After friend's recommendation, Degefa wins Garry Bjorklund debut - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

After friend's recommendation, Degefa wins Garry Bjorklund debut

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DULUTH, MN -

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.

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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

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