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Tufa Sets New Course Record at Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence

Ethiopian woman shows promise, finishing 2nd overall in 1:10:51.

PROVIDENCE — A new course record was set at Sunday morning at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon as Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia dominated the women’s race, winning in 1:10:51. Tufa finished second overall, ahead of the 2nd place male finisher. The previous women’s course record was held by Kim Smith of New Zealand, who ran 1:11:54 here in 2011 and currently holds the U.S. All-Comers record in the half marathon, making Tufa’s accomplishment all the more impressive. Tufa ran alone for the entire race and was pleased with her performance as she prepares for the New York City Marathon later this year. Behind Tufa was Providence local Katie Moulton who placed second in 1:19:42.

PHOTOS: Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon

“I knew my pace was off and I was in no man’s land with nobody behind me or around me the entire race so I just tried to settle into a comfortable pace and just finish,” said Moulton. “It’s definitely a pretty challenging course.”

In the men’s race, defending champion Fikadu Lemma won in 1:09:00. Lemma took a decisive lead shortly before the 5K mark after running the first 3 miles with 28-year-old Craig Donnelly of Miami, who would finish third. Like his countrywoman Tufa, Lemma’s performance was a confidence builder in his training for the New York City Marathon. Lemma and Tufa are both Ethiopians who live and train in Bronx, New York. “My time was not as good as before, but I am happy.” Lemma won the race in 2012 with a time of 1:07:15.

Patrick Moulton of Providence joined his wife on the second place podium in 1:11:04. The couple both improved their standings in the record books despite slower times, having finished 4th (Patrick) and 3rd (Katie) in 2012. “It was a good fitness test to see where I am,” said Patrick. “I was hoping to do a marathon this fall, and after today, I think I will. I ran faster than I thought I would.”

The race welcomed 5,800 entrants on a cool, crisp fall morning that gave way to sunny skies as Australian rock duo Atlas Genius performed under the shadow of the iconic State House. Several hundred runners also participated in the race’s new Mini Marathon, a 3 mile jaunt through the city. Biggest Loser Season 10 contestant Patrick House ran for a second year, finishing in 2:04:57. The One Fund Warriors, a group of 10 doctors and nurses who treated patients at the Boston Marathon bombing, participated in the race and raised more than $10,000 for One Fund Boston.

Race Results

Men’s Half Marathon
1. Fikadu Lemma, 29, Bronx, NY, 1:09:00
2. Patrick Moulton, 31, Providence, RI, 1:11:04
3. Craig Donnelly, 28, Miami, FL, 1:11:18

Women’s Half Marathon
1. Tigist Tufa, 26, Bronx, NY, 1:10:51, $1,000
2. Katie Moulton, 30, Providence, RI, 1:19:24
3. Karolyn Bowley, 44, Middletown, RI, 1:24:40

Mini Marathon Winners
1. Marcus Walton, 25, Providence, RI, 19:25
1. Lisa Deck, 38, North Attleboro, MA, 22:02