Winner lives up to his billings
Tufa Tigist is the first female runner to finish the Cigna/Elliot 5K race in Manchester on Thursday. Mark Bolton/Union Leader (MARK BOLTON / UNION LEADER)
Nick Karwoski of Hollis, is the first New Hampshire runner across the finishline at the Cigna/Elliot 5K race in Manchester Thursday. (.Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
The top female finisher was 26-year-old Tufa Tigist with a time of 15:48.
The top New Hampshire men's runner was Hollis' Nick Karwoski, 25, with a time of 14.49 (eighth overall). The top New Hampshire female was Heidi Westover of Walpole. The 32-year-old finished in 16:39, fourth best among the women.
Both Meketa and Tigist are Ethiopians training together in New York City with a group that made the trip to Manchester.
"It was a little bit windy and humid. I was hoping for under 14 minutes," Meketa said through the help of a translator. "The hill at the end was also tough. But I am happy I won."
Tigist was also pleased with her results.
"I liked the course and I had a great race," she said through her translator. "I ran a good time and I'm happy with it."
Other members of the Ethiopian group fared well. Megnistu Nebsi (35) finished second in 14:11 and Endale Abiyot (27) was third in 14:29. Brian Harvey (26) of Boston was fourth in 14:29 and Lowell, Mass., runner Ruben Sanca (26) rounded out the top five with a time of 14:33.
On the women's side, Tigist's running mates, Almaz Nejede (25), Meseret Tolwak (20) and Hirut Beyene (21), took second, third and fifth respectively. Nejede finished in 16:16, Tolwak in 16:24 and Beyene in 16:54.
Westover ran in the Olympic marathon trials in 2008 and 2012 and was the Bill Luti 5-Miler winner in Concord in July.
The course record times remained intact for another year. Another Ethiopian, Alene Reta of New York City, owns the overall mark of 13:52.65, set in 2009. Marie Davenport of Goffstown holds the women's record of 15:38.41, established in 2004.
Meketa and Tigist each received $600 for winning and the rest of the top five men and women also received cash prizes from $500 (second) down to $200 (fifth).
More than 270 corporate teams took part in the race as well.
Runners, including James Garcia (602) of Westford, Mass., Vincent Lyon (562) of Peterborough, and Samula Richmond(981) of Bedford, race to the finish line of the Cigna/Elliot 5K race in Manchester on Thursday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
Top 10 men
1. Aschalew Meketa, 25, New York, N.Y., 14:03; 2. Megnistu Nebsi, 35, New York, N.Y., 14:11; 3. Endale Abiyot, 27, Bronx, N.Y., 14:29; 4. Brian Harvey, 26, Boston, 14:29; 5. Ruben Sanca, 26, Lowell, Mass., 14:33; 6. Lishal Yigezu, Mount Vernon, N.Y., 14:36; 7. Tefera Demesse, 30, New York, N.Y., 14:42; 8. Nick Karwoski, 25, Hollis, 14:49; 9. Tariku Bokan, New York, N.Y., 14:54; 10. Alex McGrath, Marlborough, 14:55
1. Tufa Tigist, 26, Bronx, N.Y., 15:48; 2. Almaz Nejede, 25, New York, N.Y., 16:16; 3. Meseret Tolwak, 20, New York, N.Y., 16:24; 4. Heidi Westover, 32, Walpole, 16:39; 5. Hirut Beyene, 21, New York, N.Y., 16:54; 6. Steph Reilly, 35, 16:56; 7. Aregash Abato, 22, Bronx, N.Y., 16:59; 8. Jessica Barton, 24, Newton, Mass., 17:21; 9. Karen Roa, 23, Somerville, Mass., 17:34; 10. Beverly Antunes, 30, Somerville, Mass., 17:36