(WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — After the Boilermaker returned back to its traditional second Sunday in July, Boilermaker officials tell Eyewitness News that Jemal Yimer Mekonnen of Ethiopia not only took first place at the 45th Boilermaker 15K Road Race but also broke the 12-year-old course record by 8 seconds Sunday morning.
The Boilermaker officials say Mekonnen won the 9.3 miles race with a time of 42:38 and took over the win in the final mile, winning by 2 seconds. The previous record for the race was held by Lelisa Desia of Ethiopia in 2010 with a time of 42:46.
The winner for the women’s division was Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya and she took home a $10,000 Super Bonus as part of the Professional Road Racing (PRRO) 25th Championship.
Wanjiru, won the women’s race by nearly 20 seconds, finishing with a time of 48:54, beating out Veronica Nyaru Wani of Kenya.
The top American male, Sam Chelanga of Columbia, SC, finished third overall with a time of 43:09, Boilermaker officials say. The top American female, Carrie Verdon of Boulder CO, finished in fifth place for females, with a time of 49:37.
Syracuse native, Stephen Rathbun, who won last year’s men’s open, crossed the finish line at 47:15 and took 23rd place. Boilermaker officials say, interestingly Rathbun’s time was 17 seconds faster than last year. Savanah Boucher, who is a New Hartford native and won the women’s open in 2021 placed 14th in the women’s division with a time of 54:40.
The world’s top-ranked wheelchair athlete from Champaign, IL, Daniel S. Romanchuk, won the men’s wheelchair race with a time of 31:44 and beat out his own record from 2018, by one second. Hermin Garic of Utica finished in second place.
Boilermaker officials say that Jenna Fesemyer of Champaign, IL, won the women’s division for the wheelchair race with a time of 43:01, and Emily Sweeney of Montrose, NY earned a custom-made racing wheelchair by fully completing the Sitrin Wheelchair Challenge.
A total of 5,848 runners finished the 15K race presented by Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield and 2,848 runners finished the 5K race presented by Utica National.
After completing the 5K race, Michael Hennelly of Suffern, NY won the men’s race with a time of 16:04, and Tricia Longo of Waterford, NY won the women’s race with a time of 17:49.
To see a full list of all the finishers, click here.