Moses Gitau emerged from a race-long duel with Bryan Morseman to win the closest finish in event history, and Christine Hein became the race’s oldest marathon champion at the 27th Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay.
Gitau, a 32-year-old Kenyan who’s based in Mexico, finished in a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 37 seconds, just one second ahead of Morseman, a prolific marathoner from Bath, N.Y., who has won nearly 60 marathons.
Hein, 43, led from start to finish as she captured the women’s title in 2:54:49, more than three minutes ahead of runner-up Rebecca O’Hanley, 28, of Rockport, Mass. (2:58:29).
A course record fell in the half marathon, as Gitau’s training mate, Stephen Njoroge, not only defeated two-time defending champion Jonny Wilson of Flagstaff, Ariz., but also took Wilson’s record. Despite going off course briefly at the half marathon turnaround, Njoroge, 28, finished in 1:06:33 – five seconds better than Wilson’s record time from 2016. Wilson, a Falmouth native, settled for second place this time, in 1:07:54.
A year after winning the women’s marathon, Tracy Guerrette, 38, of St. Agatha returned and won the half marathon with a time of 1:19:07, with a margin of more than a minute over three-time Maine Marathon champion Leah Frost of Portland.
Hein and Guerrette joined Kristin Barry as the only women in event history to win both the marathon and half marathon.