Ethiopians Shifa, Basa add Bermudian half-marathon crowns to 10k titles

HAMILTON, Bermuda – Ethiopians Suleman Shifa and Meseret Basa capped a memorable Bermuda Marathon Weekend by adding Sunday’s half-marathon crowns to the 10-kilometer titles they picked up the previous day.

Shifa, a New York resident, finished the half-marathon in one hour 10 minutes and 58 seconds, beating Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield, a US-based professional triathlete, into second place for the second day running.

Butterfield, who finished three seconds behind Shifa in Saturday’s 10K, hit the tape in 1:11.36. Dennis Mbelenzi, of Bermuda, recorded a personal best to finish third in 1:16.34.

“I came here with my confidence high and it’s been a good weekend for me,” said Shifa, who also placed third in the men’s mile elite race on Friday night.

“It was good running together with Tyler. We talked as we ran together and I gave him some advice after the race. He’s strong and is also a very good guy.”

Basa, sixth overall, won the women’s title in 1:19.33.

“It feels good to win again and I’m so happy,” said 30-year-old Basa.

Cecilia Mobuchon, of France, was second in the women’s race 1:23.05, with Heather Kampf, of the United States, third in 1:26:25.

Rose-Anna Hoey (1:28.28) was the first local woman to finish in the half-marathon, with Jamaica-born Deon Breary (1:30.12) second and Karen Smith (1:34.24) third.

“I was looking to run around 1:30 and I’m happy with that; I can’t complain,” said Breary.

Canadian Greg Cartmell was the only runner to break three minutes in Sunday’s full marathon.

Cartmell, from Waterloo in Ontario, prevailed in the windy and challenging conditions to cross the line in 2:52.1, ahead of compatriot David Langen in 3:05.22 and American Alex Egan (3:12.18).

In the women’s division, Stephanie Hodge continued her longstanding love affair with Bermuda by crossing the line as the first female finisher in 3:31.02 and 10th overall.

Newfoundland native Hodge, who first competed in the event back in 1994, and tasted victory in 2010, turned back the clock to finish comfortably ahead of her nearest rivals Leana Coetsee, of Bermuda (3:53.07), and American Cindy Lewandowski (3:54.48).

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