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Kenyan, Californian win Pittsburgh Marathon

by The Associated Press on May 06, 2013 10:30 AM

PITTSBURGH — Kenya’s James Kirwa won his second straight Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday amid heightened security following the Boston Marathon bombings and with a contingent of runners unable to finish the Boston race.

Marathon officials said more than 22,700 runners took part in men’s and women’s marathons and half-marathons, a record for the event.

About three dozen participants in the race were expected to be runners who had been unable to finish last month’s Boston Marathon. A marathon spokesman said the race’s sponsor was paying transportation and lodging costs to help the 37 runners participate.

Support for Boston was evident throughout, with runners sporting pro-Boston T-shirts.

Kirwa, finishing among a group of half-marathon participants, beat his time of a year ago with an unofficial mark of 2:13:37, becoming the first back-to-back male winner since Abel Gisemba in 1993-94.

“I’m really happy, and I am coming back next year,” said Kirwa.

Stephen Njoroge, of Flushing, N.Y., was second at 2:14:10.

Mary Akor, of Hawthorne, Calif., won the women’s marathon, collapsing in exhaustion after crossing the finish line of 2:37:35. Hirut Beyene Guangal, of Ethiopia, was second in 2:38:05.

Nicole Dann-Payne, 29, an assistant track coach at Marion Center High School and a professor at IUP, finished eighth in 3:05:43.36.

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