Kenyan overcomes cramps to win Country Music Marathon

NASHVILLE — Christopher Cheboibich of Kenya overcame stomach cramps and hung on Saturday to win the Country Music Marathon.

Cheboibich, who became ill during the final mile of the 26.2-mile race, edged defending champion and Kenyan teammate Luke Kibet by 17 seconds to get his first major marathon victory and a $20,000 prize. Cheboibich covered the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 28 seconds to beat a field of 7,000.

With clear conditions and the temperature about 57 degrees, Cheboibich completed the course with an average of 5:05 per mile. But the 24-year-old's time was more than a minute slower than Kibet's 2:12:45 in the inaugural last year.

Aurica Buia of Romania won the women's race in 2:34:40. That eclipsed last year's winning time of 2:37:2 by Lucia Subano, who did not run this year.

The 31-year-old Buia edged Ramilia Burangulova of Russia, who finished second with a time of 2:36:08.

The top American male finisher was Eric Legros of Brentwood, Tenn., who finished the course in 2:37.23. The top American woman was Barbara Holcomb of Cullman, Ala., in 3:10.20.

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