LAS VEGAS >> Jason Brosseau of Colorado Springs, Colo., pulled away from Andrew Duncan of Las Vegas over the final mile to win the Las Vegas Marathon on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Brosseau finished in 2 hours 35 minutes and 26 seconds. The 46-year-old Duncan finished 9 seconds back.
“I’m a track runner. I knew the closer and closer we got to the finish, the more it was my race,” Brosseau said. “I had a kick and went for it with one mile to go.”
Yon Yilma, 25, of Edmonds, Wash., led most of the way, passing halfway in 1:13:29 and 20 miles in 1:55:45. Brosseau and Duncan, who were running together at 20 miles (1:58:27) caught Yilma at the 23rd mile and battled back and forth the rest of the way to the finish line.
“From mile 16 to 23 I was working with (Duncan),”Brosseau said. “Great guy. He kept talking the whole way. He was motivating and told me he (Yilma) was coming back. I wasn’t even looking ahead. I was just trying to stay alive. But him telling me the leader was coming back just kept me rolling and rolling.”
Justin Kurek, 33, rounded out the top 3 in 2:37:17, while Yilma finished fourth in 2:41:36.
In the women’s marathon, 43-year-old Nuta Olaru of Boulder, Colo., won for the second year in a row, finishing in 2:58:46.
The Romanian Olympian, who won last year’s race by 2 seconds, finished 6 minutes, 2 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jennifer Benitez of Carol Stream, Ill. Kellie Nickerson finished third in 3:11:04.
“My goal was to win this race again,” said Olaru, who finished second at last month’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon. “I love the lights in Las Vegas. The lights give me power.”
In the men’s half marathon, Fidele Jefferson of Flagstaff, Ariz., outlasted Tefera Deneke, also of Flagstaff, 1:06:17 to 1:06:26. Passing 10K together in 30:52 and 10 miles in 50:11, Jefferson handled the wind over the final 5 kilometers for the victory.
The women’s half marathon wasn’t as close, as Adriana Nelson of Boulder, Colo., the top U.S. finisher at the New York Marathon earlier this month, cruised to victory in 1:18:10.