Surprising Kenyan Vincent Kipruto broke the Marathon de Paris record with a 2:05.47 run, winning one of the fastest races of all-time as five other men ran under 2:07. Ethiopians dominated the women’s race, led by Atsede Bayisa in 2:24:42.
The Marathon de Paris is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
Fast from the gun - men’s race
This morning, conditions were perfect for distance runners, 10°C and a calm wind, with humidity at 87% dropping to 70% by the end of the race. Some 35,000 runners ran in front of 250,000 spectators in the French Capital, and the depth of the elite race was indeed exceptional, with 6 men under 2:07 (matching London 2008 record) and 11 under 2:09 (new record).
The race opened on a fast basis, soon headed by a dozen Kenyans. All the favourites were there behind pacemaker Erik Kibet, including David Mandago Kipkorir (the winner in Hamburg with 2:07:23) and David Kemboi Kiyeng (winner in Reims with 2:07:53). Marathon debutants Ethiopian Bazu Worku Hayla (winner at Paris Half-Marathon one month ago in 1:01:56 in difficult weather conditions) and Rwandese Dieudonné Disi (a 27:22.28 performer at 10,000m) were ideally placed in the pack. After the first hour, positions were virtually unchanged, but Henry Sugut, one of the pacemakers, was accidentally hit by a medical service volunteer who was wearing roller blades.
After a pace increase between the 15th and 20th kilometres (covered close to 14min), Kipkorir, Kiyeng and their fellow countrymen Kipruto (PB 2:08:16), Jonathan Kipkorir (PB 2:09:22), Francis Kibiwott (debutant), accompanied by Ethiopians Worku and Yemane Adhane (PB 2:10.48) as well as Moroccan Rachid Kisri (PB 2:10:33) passed the half-way in 1:02:46. This was fast enough for a finish time around 2:05, much faster than what they had ever run. As an indication, during the World Record (2:03:59) set by Haïle Gebrselassie in Berlin last year, the race went through in 1:02:04. In this unheard of configuration, the question was how long each of them would maintain that pace.
Kipruto made the difference in the Bois de Boulogne and after a decisive acceleration with three kilometres to go, the Kenyan, showing no sign of fatigue, eventually left Bado Worku, who resigned himself to save his second position.
The 21-year-old, a pure road runner who distinguished himself at his first Marathon in Reims in October taking third place in 2:08:16, was thus the surprise winner of the 33th edition of the Paris Marathon, breaking the 2:06:33 race record held by Michael Rotich since 2003.
“I didn’t thought I was going to run that fast,” Kipruto commented simply.
Worku, 20, impressed for his first Marathon with 2:06:15, to fall firmly within the 20 fastest ever. The silver medallist at 5000m at the 2004 World Junior Championships, he set his personal best of 13:18:08 the following year. Focusing on road races since 2008, he won the Paris Half Marathon in March, but nothing to announce such potential.
Kemboi Kiyeng also moved up the all-time list with his 2:06:26, but massive improvements came from Yemane Adhane and Rachid Kisri (34-years-old with 17 marathons under his belt) who both improved by about four minutes.
Ethiopia start to finish – women’s race
While Kenyans dominated the men’s contest, Ethiopians women took control of the female race as soon as the start. Ashu Kasim, Worknesh Tola, and Azalech Masresha covered the first 5km in 16:07, protecting debutante and favourite Aselefech Mergia (1:07:48 at Half-Marathon in February), and eventual winner Atsede Bayisa. The positions remained unchanged for ten more kilometres, until Kenyan debutante Julia Muraga joined the leaders. By the half way point, four women remained, with Kasim still leading in 1:11:18 from Masresha, Mergia and Bayisa. Tola, second in Paris last year (2:25:37) lost ground and was definitively out of contention.
Some hectometres behind, accompanied by male runners, Christelle Dauney, the French Record holder with 2:28:24 set in Osaka last year, had a more cautious start but passed Tola just before the 30th kilometre. Ten minutes later, the Frenchwoman joined Masresha.
The three remaining Ethiopians (Bayisa, Mergia and Kasim) remained shoulder-to-shoulder until the final kilometres. Kasim was the first to drop, caught by Dauney as they arrived in Avenue Foch. In front, Bayisa found the resources to leave Mergia and win in 2:24:42, smashing her previous bets of 2:29:08. Marleen Renders’ race record (2:23:05 in 2002) was safe but it was a significant improvement for the 21-year-old who placed ninth in Dubai in January with 2:29:13.
A few meters back, Mergia finished her first Marathon in 2:25:02. Dauney, third, displayed a well balanced race with 1:12:48 and 1:12:55 halves for a final time of 2:25:43, a large progression over her National Record.
“Everything went fine, it’s a wonderful day,” said Dauney, who recently took the French Cross Country title. “I prepared so hard to break my record in Paris, this period was very difficult for me.” Before the race, Dauney stated that the Paris Marathon was her main objective of the year and would not participate at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin (15-23 August).
Pierre-Jean Vazel for the IAAF
Leading RESULTS -
1. Vincent Kipruto Limo (KEN) 2:05:47 (PB)
2. Bazu Worku (ETH) 2:06:15 (debut)
3. David Kemboi Kiyeng (KEN) 2:06:26 (PB)
4. Yemane Adhane (ETH) 2:06:30 (PB)
5. Rachid Kisri (MAR) 2:06:48 (PB)
6. David Mandago Kipkorir (KEN) 2:06:53 (PB)
7. Jonathan Kosgei Kipkorir (KEN) 2:07:31 (PB)
8. Shadrack Kipchumba Kiplagat (KEN) 2:08:11
9. John Kipkorir Komen (KEN) 2:08:12
10. Daniel Too Kiprugut (KEN) 2:08:38 (PB)
Intermediate times for Vincent Kipruto Limo -
5km 14:50, 10km 29:45, 15km 44:52, 21.1km 1:02:46, 25km 1:14:19, 30km 1:29:26, 35km 1:44:58.
1. Atsede Bayisa (ETH) 2:24:42(PB)
2. Aselefech Mergia (ETH) 2:25:02 (debut)
3. Christelle Dauney (FRA) 2:25:43 (NR)
4. Ashu Kasim (ETH) 2:25:49 (debut)
5. Julia Mombi Muraga (KEN) 2:29:10
6. Worknesh Tola (ETH) 2:29:19
7. Leah Malot (KEN) 2:30:29 (PB)
8. Maria McCambridge (IRL) 2:35:29 (PB)
9. Azalech Masresha (ETH) 2:35:56 (debut)
10. Maja Neuenschwander (SUI) 2:36:48 (PB)
Intermediate times for Atsede Bayisa -
5km 16:08, 10km 33:08, 15km 50:57, 21.1km 1:11:19, 25km 1:24:23, 30km 1:41:51, 35km 1:59:52.