(Reuters) – Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel outkicked favoured British runner Mo Farah despite wearing just one shoe to win the men’s 3,000 metres at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Saturday.
Gebremeskel finished in a time of 7:35.37 to hold off Farah, who clocked 7:35.81. The Ethiopian lost his right shoe early in the race but pressed with a finishing burst with one foot shod only in a sock.
“It’s really hard to run in one shoe,” Gebremeskel, 21, said afterwards.
Somalia-born Farah, while disappointed with second place, was encouraged by the swift pace in his first race of the year.
“Right at the end he came right past me, in a different gear,” Farah said. “I’m quite surprised by the pace.”
In the men’s mile, New Zealand’s Nick Willis, the pre-race favourite and the 2008 Olympic silver medallist over 1500m, faded to third.
Instead, American Russell Brown, 25, ran 3:54.81 for a surprise win over compatriot Garrett Heath (3:55.87). For both U.S. runners, the marks were personal bests.
Brown, originally from Hanover, New Hampshire, said he gave himself “outside odds” to win the race but was inspired by the tradition of the Boston track and a bevy of family and friends in the stands.
“As a Northeast guy, indoor running is important, and it’s exciting, and this is the place to do it,” said Brown, who has struggled with chronic calf injuries in recent years.
The Boston event, which has hosted six world records and 28 national records over 16 years, was back in a diminished capacity after a last-minute sponsorship change to New Balance from long-time backer Reebok.
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