BOSTON (AP) — Defending Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai pulled away just after the 4-mile mark to win the inaugural B.A.A. 10K on Sunday morning.
Kenya’s Mutai had run the fastest 26.2 miles in history of the Marathon in April. On Sunday, he pulled away from Gebre Gebremariam, winning the race in 27 minutes, 19 seconds.
Gebremariam finished in 28:11. Boston Marathon runner-up Moses Mosop was third.
“I feel like I’m at home again,” Mutai said, smiling a few minutes after crossing the finish line next to the Boston Common.
Kenya’s Caroline Kilel, who also won the Boston Marathon in April, was the women’s winner, capturing the race in 31:58 under cloudy skies with temperatures in the high 60s.
Mutai was in a pack of about seven elite runners until he pulled away with Gebremariam just after the 3-mile mark. He took over with a 4:18 fourth mile and followed that with a 4:16 fifth, easily outdistancing his competitors.
“I was comfortable, but I liked having someone to push with me before I felt comfortable running faster,” Mutai said.
The final mile was like a Boston Marathon victory run, as he ran down Commonweath Avenue, located in the city’s Back Bay section, with some of the 3,000-plus runners forming a pack on the opposite side of the street cheering him on. The race course was split as they turned around in the middle of Boston University’s campus and returned downtown to the finish line.
“For me it was like a dream,” Mutai said. “I feel like I’m at home. Boston is so different. I like it. I like the people in Boston.”
The race started in front of the Boston Common, swung past a familiar tourists’ landmark — Cheer’s — and out past Boston University before turning back. The start was at 8:00 am.
After winning the Boston Marathon in April, Mutai had a personal setback when one of his training partners — Peter Cheros — was killed in an automobile accident.
While most of the finishers talked about the humidity, which approached 95 percent, Mutai just smiled when he was asked if it bothered him.
“This is good for a 10K,” he said. “Not at all. I enjoyed it.”
After he crossed the finish line, he waited for Gebremariam and the two embraced.
Kilel edged Kim Smith, a New Zealander who lives in Providence, by 8 seconds in the women’s race.
“I liked the course. She was very strong up until about 8K,” Kilel said. “I started to push the last two kilometers.”
Smith started to talk about the problems caused by the humidity, but then realized how well Mutai finished.
“It didn’t seem fast. I think it was a fast course,” she said. “It could have been if it wasn’t such a humid day but, obviously, the guy that won was fast.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)