29 MAY 2000 General News

Kimani and Tulu win Bolder Boulder 10K

Kimani and Tulu win Bolder Boulder 10K
Mike Sandrock (Running USA Wire)

29 May 2000 – Boulder, Colorado - Sunday night in her Boulder hotel room, Derartu Tulu looked at the bib numbers given to her and her Ethiopian teammates for Monday's Bolder Boulder 10K professional team race.

Seeing that she was given bib No. 1 and 19-year-old teammates Eyerusalem Kuma and Merima Hashim No. 2 and No. 3, Tulu said, "Look, they have given us 1,2,3. Why don't we finish 1, 2 and 3?"

Why not, indeed? Tulu, the 1992 Olympic 10,000 metre gold medallist, looked like a soothsayer in leading Ethiopia to an unprecedented sweep of the first three places in the women's race. The Bolder Boulder elite races feature three-person teams scored ross country style. Over a four-lap criterium course, runners compete for both individual and team prize money. Today, 15 men's teams and 11 women's teams competed.

Under hot conditions, Tulu used a sprint in the University of Colorado football stadium to win with a time of 33:09, followed by Hashim (33:10) and Kuma (33:40). The Ethiopians perfect score of 6 in the team race was worth a total of $21,500, part of a purse of $108,000. South Africa's Colleen De Reuck was fourth in 33:53, eight seconds ahead of Kenyan Jane Omoro, the 1998 Bolder champion.

The most impressive runner of the day was Tulu, 28, who capped a comeback from a knee injury and pregnancy two years ago to win the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March. The elegant Ethiopian was thrust into the national limelight in her country after becoming her country's first female gold medallist in 1992.

"I have a learned a lot from Derartu," said Hashim. "She is a hero in our country. This is the first time I have raced her and I was proud to be running with her."

For a while Monday, it looked like Hashim would defeat her mentor. Hashim led through five miles in 26:38, with Tulu a step behind. Several times on the last lap, Tulu grabbed her stomach. "I felt a pain," Tulu explained on the Folsom Field infield afterwards. "It has happened before at home, and still hurts now."

Tulu is doing marathon training in preparation for the 2000 Olympic Marathon and has not started her speedwork. Hashim, who placed fifth in the IAAF World Cross Country junior race, is a 5,000 and 10,000 metre runner who has been doing speedwork to get ready for the Olympic 10,000 metres. Yet Tulu was able to throw in a surge with 1 kilometre to go to take the lead. When Hashim came back on her in the stadium, Tulu was able to outsprint her younger teammate by one second.

Said Tulu, "It is nice to win this race; for our country it is good to win the team race. We worked together so we could win. Merima is a very good runner. I believe she is going to win the Olympic 10,000 metres."

The men's race was a solo run by Joseph Kimani, holder of the world road best for 10K (27:04). The Kenyan clocked 28:55, handily defeating countryman Dominic Kirui by nearly a minute. Kirui ran 29:52, outkicking Ecuador's Silvio Guerra by two seconds. Kenya's Stephen Kiogara was fourth and David Galindo of Mexico fifth.

Kimani's margin of victory was the biggest in race history, topping a record set back in 1979 at the first Bolder Boulder, when Ric Rojas defeated Frank Shorter by 28 seconds.

Their 1-2-4 finish gave the Kenyans an easy victory in the team competition. Their score of seven was 36 ahead of the second-place team from Mexico. It was also redemption for last year's Bolder Boulder, when a DNF by Godfrey Kiprotich kept the Kenyans out of the team money.

Kimani who did not even arrive in Boulder until Sunday, after flying from Nairobi and having a stop-over in London said "This was a tough course and tough weather. We are human beings so of course we feel the heat."

The U.S. men's team placed 14th out of the 14 teams that scored. One of Yugoslavia's runners did not finish, keeping that country out of the team standings. Salt Lake City resident Jeff Simonich was the top U.S. finish in 36th-place. Albuquerque resident's Simon Guiterrez (39th) and Sean Tynan (42nd) were the other two members of the U.S. team.

The United States women's squad of Kristen Coogan (26th, 37:47), Carol Zajac-Tynan (27th, 37:50) and Maria Trujillo de Rios (30th, 38:32) placed 11th out of 11 teams.

The two elite races took place after 40,462 runners and walkers finished the early-morning citizens' race. That was a record, as were the 44,432 entrants.

All of the races were run under very hot conditions that reached 91 degrees by the time the men went off just past noon. Fourteen people were sent to the hospital because of the heat. For more race information, go to its website at http://www.bolderboulder.com.

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