Bekele had briefly drifted off the back of the lead pack around 12km when his compatriot Asefa Diro went through seven seconds ahead of him.
But he soon got back on level terms before surging away just after 18km and leaving his pursuers in disarray.
31-year old Tapia was runner-up last year four seconds behind the winner. “I knew I was ready.” He settled into the pack at 3km but at 13km, in neighbouring Pacific Grove, he broke away as the course turns back towards the finish. I made my move,” Tapia said: “I went for it and it worked.” He pulled away from a group of seven others by running sub-3mins/km pace for the next 5km. “He’s brought a lot of pride to Monterey County,” said race director Doug Thurston.
Ngige averaged /km in the women’s race: “The course is [not easy in] the first half, but coming back was better,” said the 10km specialist.
Kenenisa Bekele finished his 2017 racing with a win but fell short of his personal best after breaking away in the 19th kilometre.