After Serkalem Abrha finished second in the 2016 Grandma's Marathon, she made a recommendation that her friend Biruktayit Degefa, had to experience the annual event in Duluth, Minn.
Degefa decided to listen, and it's a good thing. In her first-ever Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, Degefa won the women's title on Saturday morning with a time of 1:11:26.
"After three miles, I knew I was going to win," she said afterward. "I looked at my time and knew I was going to win because I was relaxed the entire time."
Degefa's time was nearly three minutes better than runner-up Gladys Cheboi, who crossed the line in 1:14:20.
Duluth, Minn. native Kara Goucher, who was the hometown favorite, finished fifth on Saturday morning with a time of 1:15:14. You can read more about her story here.
Below are listed all of the top five finishers from the 2017 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.
2017 GARRY BJORKLUND HALF MARATHON
1. Biruktayit Degefa (Albuquerque, NM) --- 1:11:26
2. Gladys Cheboi (Grand Prairie, TX) --- 1:14:20
3. Grace Kahura (Boulder, CO) --- 1:14:46
4. Maor Tiyouri (Boulder, CO) --- 1:14:54
5. Kara Goucher (Boulder, CO) --- 1:15:14