Two Mexicans dominated the 38th Mexico City marathon on Sunday, taking first and second place.
Darío Castro and Eloy Sánchez, both of whom are soldiers in the Mexican army, crossed the finish line together to return Mexico to the podium after a 12-year absence ahead of third-place finisher Rodgers Ondati of Kenya. Castro won the race with a time of 2:14.51 and Sánchez finished just a second after. Ondati recorded a time of 2:17.31.
The last Mexican to win the marathon was Edilberto Méndez Hernández from Tlaxcala in 2009.
More than 15,000 runners lined up early on Sunday morning outside the Olympic University Stadium in Coyoacán, in the south of Mexico City, for the 42-kilometer race to the historic center, ending at the city’s central square, the zócalo. They awaited Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who fired the starting pistol.
Castro said that despite his victory, the Mexico City marathon was no walk in the park. “I think that here … the conditions in Mexico City, the altitude, pollution and other influencing factors make the marathon difficult, but it motivates us to keep working and to look for another marathon that gives us the conditions to run faster,” he said.
Sánchez was ahead for most of the race and described the moment that Castro caught up. “I slowed down and he caught up with me. We got back to competition rhythm side-by-side. We were talking, supporting each other. I told him ‘This race belongs to us Mexicans,’” he said.
In the women’s event East Africans dominated a historic race: Kenyan Lucy Cheruiyot broke the record by more than six minutes, and was followed by Ethiopian Amare Shewarge Alene, who finished almost 10 minutes later. Kenyan Leah Jebiwot Kigen came in third.
In the wheelchair categories, Mexican Ivonne Reyes won the female competition and Colombian Francisco San Clemente won the men’s contest in record time.
With reports from Milenio