Detroit — Christopher Chipsiya of Kenya had a score to settle Sunday.
After finishing in second place in the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon in 2016 and 2017, Chipsiya finally got the weather he wanted and carved out a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes, 2 seconds to bring home the win in 2018.
For his efforts, the 44-year-old Chipsiya nets $4,000 for winning the race, as well as an extra $2,000 for winning the masters division (40+).
Chipsiya cut more than six minutes off of his finishing time in 2017, something he attributed to the cooler running temperatures. Last year, temperatures for the marathon hit 70 degrees, while this year gave the runners much cooler conditions in the high-30s.
“It was humid (last year),” Chipsiya said. “Today, I found the weather a little better for me and that’s why I had a lot of energy.”
Chipsiya, who still lives in Kenya with his family but trains for part of the year in Mexico, attributed his love of running in cooler weather to his upbringing in the high altitudes of his hometown in Kenya.
“I like running with cold weather,” he said. “I was born in Kenya in high altitudes, and that’s really the reason.”
When asked if he’ll be back in 2019 to defend his new crown, Chipsiya was non-committal.
“You know I’m getting old now,” he said. “If I feel my feet are ready, I’ll come back.”
Women’s division sees second-time winner
Lioudmila Kortchaguina didn’t run quite as fast as when she emerged victorious in 2016, but that didn’t make the win any less sweet for the Russian-born Canadian citizen, who won the race in Detroit for the second time in three years after finishing second in 2017.
The 47-year-old’s win makes things easier for those that cut the checks to the winners, as Kortchaguina matched Chipsiya and took home $6,000 for winning both the race and the masters division.
Kortchaguina finished with a time of 2:47.26, nearly four minutes slower than her 2016 time. She did, however, cut more than eight minutes off her 2017 time, something she also attributed to the better running conditions.
“This year the weather was just for me, I love this weather,” she said. “This was just awesome.”
While Kortchaguina said she’s won too many races over her career to keep an accurate count, she did say that Detroit is a special place to run.
“Running the bridge and the tunnel is amazing,” she said. “You get to go over the water and under the water. You never see that in any other races.”
Despite a training regimen that has her running over 100 miles per week, Kortchaguina said it was time to head out to a local brewery to celebrate her win with a beer.
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer.