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Nyirarukundo Sets Record Time in Montreal Marathon


Salome Nyirarukundo raises her arms in victory, as she crosses the finish line at the Montreal marathon on Sunday September 23, 2018. Courtesy Photo

Salome Nyirarukundo, a 20-year-old Rwandan set a new record as she won the 28th edition of the Montreal marathon on Sunday, September 23, in Canada.

Sixty-one countries were represented in the race, but in the end it was Rwanda’s Salome Nyirarukundo and Kenya’s Ezekiel Mutai who won Sunday’s event in record-breaking time, earning themselves $11,000 in prize money.

Fellow Kenyan Wycliffe Biwott finished 33 seconds behind and Jean Marie Vianney Uwajeneza of Rwanda completed the podium on the men’s side of the competition with a time of 2:18:10.

Rwanda’s Nyirarukundo was the women’s winner with a time of two hours, 28 minutes and two seconds, also a Montreal record. She also earns $11,000 (Rwf9.6m) with the victory.

She was joined on the podium by runner-up Joan Kigen of Kenya, three minutes and 24 seconds behind, and Emebet Anteneh of Ethiopia, who finished 2:43:24.

While Nyirarukundo is also a newbie when it comes to marathons, that didn’t stop her from setting a course record.

She said after the marathon, “It is my first time competing in the Canadian marathon and I am so happy for this achievement.”

In the half marathon, the winners were Alexis Lavoie-Gilbert of Quebec City (1:09:25), and Anne-Marie Comeau of St-Ferréol-les-neiges (1:14:46).

This year’s marathon marked the return of the elite runners’ category after an eight-year absence. About 11,000 people participated in the marathon overall. They included people from 13 to 82 years old, coming from 61 countries.

The new 42.2-kilometre route cut across Old Montreal, went along the Lachine Canal, and then along Robert-Bourassa Blvd. and Ste-Catherine St. toward the Plateau-Mont-Royal, and finally through the Botanical Garden before heading to the finish line.

On Saturday, Nicholas Berrouard (32:48) and Laura Pierce (37:46) were the winners in the 10-kilometre race, and Gary Guillaume (16:31) Jen Moroz (19:13) won the 5K.

28th edition of the Montreal marathon


1. Ezekeil Mutai (Kenya)-2:11:05

2. Wycliffe Biwott (Kenya)-2:15:38

3. Jean Marie Vianney Uwajeneza (Rwanda)-2:18:10


1. Salome Nyirarukundo (Rwanda)-2:28:02

2. Joan Kigen (Kenya)-2:31:26

3. Emebet Anteneh (Ethiopia)-2:43:24