Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru wins the 2007 Fortis City-Pier-City Half Marathon - official time is 58:33 (loc) © Copyright
General News The Hague, The Netherlands

Wanjiru again! World records broken in Half Marathon and 20km in The Hague

Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru has again run a World record* in the Half Marathon, he run 58:35 today to win the Fortis City-Pier-City Half Marathon.

>>Editor's note added 18 July 2007 - the final official winning time is 58:33<<

Wanjiru also went quicker than the 20K World record en route with 55:31 but no official time was taken.

The 20-year-old Kenyan's victory at the 33rd running of this Dutch race bettered his own pending record of 58:53 set in Ras al Khaimah on 9 February this year. He set a ratified World record at the distance (59:16) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on 11 September 2005 but this was improved by Haile Gebrselassie three months later with a 58:55 run in Phoenix Arizona (15 Jan 2006).

After three kilometres in the Hague, Wanjiru broke away from the field en route to his solo effort. Compatriot Solomon Bushendich, preparing for 15th April Fortis Rotterdam, finished second in 1:00:13 equalling his personal best, with Francis Kiprop, another Kenyan, third in 1:00:17.

The women’s race was also a solo race for Kenyan Hilda Kibet who won in a personal best of 1:09:43. Kibet hopes to get Dutch citizenship later this year.

Keeping his word

Samuel Wanjiru is a man of his words. Two days before the 33rd edition of the City-Pier-City he had promised a World record. Yet even with the 20-year-old’s impressive running credentials it had caused some disbelief when at the pre-race press conference he said he would run the first ten kilometres in 27:30.

Wanjiru however did not blink, “I know I can run that fast,” and yesterday that 10km split was 27:27.

By the 10km point the World Junior record holder for the 10,000m on the track (26:41.75 – 2005) had already been running seven kilometres solo as his two pacemakers could not follow the hellish pace of the youngster after 3km into the race.

“At three kilometres I felt that the pace was to slow. The only thing I could do was accelerate! Nobody followed I knew that I had to run alone.''

Had he never had problems running alone for 18 kilometres of the race?

“There was a very long straight around 7 kilometres where I felt the wind but that was not a big problem. The only thing I was thinking of was bettering the World record.”

“I loved the many people along this fast course who were all cheering for me. I love this country.”

Still faster?

The CPC as the race is called in The Netherlands was a one man show, and though he improved his personal best (and pending World record) of 58:53 by eighteen seconds Wanjiru is sure he can run faster. He is intending to do just that in the Fortis Half Marathon Rotterdam in September later this year.

“First I will run the 10,000 metres at the World Championships in Osaka in August. After that I go back to Rotterdam to better the World record again. In December I will do my first attempt on the marathon in Fukuoka,” said Wanjiru who lives in Japan but goes back to his home country when it is winter in Japan, as “I cannot stand the cold there.”

$25,000 bonus to go to charity

Wanjiru will gain US$25,000 from the race sponsors for his World record run today, and confirmed that “the money will go to a children’s home in Nyahururu in Kenya where my mother works. I'm gonna tell her now by phone about my world record and the $25,000 dollar they will get.''

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF 

* World record pending the usual ratification procedures

RESULTS and Split times

33rd City-Pier-City, The Hague (The Netherlands)
Saturday 17 March
Temp: 12 degrees CT, sunny, windy
1. Samuel Wanjiru (Ken)  58:35 
(split times: 13:40 - 27:27 - 41:30 - 55:31)

>>Editor's note added 18 July 2007 - the final official winning time is 58:33<<

2. Solomon Bushendich (Ken) 1:00:13  equals PB
(splits: 14:01 - 28:09 - 42:26 - 56:58)
3. Francis Kiprop (Ken) 1:00:17 
(splits: 14:01 - 28:08 - 42:28 - 56:57)
4. William Kipsang (Ken)  1:00:25 PB
5. Stephen Chelimo (Ken)  1:01:03 PB
6. Charles Munyeki Kiama (Ken)  1:01:04 PB
7. Luke Kipkosgei (Ken)  1:01:18
8. William Chebon Chebor (Ken)  1:01:24
9. Charles Koech (Ken)   1:01:27
10. Sammy Kipruto (Ken)   1:01:33 PB
11. Philemon Gitia Baaru (Ken)    1.02:01
12. Koen Raymaekers (Ned)  1:02:30 PB  National champion
13. Luc Krotwaar (Ned) 1:02:34        
14. Luke Kibet (Ken) 1:02:51
15. Boniface Mbuvi Muema (Ken)1:03:28 PB
16. Ben Kimwole (Ken)    1:03:29
17. Michel Butter (Ned)    1:03:52
18. Kiprotich Kenei (Ken)    1:04:00
19. Wilson Onsare (Ken)     1:04:11
20. Maurice Musyoki Mutinda (Ken) 1:04:31
21. David Musyoki Maili  (Ken)     1:04:32
22. Martin Lauret (Ned)    1:04:32 (correct) PB
23. Jeroen van Damme (Ned)     1:04:48
24. Lars Johansson (Swe)     1:04.54
25. David Rutoh (Ken)      1:05:01
1. Hilda Kibet (Ken)       1:09:43 PB
2. Luciah Kimani (BIH)       1.13:01 PB
3. Merel de Knegt (Ned)       1:14:21 PB  National champion
4. Nadja Wijenberg (Ned)       1:14:29
5. Anna Rahm (Swe)      1:14:33
6. Selma Borst (Ned)      1:15:14
7. Alimaz Megerssa (Eth)       1:16:44
8. Wilma van Onna (Ned)      1:18:32
9. Marisa Hopmans (Ned)      1:18:38
10. Ingrid Prigge (Ned)        1:18:39