Padua, ItalyEthiopian Aredo Tadese and Kenyan Florence Chepsoi smashed their PBs to take the honours at the 12th edition of the Maratona di Sant’Antonio held on a new course from Campodarsego to Prato della Valle, one of the biggest squares in Europe in the heart of Padua.
Tadese clocked a new course record of 2:09:02 improving his previous PB set in Florence last November when he won in 2:12:41 on a chilly and rainy day. The sunny but ideal conditions for running helped Kenyan Ben Chebet dip under the 2:10 barrier. Chebet, winner in Padua in 2009 in 2:09:42 on a different course, also improved his PB to finish second in 2:09:26. Kenyan Peter Some Kimeli, winner at the 2010 Roma-Ostia Half Marathon in 1:01.51, also smashed his PB from 2:15:17 (set in Venice in 2010) to 2:10:16.
Chepsoi, who entered the Padua Marathon with a 2:32:18 PB set in Prague in 2010, improved to 2:29:25. Tiruwork Lemma Mekonnen from Ethiopia finished runner-up in 2:33:42.
Men’s race -
Six men set the pace from the early stages of the race. There were Chebet, Kimeli, Tadese, Silas, pacemaker Eric Chirchir and Silas Rutto who went through the opening 10Km in 30:16. Rutto was the only athlete who lost ground at 20Km when five men remained in contention. After going through halfway in 1:04:47, they injected a fast kilometre split in 2:50 at 22Km which reduced the leading group to four men: Chirchir, Chebet, Tadese and Kimeli. They kept on course record pace at 25Km (1:16:28). Chirchir drooped out at 28 km accomplishing his pacemaking task and from then on Chebet, Tadese and Kimeli remained in contention for the win.
Chebet tried to launch his first attack at 36Km but Tadese managed to respond closing the gap and they engaged a neck-to-neck battle in the following kilometres. Chebet took the front but Tadese followed him very closely. At 41Km Tadese broke away to romp home in 2:09:02. “I felt very well and I realised that I could run 2:09 in the final km when I saw 2:08 on the clock. I really enjoyed this race,” said Tadese. “The course was faster than the previous one where I ran 2:09:42.”
Women’s race -
The women’s race developed into a battle between Ethiopian Tiruwork Mekonnen Lemma and Kenyan Chepsoi who ran at a steady pace during the first part of the race. They passed halfway in 1:14:49 on course record pace (2:30:19 set by Kenyan Rael Kiyara in 2010).
Lemma launched her first attack at 28Km and carved out a gap on Chepsoi. The Ethiopian passed 30Km in 1:45:41 but then she faded and Chepsoi managed to reduce the gap. At 35Km Chepsoi first caught up with Lemma before overtaking her to eventually cross the finish line in 2:29:25 to win by more than four minutes.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Leading Results: Men - 1 Aredo Tadese (Ethiopia) 2:09:02 2 Ben Chebet Kipruto (Kenya) 2:09:26 3 Peter Kimeli Some (Kenya) 2:10:16 4 Solonei Rocha (Brazil) 2:11:32 5 Denis Curzi (Italy) 2:14:56
Women - 1 Florence Chepsoi (Kenya) 2:29:25 2 Tiruwork Lemma Mekonnen (Ethiopia) 2:33:42 3 Michele Das Chagas (Brazil) 2:35:09 4 Ivana Iozzia (Italy) 2:35:58