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Kenyans finish first in 42nd Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

May 19, 2019

 Kenyans finish first in 42nd Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

Westlake’s Sarah Horbol finishes second in bid to repeat; Lakewood native Ken Sullivan wins men’s half-marathon for third straight year 

CLEVELAND (May 19, 2019) – Kenyan Edwin Kamaiyo, 33, made his American racing debut by overtaking two-time champion Philemon Terrer near the 24-mile mark and holding on for victory in the 42nd annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. His winning time was 2:22:02.

Fellow countrywoman Margaret Njuguna, 49, finished first in the women’s marathon in 2:45:31. Local entrant and last year’s winner Sarah Horbol, 32, of Westlake finished second in 2:48:21.

Kamaiyo and Njuguna each earned $3,000 for their wins. 

In the men’s marathon, Kenyans Terrer, 33, (2:23:36) and Kipkoech Ruto, 30, (2:26:22) finished second and third, respectively. Finishing third in the women’s race was Joan Massah, 29, of Kenya with a time of 2:49:30.

Approximately 15,000 runners participated in the 42nd anniversary of the race on a warm day where temperatures reached into the 80s. All three Sunday races – 10K, half-marathon and marathon – started just outside the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and finished on Public Square. Race weekend included the 1-mile, 5K, 8K, and kids race on Saturday. Walking divisions were offered in all three Sunday race distances. 

Additionally, two participants took part in the hand crank wheelchair division. There was also a Challenge Series, which gave competitors an opportunity to compete in more than one race over the weekend.

“It was great to see the city come out and support the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on this bright, sunny, albeit warm race day,” said Jack Staph, executive race director, Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. “The atmosphere created by the tens of thousands of participating runners and spectators city was electric.”

In addition to the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the runners’ tour of Cleveland included passing by landmarks and popular neighborhoods such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, FirstEnergy Stadium, Great Lakes Science Center, Tremont and Ohio City, West Side Market, Playhouse Square, Edgewater Park and Public Square.

Beyond the weekend’s races, tens of thousands of racers and health and fitness enthusiasts visited the Health & Fitness Expo at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland on Friday and Saturday. The weekend’s activities resulted in an approximate $18 million economic impact for the city.

Kenyan Dominic Korir, 26, won the men’s 10K with a time of 29:17, improving on his third-place performance in 2018. Countrymen James Ngandu, 29, (29:41) and Phenus Kipleting, 24, (30:27) rounded out the top three. On the women’s side, Vicoty Chepngeno, 25, of Kenya finished first in 31:59, followed by fellow Kenyans Iveen Chepkemoi, 21, (32:45) and Esther Wanjiru, 19, (34:23). Korir and Chepngeno each earned $2,000 for their victories. 

Clevelander Ken Sullivan, 31, a high school history teacher and former cross country and track coach at St. Ignatius, won the men’s half-marathon for the third straight year, finishing in 1:10:25, besting Matthew Krakora, 25, (1:18:04) from Akron and Jimmy Adams, 27,  (1:19:35) from Lakewood. Nicole Camp, 33, of Sterling, Ohio, a two-time Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon winner in 2010 and 2011, won the women’s half-marathon in 1:20:14. Mackenzie Chojnacky, 26, (1:21:39) and Brooke Tulles, 26, (1:22:29), both of Maumee, Ohio, finished second and third, respectively.

Anthony Robinson won the hand-cycle exhibition with a full-marathon time of 1:25:00.

Sunday’s events also included the annual We Run This City Youth Marathon program, which had approximately 500 school-aged participants from Cleveland Municipal School District. Most of the kids ran the final 1.2 miles of their 26.2-mile training that occurred throughout the spring. Many students opted for the 10K or half marathon races. The youth health and fitness program has won national awards and produced thousands of youth runners in Cleveland. 

Yoshmar Pinal-Alfaro of San Jose, Calif., a student at Case Western Reserve University, won Saturday’s 5K in 17:34. In the women’s race, Marissa Ward of Strongsville took first in 18:31. Evan Fallor of Arlington, Va., repeated as men’s winner of the 8K with a time of won in 26:46, while Jaclyn Range won the women’s 8K race in 29:45. Andrew Humble of North Olmsted won the 1-mile race in 5:30.

The Challenge Series was created to provide opportunities for runners seeking additional miles during race weekend, allowing them to compete in one race on Saturday and one on Sunday. After earning those two medals, the 560 Challenge Series runners received a special third medal. The two-day challenge offered the following combinations:

  • 8K and full marathon (Total Distance 31.2 miles)
  • 8K and half marathon (Total Distance 18.1 miles)
  • 5K and 10K (Total Distance 9.3 miles)

The 2019 finish line area in Public Square, which featured live music, a beer garden sponsored by and offering Great Lakes Brewing Company beer, a Tito’s Vodka tent and retro trailer, food vendors, and sponsor and charity booths, pulled in thousands of family members and friends of runners through the end of the event.

Official race results of all finishing participants are available on the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon website at by clicking on the “2019 Race Results” button.                                   

Registration for the 2020 events will not be open immediately. The public will be notified via email and social media, as well as a posting on the website when registration is set to open. Information will be posted online at

About the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon
The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is in its 42nd year of providing a fitness experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities. The event offers a Kids' Run, 1-Mile, 5K, 8K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon - all of which participants can choose to run or walk. Nearly 450,000 runners have participated, generating more than $18 million annually to benefit the Cleveland community.


Mission Statement:
• To provide a running experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities. • To produce an event that highlights the Cleveland community and provides a positive economic impact for the community. • To give charities an opportunity to benefit financially from the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 8K, 5K and 1-Mile events.