NDN Half Marathon: Kiprono Kurgat wins men's race; Caroline Rotich takes women's crown

Runners participate in the 2014 Naples Daily News Half Marathon on Sunday morning at Cambier Park.

Naples Daily News

Runners participate in the 2014 Naples Daily News Half Marathon on Sunday morning at Cambier Park.

2014 Naples Daily News Half Marathon

Scenes from Sunday's Naples Daily News Half ...

Bruce and Mikey's Marathon

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Around 2,000 runners and many more fans lined Fifth Avenue South in chilly downtown Naples for a record-setting run in the 26th Naples Daily News Half Marathon.

Fans who braved the 40-degree temperature – ideal for running but bitter cold for Floridians – saw a repeat winner on the men’s side and one of the event’s fastest times on the women’s.

Kiprono Kurgat, 24, became the first repeat champion since 1995, and it wasn’t close. The Kenyan’s time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 1.4 seconds was half a minute ahead of second-place Yonas Mebrahtu (1:04:31.7).

Caroline Rotich, 29, also of Kenya, won the women’s race in 1:09:57.8, which was 0.3 seconds away from breaking the mark set in 2011. It was her first time running in Naples.

Kurgat and Rotich each won $2,000 of the half marathon’s $19,000 purse.

A record 2,412 runners registered for this year’s Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Typically 10 percent of those registered don't run, and the number of no-shows might have increased Sunday due to the weather.

Though it was cold for the 7 a.m. start, moments before sunrise, longtime race worker George Dondanville said it wasn’t the coldest. He said he’s seen temperatures in the 30s at the start of the race.

Ethan Clary, 24, a former track athlete at the University of Albany, was the top American men’s finisher. Sheri Piers, 42, a veteran of the famed Boston Marathon, was the top American woman the women’s Masters champion (40 and older).

Clary finished fifth overall in the men’s race, while Piers was third among women. Ian Forsyth, 41, was the men’s Masters winner.

naplesnews.com/halfmarathon: For videos, photos and stories about past Naples Daily News Half Marathons

■ Share your Naples Daily News Half Marathon photos at participate.naplesnews.com.

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