Midnight Run: Chepngetich sweats it out for marathon gold

Ruth Chepngetich, of Kenya, right, leads Rose Chelimo, of Bahrain, during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sa...
Croatian Bojana Bjeljac competes during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/...
Rutendo Joan Nyahora, of Zimbabwe, drinks water during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2...
An unidentified competitor is transported by wheelchair after abandoning the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sat...
Finland's Alisa Vainio races during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Nick...

Ruth Chepngetich, of Kenya, right, leads Rose Chelimo, of Bahrain, during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sa...

Croatian Bojana Bjeljac competes during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/...

Rutendo Joan Nyahora, of Zimbabwe, drinks water during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2...

An unidentified competitor is transported by wheelchair after abandoning the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sat...

Finland's Alisa Vainio races during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Nick...

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya overcame sweltering heat and humidity to win the first gold medal of the 2019 world championships in a runaway marathon victory under the lights.

Chepngetich finished in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 43 seconds and crossed the finish line at 2:34 a.m. Doha time Saturday in a race that began at midnight in an attempt to beat the heat.

It was anything but comfortable.

The conditions when she crossed the finish line: 88 degrees (31 Celsius), 77 percent humidity and not a breath of wind.

Twenty-three of the 68 starters had dropped out by the time Chepngetich finished — a good indicator of the suffering taking place all across the 7-kilometer loop the runners ran through six times.

Defending champion Rose Chelimo, representing Bahrain, took the silver medal.