Earlier today the 31th Annual Stockholm Marathon got underway at 2 p.m. local time with over 80 degree temperatures where fast paces were not expected.
But Paul Kipkemei Kogo of Kenya ran by the competition in today’s historic marathon finishing in the 1912 Olympic Stadium more than seven minutes ahead of second-place Benjamin Serem, also of Kenya, coming in at 2 hours, 15 minutes and 35 seconds.
Kipkemei Koko paced the marathon on and off for the first half of the event. He pressed the other three racers with him including defending champion Willy Korir, who is suffering from shin splints and dropped out of the race after 30 kilometers (18.6 miles).
He made a definitive move from the rest of the back early in the second half of the race and was never challenged again. Swedish runner Said Regragui finished third in 2:22:57.
On the women’s side defending champion and newly recognized Swedish citizen Isabellah Andersson ran a solo effort in the women’s race coming in at a personal best time of 2:33:52.
A native Kenyan, she married her coach in 2006 after moving to Sweden in 2005. She also just gave birth to their first child in January and did not believe she would challenge her personal best in today's event.
Second place belong to Lena Gavelin for the second consecutive year at 2:40:52 and Veronika Lopatina at 2:46:35.
Kogo ran the quickest time in four years and Andersson in the last seven years of the Stockholm Marathon. Course records continue to stand with Hugh Jones 1983 time of 2:11:37 and Grete Waitz 1988 record of 2:28:24.
There were no elite American runners in the race and the top finishers were either African or Swedish runners. For the 13th straight year, a record number of people turned out with 18,736 runners from 70 countries entering the event.
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