Richer Perez of Cuba edged out Peru’s Raul Pachecho by nine seconds to win the men’s marathon at the Pan Am games in Toronto, Saturday morning.
Perez finished the 42.195-kilometres course in a time of two hours, 17 minutes and four seconds.
Canadians Rob Watson and Kip Kangogo finished in eighth and ninth, more than six minutes off the pace.
“Thank gosh we are in Canada,`Watson said, “because that crowd really got me through those last ten, fifteen kilometres.”
Watson, who was born in London, Ont. and is based in Vancouver, came in at two hours and 23 minutes and 43 seconds, 10 minutes off his personal best. Kangogo, who was born in Kenya and lives in Lethbridge, crossed the line 19 seconds later.
READ MORE: Kangogo proud to wear his adopted Maple Leaf
Kangogo says support from teammate Watson was key to his finishing the race.
“It felt good. You hit a wall with the marathon and it’s team effort and team encouragement and we gave all that we’ve got.”
The race was run under warm and humid conditions. Four of 18 runners could not finish the race. Another dropped out before the start.
“It made for a very challenging day. It was definitely a grind,” Watson said.
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