The Hague, The NetherlandsPatrick Makau and Pauline Wangui know how to win in The Hague. On a rather windy and cool (8 degrees CT) day the Kenyans returned to win the 36th edition of the Fortis City-Pier-City Half Marathon on Sunday (14).
Makau won the race in 2008 and his compatriot Wangui was the fastest woman for the third successive year.
Makau outsprinted Ethiopian Eshetu Wendimu winning in 59:51 beating his last opponent in the prolonged final sprint by one second. Three other runners also broke the 60 minutes barrier: John Mwangangi (59:56 PB), Eric Ndiema (59:57) and Robert Kipchuba (59:58).
From the start a large group of 15 passed the 5 kilometres marker in 14:27/14:28 led by pre-race favourite Makau, who already had eight sub-60 minute Half Marathons under his belt. This split time didn’t look promising for yet another sub-60, but in the next five kilometers the pace quickened to 14:11, which reduced the lead group to 11. With Mwangangi leading the charge, a group of seven reached 15Km in 42:56.
At 20 kilometres (57:16) the group of seven was still very close with Mwangangi still in front. In the final kilometer, Bernard Kipyego could not keep up with the leaders and was dropped. In the final stretch to the finish on the Malieveld took the victory.
The women’s race was not as close an affair as the men’s. Pauline Wangui won her second race in a week’s time in the Netherlands. Last Sunday the 25-year-old Kenyan also won the 20 Kilometres of Alphen in a personal best of 1:06:21.
Until the tenth kilometer Wangui had compatriot Irene Jerotich at her side. But by the midway point, Jerotich couldn’t follow any longer. Wangui won in 1:10:36, 41 seconds ahead of Jerotich.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
Leading Results - Half marathon:
Men 1. Patrick Makau KEN 59:52 ( splits 14:17-28:38-42:57-57:16) 2. Eshetu Wendimu ETH 59:53 PB 3. John Mwangangi KEN 59:56 PB 4. Eric Ndiema KEN 59:57 PB 5. Robert Kipchumba KEN 59:58 6. Bernard Kipyego KEN 1:00:02 7. Julius Arile KEN 1:00:31 PB 8. Robert Mbithi KEN 1:01:00 PB 9. Philemon Kisang KEN 1:01:35 10. Ezekiel Meli KEN 1:01:43 PB 11. Philimon Terer KEN 1:01:45 12. Cuthbert Nyasanga ZIM 1:02:27 13. Yonas Kifle ERI 1:02:32 14. Koen Raymaekers NED 1:02:48 15. Barnabas Kosgei KEN 1:02:55
Women - 1. Pauline Wangui KEN 1.10.36 (splits 16:19-32:57-50:05-1:07:14) 2. Irene Jerotich KEN 1:11:17 PB 3. Merel de Knegt NED 1:13:10 PB 4. Christina Bus Holth SWE 1:14:50 PB 5. Inge de Jong NED 1:15:28 PB 6. Lindsay van Marrewijk NED 1:15:40 PB