Kenyan-born runner wins record-setting Montreal Marathon

09/23/2012 11:29 EDT | Updated 11/23/2012 05:12 EST
Runners from Kenya dominated Sunday's record-setting Montreal Marathon, taking the top two spots in the men's and women's races.

Kenyan-born American Joseph Chirlee won the men's event in a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 42.4 seconds.

The 2008 champ, Lamech Mokono of Kenya, finished in second, 7.8 seconds back.

The top Canadian was Michel Lavoie of Quebec, who finished fifth in a time of 2:42:03.8.

On the women's side, Doreen Kitaka took the title in 2:47:41.2. Anne Kibor of Kenya was 34.3 seconds behind.

Chirlee said it was a tough race because of the relatively cold air. At start time, the temperature in downtown Montreal was 11 degrees C.

"The muscles were cramping a lot," he said. "But we did good. Struggled with the wind, struggled with the cold, and we still ran well."

In the half-marathon, Marco Dozzi of Pittsburgh set the pace, winning the men's event in one hour, nine minutes and 59.8 seconds. The women's winner was Natalie Sololova of Russia in 1:17:46.2.

The men's 10K race was won by Dave Liu of Montreal in a time of 33 minutes, 54.1 seconds. Raymonde Lefebvre of the Montreal south shore community of Ste-Catherine, Que., won the women's section in 38 minutes, 38.1 seconds.

The men's 5K champion was Montrealer Patrick Singaliese, who finished in 17 minutes, 17 seconds. Karine Belleau-Beliveau was tops among women in 18 minutes, 17.4 seconds.

Record participation

Combined, all of Sunday's races had a record 27,000 participants — 3,000 more than last year.

The main event began on the Jacques Cartier Bridge. The route took runners around Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame, through Old Montreal, up to Jarry Street and over to Maisonneuve Park, before ending in Lafontaine Park.

Streets were closed along the route from as early as 6 a.m., reopened at staggered times ranging from 11:25 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The Jacques Cartier Bridge was shut to traffic from before sunrise until 11 a.m.

Runners from 40 countries around the world participated in the five different distances: the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and a one-kilometre children's race.