Africans take top spots in San Jose half marathon
By Elliott Almond ealmond_at_mercurynews.com
POSTED: 09/27/2015 12:25:38 PM PDT0 COMMENTS| UPDATED: ABOUT 7 HOURS AGO
SAN JOSE -- Two nurses from Africa highlighted the Rock 'n' Roll San
Jose half marathon Sunday as Jordan Chipangama of Zambia won the men's
division and Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Kenya dominated the women's
Chipangama, a Northern Arizona University alum who trains in
Flagstaff, Arizona, won in 1 hour 3 minutes. Chipangama, a registered
nurse who hopes to gain U.S. citizenship in time for the U.S. Olympic
marathon trials in February, edged two-time Olympian Meb Keflezighi by
Keflezighi, 40, broke Mbarak Hussein's U.S. masters half marathon
record of 63:23.
"At mile 8 I was going for the win, but I knew I didn't have it at
that point," Keflezighi told reporters. "I just told myself to
concentrate and go for the (U.S. masters) record. It was close. I wish
I could have gone for the world record, but I'm happy to have the
Keflezighi was the biggest name at the annual 13.1-mile race through
downtown San Jose. He is the 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist who
also finished fourth at the London Games three years ago. The Eritrean
refugee also has won the New York City and Boston Marathon marathons.
But Chipangama was confident.
"The last mile was probably the easiest because I knew he couldn't
outkick me," the winner said. Keflizighi "has endurance, he has the
speed, but he doesn't have the turnover like I do now. I knew taking
it into the last mile that it was going to be my race."
UC Santa Cruz alum Daniel Tapia, who now trains in Mammoth Lakes, was
third in 1:03.39.
Tuliamuk-Bolton, an All-American at Wichita State training in Santa
Fe, New Mexico, won the women's race in 1:11.26.
"I heard it was a fast course, but I was hoping for a faster time,"
said Bolton, who has a degree in nursing.
Romanian Adriana Pirtea Nelson of Mammoth Lakes was second in 1:12:08
while Joanna Thompson, a North Carolina State All-American, was third
Matt Jablonski, a University of Oregon distance runner, won the men's
10-kilometer race in 30:55, while Kris Paaso of Menlo Park, a former
Stanford volleyball player, was first in the women's division in
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at
Received on Sun Sep 27 2015 - 22:05:07 EDT