100th Boston a triple gem for Pippig Tanui pulls away in men's division

4th straight eludes Ndeti

Milestone field is largest at 38,706

April 16, 1996|By Jere Longman | Jere Longman,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

BOSTON -- Her countrymen ran unchallenged for a 1-2-3 finish, and Tegla Loroupe pulled far ahead of the women's field yesterday as Kenya prepared for a clean sweep of the 100th Boston Marathon. The crowd kept urging on the defending champion, Uta Pippig, screaming "you can catch her," but Pippig did not believe she could win as waves of apparently futile encouragement washed over her.

"What are you saying here?" Pippig remembered about the cheering. "There is such a big gap."

This was shaping up as the most dominant performance ever by Kenya in the marathon. Moses Tanui had won the men's race in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 16 seconds, followed by Ezekiel Bitok (2: 09: 26) and Cosmas Ndeti, who attempted to become the first person to win Boston four times, but finished third in 2: 09: 51 after starting too fast and running out of gas.

In fact, seven Kenyan men finished among the top eight, and Loroupe appeared ready to add Boston to her two victories in the New York City Marathon. Suffering from menstrual cramps and diarrhea, Pippig had fallen back on the infamous, intimidating Heartbreak Hill, trailing Loroupe by 80 yards at Mile 21, by 190 yards at Mile 22 and by 220 yards at Mile 23. Two football fields separated her from first place.

But a marathon covers 26.2 miles, and over that final, finishing stretch, Pippig suddenly felt a surge of energy, as if the throbbing crowds in Boston's Back Bay had begun to carry her along on some invisible current.

Pippig made up a 150-yard gap during Mile 25, rushed past a faltering Loroupe with a mile remaining and drew away to win by 400 yards in 2: 27: 12, in one of the most dramatic finishes ever in a women's marathon. It was a remarkable performance given her discomfort and a persistent head wind.

This was the world's largest marathon, with 38,706 registered runners participating on a cloudless day with temperatures in the mid-50s. In the men's race, Ndeti had guaranteed a fourth consecutive victory, and he set out to break the world record of 2: 06: 50, set in 1988 by Belayneh Dinsamo of Ethiopia.

Kevin Collins of Cicero, N.Y., was the top U.S. finisher, in 31st with an unofficial time of 2: 18: 54. Sharon Stubler of Minnetonka, Minn., also finished 31st, timed unofficially at 2: 42: 34 to lead U.S. women.

Pippig, 30, an eastern German who now lives and trains up to 180 miles a week at altitude in Boulder, Colo., thus became the first woman to win Boston three years in succession since the race relinquished its men's-only status in 1972.

"I never thought I would catch Tegla," Pippig said, adding that the crowd had revitalized her. "It was like we had a connection between us. I just started flying. I never could imagine that I could fly."

And if Pippig did not match her course record of 2: 21: 45, this race was impressive because of the difficulties she overcame.

"It's the nicest win of my life," Pippig said. "It's amazing."

The race served as the Kenyan Olympic trials, and when Ndeti went to the front, the other Kenyans went with him. A pack of 18 runners, with Ndeti in the lead, went through 10 kilometers in 29: 27, and he was still on world-record pace at the midway point in 1: 03: 22. But, struggling up Heartbreak Hill in mile 21, Ndeti began to fade. The other Kenyans swept past him.

"I don't think to beat Ndeti is something unusual," said Tanui, 30, the 1991 world champion at 10,000 meters, who will run the shorter event at the Olympics. "This race is not for one person. This race is for everybody."

A 61-year-old Swedish man, identified as Humphrey Siesage of Stockholm, died of an apparent heart attack after finishing. He was treated by paramedics, then whisked by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6: 06 p.m. An autopsy is planned.

The Boston Athletic Association announced that official results will not be made available until today.

Unofficial results

Men

1. Moses Tanui, Kenya, 2: 09: 16; 2. Ezekiel Bitok, Kenya, 2: 09: 26; 3. Cosmas Ndeti, Kenya, 2: 09: 51; 4. Lameck Aguta, Kenya, 2: 10: 03; 5. Sammy Lelei, Kenya, 2: 10: 11; 6. Abebe Mekonnen, Ethiopia, 2: 10: 21; 7. Charles Tangus, Kenya, 2: 10.28; 8. Paul Yego, Kenya, 2: 10.49; 9. Carlos Grisales, Colombia, 2: 11: 17; 10. Stephen Moneghetti, Australia, 2: 11: 17; 11. Luiz Dos Santos, Brazil, 2: 11.49; 12. Gilbert Rutto, Kenya, 2: 12: 29; 13. Andres Espinosa, Mexico, 2: 13: 05; 14. Sammy Maritim, Kenya, 2: 13: 14; 15. Jan Huruk, Poland, 2: 13: 15; 16. Joao Lopes, Portugal, 2: 13: 13; 17. Simon Lopuyet, Kenya, 2: 14: 34; 18. Eric Kimaiyo, Kenya, 2: 14: 37; 19. Andre Luis Ramos, Tanzania, 2: 14: 51; 20. Turbo Tumo, Ethiopia, 2: 14: 59.

DTC Women

1. Uta Pippig, Germany, 2: 27: 12; 2. Tegla Loroupe, Kenya, 2: 28: 37; 3. Nobuko Fujimura, Japan, 2: 29: 24; 4. Sonja Krolik, Germany, 2: 29: 24; 5. Larisa Zouzko, Russia, 2: 31: 06; 6. Franziska Rochat-Moser, Switzerland, 2: 31: 33; 7. Madina Biktagirova, Belgium, 2: 31: 38; 8. Lorraine Moller, New Zealand, 2: 32: 02; 9. Alla Jiliaeva, Russia, 2: 33: 47; 10. Valentina Enaki, Moldova, 2: 33: 58; 11. Marcia Narloch, Brazil, 2: 34: 27; 12. Salina Chirchir, Mexico, 2: 34: 33; 13. Solange Cordeiro, Brazil, 2: 34: 51; 14. Stefanija Statkuviene, Lithuania, 2: 36: 42; 15. Lizanne Bussieres, Canada, 2: 36: 55; 16. Sissel Grottenberg, Norway, 2: 37: 28; 17. Stelia Castro, Colombia, 2: 38: 00; 18. Ai Sugihara, Japan, 2: 38: 50; 19. Eiko Yamazaki, Japan, 2: 38: 52; 20. Ingrid Kristiansen, Norway, 2: 38: 52.

Area finishers

Martin Goode, 2: 57; Mick Slonaker, 3: 05: 16; Joanne Shecter, 5: 34: 11

Pub Date: 4/16/96

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