Kenya’s Mary Keitany sets Ottawa 10K race record


Mary Keitany scored one for the girls.

The 32-year-old Kenyan made her first race since 2012 a profitable one, beating every other runner across the finish line in the Lowertown Brewery Ottawa 10K on Saturday evening.

“I have come to Canada for the first time, and I did a 10K, and I did well,” said Keitany, whose prizes included $6,000 for placing first among women, $2,000 for setting a new event record with her time of 31 minutes, 21.4 seconds and $4,000 for prevailing in the “gender competition,” in which elite female runners started with an advantage of 4:10.

“I’m happy because of the win and for beating the men because I know it was men against the ladies and I’m happy because I crossed the finish line first,” Keitany said.

Keitany’s time was about 2.6 seconds faster than the 2005 record set by Kenya’s Grace Momanyi. Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga finished second in 32:20.6, nearly a minute behind Keitany, with Kenya’s Caroline Kilel in third place in 32:30.5.

Leading Canadian was Lanni Marchant, a University of Ottawa law grad from London, Ont., who placed seventh in 33:14.8.

Marchant placed 14th in the Boston Marathon on April 21, and she admitted she battled fatigue in her legs on Saturday, but it might not have mattered against Keitany, who won the 2012 London Marathon and finished fourth in that year’s London Olympic Games marathon, but missed the 2013 season because of the birth of her second child.

“Oh, goodness gracious,” Marchant said after hearing Keitany’s time. “I would have had to slap a jet engine on my back. That’s a time I think I’m capable of doing if I’m not doing marathon training, but, oh no, right now I would have needed somebody else’s legs.”

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