No stopping Kenyans, Roba in Boston

Chebet's 1st U.S. victory 9th straight for nation

3rd in row for Ethiopian

April 20, 1999|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

BOSTON -- Joseph Chebet of Kenya, a runner-up in every marathon he had run on U.S. soil, saved his strength for the final four miles yesterday to record a victory in the 103rd Boston Marathon.

Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia sailed home first in the women's competition for the third time in the last three years.

"Everybody in the world is trying to catch the Kenyans, but they can't," said Chebet after he became the ninth straight Kenyan champion.

That equaled the race record set by U.S. runners between 1916-25 at a time when few foreigners entered the race.

Roba, 27, has always been more poker-faced than animated, and not even the mastery with which she took over her race and commanded its final 14 miles generated much of a smile.

Nor was she terribly pleased with her winning time of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 25 seconds, having considered the possibility of beating Uta Pippig's 2: 21.45 course record. She did tie Pippig's race record of three straight wins.

"I was expecting a better time, maybe 2: 21 to 2: 22," Roba said through an interpreter. "But it was not to be."

Roba got to the wire almost 400 yards ahead of Franziska Rochat-Moser, the Swiss lawyer and restaurateur who moved up two places in the last two miles to take second in 2: 25.51.

Lynn Jennings of Newmarket, N.H., the three-time world cross-country champion who some fans had hoped would emerge as the first American winner at Boston since 1985, finished tired and 12th in 2: 38.37.

The race proved a watershed for Chebet, 28, the Kenyan who finished second to Moses Tanui by three seconds at Boston a year earlier, and who twice earned the dubious distinction of runner-up at the New York City marathon.

"I believe my standing in the Kenyan running community will improve now that I've won this race," Chebet said.

Silvio Guerra of Ecuador took over the lead at the 16-mile mark, but Chebet had the stronger stride, and he swept past the visibly anxious Guerra barely a half-mile after Tanui, the most respected member of the Kenyan delegation, had dropped out with what appeared to be sore feet or cramps.

Chebet steamed ahead, finishing in 2: 09.52, the 38th-fastest time recorded at Boston.

Guerra was the runner-up this time, in 2: 10.18, a respectable time for his fourth marathon. Joe LeMay of Danbury, Conn., was the top American finisher, posting a 16th-place time of 2: 16.11.

Bill Rodgers, the four-time Boston winner (1975, '78, '79 and '80) who had hoped to shatter the marathon record for 50-year-old masters by running faster than 2: 30, ran out of gas at mile 20. "I think I can still run a marathon," Rodgers said. "But my body won't let me go after records."

Results

Men

1. Joseph Chebet, Kenya, 2 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds.

2. Silvio Guerra, Ecuador, 2: 10: 18.

3. Frank Pooe, South Africa, 2: 11: 37.

4. Abner Chipu, South Africa, 2: 12: 45.

5. John Kagwe, Kenya, 2: 13: 57.

6. Peter Githuka, Kenya, 2: 14: 03.

7. Andrey Kuznetsov, Russia, 2: 14: 19.

8. Jose Luis Molina, Costa Rica, 2: 14: 26.

9. Ruben Maza, Venezuela, 2: 14: 41.

10. Julius Ondieki, Kenya, 2: 15: 27.

Women

1. Fatuma Roba, Ethiopia, 2: 23: 25.

2. Franziska Rochat-Moser, Switzerland, 2: 25: 51.

3. Yuko Arimori, Japan, 2: 26: 39.

4. Colleen De Reuck, South Africa, 2: 27: 53.

5. Martha Tenorio, Ecuador, 2: 27: 57.

6. Catherine Ndereba, Kenya, 2: 28: 26.

7. Ludmila Petrova, Russia, 2: 29: 12.

8. Mitsuko Sugihara, Japan, 2: 30: 34.

9. Renata Paradowska, Poland, 2: 31: 40.

10. Anuta Catuna, Romania, 2: 33: 49.

Top area finishers

(W denotes woman; place is overall finish)

197. Richard Brokaw, Bel Air, 2: 44: 31.

353. Stephen Kortenkamp, Baltimore, 2: 51: 00.

381. Lee Dipietro (W), Ruxton, 2: 51: 51.

430. James Boehmer, Annapolis, 2: 53: 35.

484. Warren Ross, Annapolis, 2: 55: 01.

613. Philip Lang, Columbia, 2: 57: 50.

643. John Wales, Elkton, 2: 58: 23.

671. Ray Lorden, Parkville, 2: 58: 43.

686. Bill Peeling, Baltimore, 2: 59: 02.

769. John March, Annapolis, 3: 00: 14.

837. Michael Fregeau, Baltimore, 3: 01: 29.

881. James Kelley, Columbia, 3: 02: 14.

884. Christopher Parts, Baltimore, 3: 02: 17.

1098. Troy Conran, Westminster, 3: 05: 53.

1159. John Sullivan, Edgewood, 3: 06: 39.

1205. Chris Sinclair, Parkville, 3: 07: 08.

1247. Adam Weiner, Annapolis, 3: 07: 36.

1594. Thomas Rogers, Laurel, 3: 11: 37.

1638. John Jagela, Catonsville, 3: 12: 08.

1684. Nicholas Ahn, Baltimore, 3: 12: 35.

1695. Sean Dalton, Baltimore, 3: 12: 41.

1745. Christopher Cucuzzella, Baltimore, 3: 13: 11.

1777. Chip Bixler, Elkton, 3: 13: 35.

1848. Timothy Stockert, Baltimore, 3: 14: 13.

2160. Richard Repasky, Eldersburg, 3: 17: 18.

2391. Finley Mears, Baltimore, 3: 19: 21.

2425. Edward May, Columbia, 3: 19: 39.

2515. David Foote, Owings Mills, 3: 20: 25.

2684. Christina Morganti (W), Severna Park, 3: 21: 53.

2704. Joe Bowling, Timonium, 3: 22: 00.

2793. Stephen Zagorski, Annapolis, 3: 22: 43.

2810. Peter Uimonen, Laurel, 3: 22: 52.

3099. Brian Daugherty, Baltimore, 3: 25: 29.

3174. Al Dooling, Baltimore, 3: 26: 12.

3184. Bill Wheatley-Heckman, Columbia, 3: 26: 20.

3219. Andy Baida, Baltimore, 3: 26: 39.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.