Sviatlana Kouhan wins the women's division of the 2012 Brighton Marathon (© Mark Shearman)
There were new course records to celebrate at the third Brighton Marathon, as Kenya’s Peter Some lopped over four minutes off the old time with 2:12:01. Meanwhile Belarus’s Sviatlana Kouhan slashed five minutes off the previous women’s best with 2:29:36.
The Brighton Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race.
The field set off from Preston Park at 9am on a cold sunny morning, perfect conditions for marathon running.
The lead group with the favourites went through ten miles in 50:18 with Allen Ndiwa setting the pace. Already it was clear that the record would be history by the time the winner crossed the line in Madeira Drive.
At 12 miles all the favourites were in a tight group with Ndiwa surrounded by Some, Kelai, Batochir, Pius Ondoro and Ethiopian Assefa Mezgebu.
The leaders went through the half way mark by the Grand Hotel on the sea front in 65:49, at just under 5min mile pace while the women went past in 73:38.
At 15miles reached in 75:34 there was still no break with the five contenders pushing the pacemaker who was struggling to stay in front. One mile later, Ndiwa was dropped as the top five found the pace too slow and forged ahead.
By the finish, though, Some had managed to put daylight between himself and his pursuers and he broke the tape held by former marathon great, Ron Hill.
“I was very happy with the course,” said the 21-year-old men’s winner. “But I found it very hilly, there were a lot of undulations.”
“It is my fourth marathon and second hardest course. The weather was very good, but the wind was too strong.”
“I would like to come back to Brighton next year. My goal today was to break the course record.”
Second was Dominic Pius Ondoro, Kenya, just nine seconds in arrears and with a personal best by over two minutes.
“It was a very good course which I enjoyed,” said Ondoro, “but Peter sprinted away from me at 41 kilometres. Today was my best time in my fourth marathon, but I want to come back next year when my goal is to win.”
Commonwealth champion, John Kelai, also of Kenya, was a detached third in 2:12:43 while the inaugural Brighton champion, Mongolia’s Serod Batochir, also finished inside the old record with 2:13:01.
Kelai thought “the course was really hilly and it was windy, but I felt very strong and I was pleased with how it went.”
The women’s race winner, Kouhan, was delighted with her lifetime best: “I really enjoyed the race, it is a great course the only difficulty was the wind.”
“At half-way I was together with Irene Chepkirui, but I managed to get away from her between 14 and 15 miles.”
“My aim was to dip under 2:30, I have been training at altitude in Kislovodsk and I was feeling really good.”
Kenyan Chepkirui crossed the line in second in 2:33:55, another PB, but was unwell and unable to speak to the press.
Third was Britain’s Holly Rush in 2:41:22, well outside her best: “I am very disappointed with my form,” she said. “I was going to pull out at 11km, I felt unwell, but I decided to carry on but then my pacer felt bad as well. This was not my day.”
Michael Butcher for the IAAF