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Ashenafi Birhana wins VCU Health Richmond Marathon; Ayantu Hailema claims women’s title

RICHMOND, VA – Ashenafi Birhana of Washington, D.C., won the 2019 VCU Health Richmond Marathon, finishing ahead of Daniel Jaskowak, of Blacksburg, Va., and Abu Diriba, of Ethiopia. Ashenafi, originally from Ethiopia, finished in a time of 2:19:43 while Jaskowak, a former Virginia Tech standout, finished in 2:20:54. Diriba had a time of 2:21:34. Birhana earns a $500 bonus for finishing in a time under 2:20.

Ayantu Hailema, of Ethiopia, was the first female to cross the finish line, coming in with a time of 2:36:19. Bizuwork Kay, also of Ethiopia, finished just behind Hailema in 2:36:30. Hannah Cocchiaro, of Columbia, Md., came in third with a time of 2:40:08, followed by Susanna Sullivan of Reston, Va. in 2:43:31, and Kylie Regan of New York, N.Y. in 2:47:03.

Hailema, Kay, Cocchiaro, and Sullivan each also earn $500 bonuses for finishing in times under 2:46.

Sachtleben Wins Second Straight Markel Richmond Half Marathon

In the Markel Richmond Half Marathon, defending champion Bethany Sachtleben of Fairfax, Va., took her second straight title in the women’s race, finishing in a time of 1:12:34. She was followed by Annmarie Tuxbury of New Hartford, Ct., in second with a time of 1:12:41 and Julia Roman-Duval of Columbia, Md., in third with a time of 1:14:58.

Sachtleben also took first in the 2017 Richmond Marathon, as well as the 2018 and 2019 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond.

Julius Kogo of Ethiopia took the men’s title in a time of 1:04:45. Tom Nobles of Cary, N.C., came in second at 1:04:47, followed by Birhanu Kemal of Ethiopia in third at 1:06:02.

Lawrence Kipkoech won the men’s title in the Allianz Partners 8k with a time of 23:24. Elijah Moskowitz of Raleigh, N.C., finished second with a time of 23:32, and Cyrus Korir of Kenya took third with a time of 23:35. Gotytom Gebreslase took the top spot in the women’s race in a time of 25:49. She was followed in second by Keira D’Amato of Midlothian, Va., in a time of 25:59 and Pamela Cherotich in third at 26:32.

The top three local marathon runners, male and female, were also awarded prize money in the ninth-annual Richmond Region Marathon Championship. Harrison Toney of Richmond was the first male from the Richmond region to cross the finish line with a time of 2:26:24, while Leah Schubel, also of Richmond, was the first female finisher from the region in the women’s race with her time of 2:58:49. Over 19,000 runners took part in all three races combined, and tens of thousands more spectators lined the streets to cheer on runners as they made their way to the riverfront finish in downtown Richmond.

The seventh-annual kaléo Marathon, Jr., a kids-only running event tied to the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, was held on October 26th. Over 1,000 children ages 4-14 participated in the event, which is a past winner of the ‘Youth Running Event of the Year’ award given by the Running USA industry group.

The 2020 VCU Health Richmond Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, November 14. A special $75 marathon entry fee and $65 half marathon entry fee is available starting Sunday, November 17, at 12 p.m. and continuing through Thursday, November 21. For more information and full results, please visit