Chepkurui sets world record on Bloomsday course

SPOKANE - The Bloomsday course is now home to a world record thanks to women's elite winner Lineth Chepkurui.

Chepkurui won her division and set a world record in the 12K land race with an official Bloomsday time of 38:10. Chepkurui beat the previous world record of 38:22, set by Moroccan Asmae Leghzaoui at the 2005 Bay to Breakers race.

"I had to push it hard because I knew they were very fast," Chepkurui said about the world class runners on her heels. "So I put in more effort."

The effort was enough to beat World Cross Champion Emily Chebet-Muge and 2010 Dubai Marathon champion Mamitu Daska.It was the third consecutive Bloomsday victory for the 23-year-old Kenyan. Chepkurui finished with a time of 38:37 in last year's Bloomsday and won the race with a 39:47 finish in 2008, receiving $7,000 a piece for those victories. The men's elite race saw a newcomer take the top spot. Peter Kurui finished first in the division with an official time of 34:28.

Doomsday Hill, which normally breaks apart the lead pack, saw an ascent that kept all eight leaders close together. Kurui took off when the course flattened out, leaving behind the rest of the pack, including three-time Bloomsday champion John Korir. The 22-year-old Kurui, also from Kenya, grabbed his first Bloomsday win on Sunday, a little more than a month after finishing second in the Berlin Half Marathon.

American Dan Brown rounded out the top ten men's elite finishers, taking home $5,000 for being the first American runner to cross the finish line.

It was a pair of Americans that won this year's wheelchair division. 21-year-old Jordan Bird, from Tucson, Ariz., won the men's wheelchair division. Bird had his closest competitor beat by nearly two minutes. 

Amanda McGrory, 23, of Champaign Ill., won her fourth straight Bloomsday women's wheelchair title on Sunday with a time of 35:15. Race officials say more than 50,000 people crossed the finish line, the largest crowd since 1996 when 56,156 finished the Bloomsday course.

Individual finisher's times will be listed in a special edition of the Inlander set to be distributed on Tuesday, May 4th.