At last year’s Rock ’n’ Roll Seattle Marathon, Teshome Kokebe kept looking for company during the latter stages of his championship run. The company never came and Kokebe, though not satisfied with his time, finished the race nearly three minutes better than the second-place finisher.
It was Kokebe’s first victory in two tries at the race, which will return for its fifth go-round starting 7 a.m. Saturday at Seattle Center. The course, slightly altered and more racer-friendly than last year, will also finish at Seattle Center.
Kokebe, battling the unwelcoming wind chill that surprised participants last year, finished in 2 hours, 31 minutes and 47 seconds, the slowest time for a male champion the first four years of the event.
Ex-Olympian Nuta Olaru will attempt to claim the women’s championship that has belonged to Sheila Croft the past two years. Olaru, who is Romanian, finished 12 minutes behind Croft in 2012 but more than two minutes better than the third-place finisher. Croft will not race Saturday.
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Approximately 20,000 runners are expected to participate.