Ethiopian wins third title in four years
Mamitu Daska has participated in the Bolder Boulder enough to know exactly what she’s doing on the course.
On Monday, the 25-year-old Ethiopian looked quite comfortable in cruising past the rest of the field to win the women’s professional race for the third time in four years.
“This is how I’m doing it — it’s my strategy to win,” Daska said through a translator.
Daska also won in 2009 and 2010, while finishing second a year ago. She helped Ethiopia win the International Team Challenge for the fourth straight year.
Daska said this is a race she wants to win, and it showed. She pulled way out in front from the start and never looked back — literally. She finished in 33 minutes, 6.5 seconds, the slowest winning time since 2007.
“It was a very fast, aggressive pace from the very start and I knew she would be a force to be reckoned with, with her performances on the road recently,” said American Deena Kastor, who was third. “I didn’t have any delusion that she would be coming back to us in the race.”
The top two United States finishers were second and third and placed second in the team challenge. Janet Cherobon-Bawcom was second, in 33:23.57.
“I’m very excited,” said Cherobon-Bawcom, who had been training at altitude in Flagstaff, Ariz. “It’s altitude and you don’t know how your body is going to react.”
Kastor was in second for much of the race, but wound up just behind her teammate, in 33:28.48.
“I was pleased with it because it was all I had,” she said. “All of us runners come into races like this wanting to win, but I’m really happy with the effort I put out. I just couldn’t close that gap (on Daska) and couldn’t keep up with Janet when she passed me (at the 5-mile mark), but we were able to pull off a good team finish.”
Magdalena Lewy-Boulet was 20th to round out Team USA.
“Ethiopia ran strong, but I’m really proud of the USA girls for pulling off such a strong race today,” Kastor said.
While Lewy-Boulet would have loved a better individual finish, Team USA was still happy with its effort.
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