Kenya’s John Muritu ran the 6.2-mile Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic in 28 minutes, 55 seconds to claim the 37th edition of the event Saturday.
The race began at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and traveled through the Central Business District, the French Quarter and along the Esplanade Ridge before ending in City Park.
Muritu was part of a pack of a half-dozen elite runners that vied for the lead along Esplanade Avenue. He eventually took the lead near Beauregard Circle and pulled slightly ahead in the park.
Muritu took an early lead and had that lead by the time he hit the Esplanade Ridge. He extended his gap on the field by the time he got to City Park.
“It was a little cold,” he said. “But I felt good today. It was colder than Kenya. This was a good day. It was my first day here in New Orleans. This was a really good race for me. ...
“The race was not my best, but I was able to do well enough to win. I didn’t feel very well, but it was enough for me to win today.”
Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia won the women’s race in 31:54. She was the favorite and cruised to a smooth victory.
She led from the beginning and eased to a win. The win was Ayalew’s first in the Classic; she topped 2014 champion Risper Gesasbwa of Kenya in this year’s race.
Kevin Castille of Lafayette led the masters field with a blistering time of 29:56. Castile was attempting to break the American Masters (over 40) record but finished 19 seconds behind that time.