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Marathon briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 23, 2000


New citizen breaks record in Chicago

CHICAGO -- The moment Khalid Khannouchi would win for the United States had been anticipated so long and seemed like such a foregone conclusion there was plenty of time to plan for it. A representative of Khannouchi's equipment sponsor was waiting at the finish line Sunday with the American flag she handed to his wife, Sandra Inoa.

So no sooner had Khannouchi become the first of 27,956 finishers in the Chicago Marathon than he was draped in the flag of his new country. Seconds later, he placed the flag next to him on the ground while he knelt, facing Mecca, to perform a prayer ritual of Islam, the predominant religion in his old country, Morocco.

Then came the part no one could plan for, the emotional reaction to having set a U.S. record in his first marathon as a citizen, to having reached the end of a tortuous road far longer than the 26.2 miles Khannouchi covered in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 1 second.

His prayer complete, Khannouchi picked up the flag, walked a few steps, suddenly sat down with his back against one of the barriers around the finishing chute and covered his face in Stars and Stripes as he cried.

"It's hard to describe what I was feeling," Khannouchi said. "I felt a lot of pressure before the race. I hoped I wouldn't have a bad day. I didn't want to embarrass the crowd as a favorite son of Chicago and as an American."

Defending champion Khannouchi earned $75,000 for victory and $30,000 as a time bonus while becoming the marathon's first three-time winner. He is the first U.S. citizen to win a major invitational marathon since Greg Meyer of Michigan at Boston in 1983.

Khannouchi beat Josephat Kiprono of Kenya by 28 seconds and took nearly two minutes off Bob Kempainen's U.S. record, 2:08:47, set at the 1994 Boston Marathon. Moses Tanui of Kenya, last year's runner-up, was third in 2:07:47.

Reigning Boston Marathon women's champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya won in 2:21:33, fastest in the world this year. Lornah Kiplagat, the second female finisher, ran 2:22:36.

The second fatality in the race's 23 runnings occurred when a 45-year-old man had cardiac arrest upon reaching the 22.5-mile mark at 11:53 a.m. He had been running slightly more than four hours. His identity was withheld pending notification of his family.

MARINE CORPS MARATHON: In a race marred by the death of a 54-year-old runner, Navy lieutenant Richard Cochrane of Harpswell, Maine, won in Washington. Officials said William Edler of Delmar, Md., had a heart attack near the 2-mile mark.

LAUSANNE MARATHON: Tefay Eticha, an Ethiopian based in Switzerland, won by more than three minutes. Irina Kazakova of France won the women's race.

VENICE MARATHON: Kenyans dominated for the fifth consecutive year, with John Bungey taking the men's race and Ruth Kutol the women's.

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