Posted at: 06/26/2013 11:02 PM
Updated at: 06/26/2013 11:08 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Duluth, Minn. - On a foggy Saturday morning, thousands of runners tackled Grandma's Marathon.
Bazu Worku of Ethiopia led the pack to become the 2013 Men's Champion, but did not break Dick Beardsley's course record of 2:09.37.
"His main goal coming here was to set the record, when he saw the weather, he was very sure he was going to win the race and very confident," said Worku through an interpreter.
There was a lot of speculation leading up to the marathon that the men's record would be broken. But, it was actually the women's division that saw a new record set. Sarah Kiptoo ran her race in two hours, 26 minutes, 32 seconds.
"I didn't think I can run, but when I crossed the halfway, I saw I could make good time today. Because I see the difference in last month's marathon and that I did a big difference. I did 1:16 halfway, but today, I did 1:11 so I knew I had a chance to break the record," said Kiptoo.
A minnesota native was crowned champion in the men's race of the Garry Bjorklund half marathon. 19-year-old John Klecker of Minnetonka hails from a running family.
"Both of my parents ran professionally so they helped me out. It's all self motivation, but whenever I want to work out or I've needed to talk about my training and stuff, they're always there which is really nice to have. I bounce a lot of workout ideas off my mom and dad," says Klecker.
The Bjorklund race was a tune up run for women's winner Mary Davies, who is training for the World Championships, but it also gave her a little taste of home.
"I really like Duluth. I'm from New Zealand, a small town so it feels a little more home like than Houston where I'm living now. People are really friendly," says Davies.
Kiptoo wasn't the only one who made history. Mo Trafeh also set a new course record to win his second USA Half Marathon Championship.
"I'm really happy, with my age - I'm 28 - and I'm still consistent with my running so it means that I'm still healthy and I still have that energy and that speed so it means a lot," says Trafeh.
It was also a big day for Adriana Nelson, who claimed the women's national title. "It's my first gold medal at nationals. It's very emotional. I used to run for Romania and I had many gold medals. But, this is very important for me and very special," says Nelson.