With both winner's of this year's Chicago Marathon representing Ethiopia, it makes one wonder what gives runners from that nation the racer's edge? Tsegaye Kebede won the men's division in record time breaking last year's mark by nearly a full minute. Kebede, incidentally, was the 2010 runner-up to Kenya's Moses Mosop. In the women's division, Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia literally edged out Kenyan Rita Jeptoo this year in what looked like a photo finish initially until another camera angle showed Baysa pulling ahead by a couple of long strides. Jeptoo put it into an extra gear and gave Baysa a run for her money making it one of the most exciting finishes ever in the women's division. My research shows that Kebede winning this year and representing Ethiopia, breaks a multi-year run for Kenyan's taking the men's title. Recent women's winners hailed from Russia (4 consecutive years) and Ethiopia. The last time an American woman won was in 2005 when Deena Kastor of California won - it's been even longer for the men. "Kenya" be outrun by an Ethiopian? Yes you can in the year 2012!
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