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Sunday, December 8, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bloomsday 2019: Gabriel Geay, Rosemary Wanjiru win elite races

UPDATED: Sun., May 5, 2019

Rosemary Wanjiru, 24 of Kenya, opens up a big lead over Vicoty Chepngeno, 25 of Kenya, on Doomsday Hill in the 43rd annual running of Lilac Bloomsday Elite Run on Sunday, May 5, 2019. (Dave Nichols / The Spokesman-Review)
Rosemary Wanjiru, 24 of Kenya, opens up a big lead over Vicoty Chepngeno, 25 of Kenya, on Doomsday Hill in the 43rd annual running of Lilac Bloomsday Elite Run on Sunday, May 5, 2019. (Dave Nichols / The Spokesman-Review)
From staff reports

Gabriel Geay of Tanzania and Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya won the men’s and women’s elite races at the 2019 Lilac Bloomsday 12K Run on Sunday.

The pair split a $10,000 “super bonus” for winning the culminating event on the 2019 PRRO Championship Circuit on top of their $7,000 purse for their Bloomsday win.

Geay won Bloomsday’s elite men’s race for the second time in three years.

The 22-year-old kicked ahead of Benard Ngeno late in the 43rd annual race, clocking in at 34 minutes, 50 seconds.

Geay, who finished 15th last year after taking the 2017 title, was neck and neck with Ngeno during the final stretch before outkicking the Kenyan on Monroe Street.

Geay is the sixth runner in Bloomsday history to win multiple men’s elite races.

Wanjiru, 24, was the women’s winner in an unofficial time of 39:05 in her first Bloomsday. She took a sizable lead on Doomsday Hill and opened it to 200 meters in the long straightaway down Broadway.

Second-place finisher Vicoty Chepngeno, 25 of Kenya, had just turned onto Monroe Street as Wanjiru crossed the finish line.

Wanjiru won the 2019 Cherry Blossom 10-mile run earlier this year, setting a record in the process.

Susannah Scaroni won the women’s elite wheelchair division in a course-record time of 29:58, breaking Tatyana McFadden’s time of 30:42. This is Scaroni’s fifth Bloomsday win.

The 28-year-old from Tekoa, Washington, was participating in her 14th Bloomsday. Scaroni participated in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games.

The elite men’s wheelchair race was won by Aaron Pike, 36, of Park Rapids, MN, in his eighth Bloomsday race. Pike is a dual sport paralympian and participated in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games. Pike had placed second at Bloomsday twice.

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