Athletics: Uganda’s Sarah Chelangat, Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kidanu Win US’ 10-Mile Marathon

Athletics: Uganda’s Sarah Chelangat, Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kidanu Win US’ 10-Mile Marathon an accessible web community

By Spy Uganda

As the elite women reached the halfway point of Sunday’s Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, they were clustered together in a group that exceeded a dozen. It didn’t take long for that leading group to quickly thin out and turn to one as Sarah Chelangat put the rest behind her.

The 21-year-old Ugandan surged forward during a sixth mile she ran in under five minutes to open a sizable gap between her and the competition. Chelangat went on to win the race in 52 minutes 4 seconds, 33 seconds ahead of second-place finisher and top American runner Sara Hall.

Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kidanu (46:08) won on the elite men’s side despite a heavy wind that buffeted runners throughout the 50th edition of the D.C. racing staple, which also served as the 2023 USA Track & Field 10-mile championship.

“The wind was very strong, but I’m very happy to have won,” Kidanu said through a translator.

The men’s race was more competitive than the women’s. Kidanu finished a mere three seconds ahead of the top American, Hillary Bor.

Bor, who joined Hall in earning USATF champion status, defended his 2022 USATF 10-mile title with a time of 46:11. He broke Greg Meyer’s American record, set at the same event in 1983, by two seconds. The achievement earned him $50,000.

“I’ve always wanted to break [the] American record,” Bor said. “It’s a good feeling to put in work … I’ve been running all these years, and it’s not easy to get [the] American record.”

Hall, who last week was felled by the coronavirus and didn’t think she would end up running, felt better as the week went on and ultimately felt good enough to race. But the start of the run tested the 39-year-old.

“It took me a little while. I knew it was going to feel really fast early because I just haven’t been able to do workouts,” she said. “. . . It felt like we hit mile two, and I’m like ‘Oh, my gosh, we’ve only run two miles.’ ”

Hall also cited the difficulty of running in the weather. She likened the head winds to the 2018 Boston Marathon, an event run in such difficult conditions that race officials prepared for cases of hypothermia.

But Hall remembered something her husband told her: Run the mile you’re in; don’t focus on how far you have to go.

This race wasn’t nearly as bad but gave Hall a chance to prepare for this year’s Boston Marathon, set for April 17.

“This is a good chance to practice,” she said. “ … Normally I would have wanted to go for the record out here, but with the sickness I didn’t know if that was going to be in the cards. So I chose just to compete.”

The 2021 Cherry Blossom champion, Nell Rojas, placed third among the elite women in 52:38, while Americans Emma Hurley (52:41) and Molly Grabill (52:42) weren’t far behind. Last year’s race winner, Susanna Sullivan, placed seventh in 53:25.

Americans Abbabiya Simbassa (47:09) and Jacob Thomson (47:27) sandwiched Kenya’s Charles Langat (47:25) to round out the elite men’s top five. an accessible web community

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