529 Gregory Keshian                 26 M Boston             MA    28:40   58:40 1:17:39  1:17:41          
   44  17/527   144 M2529 Matthew Simonson                27 M Milton             MA    29:59   59:22 1:17:43  1:17:55 BAA      
   45   8/559   181 M3034 Kenneth Wedel                   33 M Boston             MA    29:38   59:25 1:18:05  1:18:08 BAA      
   46  18/527   153 M2529 Paul Hand                       29 M Boston             MA    29:12   59:12 1:18:08  1:18:11          
   47   9/559   137 M3034 Chris George                    31 M Newton             MA    29:32   59:10 1:18:08  1:18:12 BAA      
   48  19/527   233 M2529 Lindsay Smith                   26 M Brookline          MA    30:13   59:34 1:18:16  1:18:18 BAA      
   49  10/559   140 M3034 Bastien Martini                 31 M Needham            MA    29:36   59:32 1:18:44  1:18:46 BAA      
   50  10/250   184 M2024 John Caldwell                   24 M Exeter             NH    29:06   59:32 1:18:49  1:18:51

 

“I was in really good shape coming into the race, getting ready for the ING New York City Marathon,” he said. “It’s a pretty good day, a great tune up heading into New York City.”

Aaron Braun placed ninth, and gave props to the top finishers.

“Running 61 low or 60-high, 60-mid here is like running 59-flat on a fast course,” he said, noting how hilly and challenging the course is. “I didn’t expect it to be that fast.”


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