Wilson Kipsang of Kenya wins the 2009 Egmond Half Marathon (© organisers)
Egmon aan Zee , The NetherlandsIn his rich history the Egmond Half Marathon has never produced such modest winning times as in its 37th edition.
On a sunny but very cold (temp around freezing point) Sunday (11) over 16,000 entrants had to fight a heavy headwind on the first half of the race over the beach along the North Sea. Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and Ethiopian Workitu Ayanu were the winners. The 26-years-old Kipsang clocked a modest 1:05:36; Ayanu was the first women in 1:16:33.
A big pack of around thirty runners set a modest pace over the beach. They passed the 10.5 kilometres point, where they entered the path through the dunes, in 35:47.
But with the wind now at their backs the group broke fast. A leading quartet was formed with Kipsang, Dutchman Michel Butter, Ethiopian Chala Dechase and Kenyan Vincent Kipruto. This four stayed a long time together but Kipsang was steadily pressing the pace.
Around the 18th kilometre Kipsang broke away. Butter and Dechase tried to follow but couldn’t keep up with him. Finally, he broke the finish tape fourteen seconds ahead of the young promising Dutchman Butter, who out-sprinted Dechase.
“Wilson Kipsang was to strong for me,'' Butter said afterwards. “He went away after 18 kilometres and I could not follow.'' Kipsang was happy the pace was not that high along the beach. “It was could and there was heavy wind blowing. I must say this race was quite and experience.'' Dutch marathon record holder Kamiel Maase ran his last official race here.
In the women’s race, initially there was a leading group of nine women. But before entering the dunes (10.5 kms) the pack was down to four: Workitu Ayanu, Magdaline Chemyor (Ken), who did most of the work on the beach, and the Dutchwomen Hilda Kibet and Ilse Pol. And in the dunes Ayanu easily broke away from the other three women.
“I arrived from 27 degrees CT in my country to a winter landscape,'' the Ethiopian said afterwards. “It was very cold and the head very strong. I am very happy with this victory.''
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
1. Wilson Kipsang Ken 1:05:36
2. Michel Butter Ned 1:05:50
3. Chala Dechase Eth 1:05:53
4. Vincent Kipruto Ken 1:06:01
5. Mulugeta Wami Eth 1:06:52
6. Patrick Stitzinger Ned 1:07:29
7. Sander Schutgens Ned 1:07:36
8. Kamiel Maase Ned 1:07:46
9. Koen Raymaekers Ned 1:07:57
10. Marco Gielen Ned 1:08:02
1. Workitu Ayanu Eth 1:16:33
2. Hilda Kibet Ned 1:17:32
3. Ilse Pol Ned 1:19:21
4. Magdaline Chemjor Ken 1:19:43
5. Petra Kaminkova Cze 1:19:44
6. Ilona Pfeiffer Ger 1:19:53
7. Nadja Wijenberg Ned 1:21:45 40+
8. Inge de Jong Ned 1:22:07
9. Femke van Hest Ned 1.23.35
10. Inge van Bergen Ned 1:25:01