Lineth Chepkurui wins Bay to Breakers race for third-straight year

Ridouane Harroufi and Lineth Chepkurui were the top finishers of the the Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12K race on Sunday.

It was the third year in a row that Chepkurui has won the race.

It was the 100thrunning of the 12-kilometer footrace, which starts downtown at Howard and Beale streets and ends on the Great Highway at Ocean Beach. A field of 55,000 registered runners and walkers competed on a cool and windy day.

This year’s race was heavily contested for the elite athletes. Harroufi finally captured the victory after running the race four straight years. He placed second in 2008. That year, he lost on a stretch run to the winner. He also has the fastest 1500-meter time of anyone in this year’s field. In 2007, he was the Hayes Street Hill champ.

Chepkurui’s third straight win comes as no surprise. Her time last year of 38 minutes, 7 seconds set the course record and world record for the 12K distance.

The Bay to Breakers is the 13thmost run road race in the world, and the fifth longest consecutively run, according to organizers.

While the race is popular for attracting zany costumes and characters that traverse the course behind the elite field, serious runners call the Bay to Breakers course technically challenging.

At about the 2.5-mile mark, runners climb a steep grade up Hayes Street Hill, which at 215-feet is the highest point of the footrace. Runners also typically weather heavy winds that blow in from the west.

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