Report22 Sep 2019

Weekend road round-up: Chirchir wins Dam tot Damloop, Lema breaks course record in Hengshui


Evaline Chirchir wins the Dam tot Damloop (© Eric Roeske)

One week after setting a big PB at the Copenhagen Half Marathon, Kenya’s Evaline Chirchir was the first athlete to cross the line at the Dam tot Damloop on Sunday (22), finishing just one second shy of the long-standing course record at the IAAF Silver Label road race.

The 10-mile race starts in Amsterdam and finishes in Zaandam. As is tradition, the women’s field set off 6:04 – the difference between the men's and women's course records – ahead of the men’s field, then the first three finishers are awarded bonuses of €5000, €3500 and €2500 respectively.

In sunny and warm weather (16-18C) with relatively low humidity and a moderate tailwind, Chirchir ran with compatriot Irene Cheptai and Israel’s Dagnechew Selamawit to break away as a lead trio.

Chirchir reached the finish line in Zaandam in 50:32, three seconds ahead of Cheptai. Selamawit was third in 50:48. Chirchir narrowly missed out on breaking the 50:31 course record set back in 1987 by Norwegian distance legend Ingrid Kristiansen.

Chirchir’s winning performance is the third-fastest time ever recorded by a woman over 10 miles, but the point-to-point course means times aren’t record-eligible.

Half way through the men’s race, Ethiopia’s Solomon Berihu, Kenya’s John Langat and Uganda’s Joel Ayeko detached themselves from the rest of the lead pack. Berihu accelerated at 12km and broke away from Langat and Ayeko.

In the hunt to be the overall first finisher, Berihu wasn’t close to catching Chirchir, who finished 1:21 ahead of the Ethiopian, but he was a comfortable winner of the men’s title in 45:49. Langat was second in 46:20 and Ayeko third in 46:40.

The bonuses for the first three overall finishers went to the top three women.

Mohamed Ali was the first Dutch finisher, clocking 46:51. Michel Butter, who is currently preparing for the New York City Marathon on 3 November when he hopes to finish in a qualifying spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was 13th in 48:59.

Eric Roeske for the IAAF

Chebet breaks South American all-comers’ record in Buenos Aires

Kenya’s Evans Chebet stopped the clock at 2:05:02 at the Buenos Aires Marathon on Sunday (22), breaking the South American all-comers’ record in the process at the IAAF Bronze Label road race.

Chebet was joined by compatriots Daniel Kibet, Allan Kiprono and Reuben Kipyego through the first half, which was covered in a swift 1:02:13, suggesting that the course record of 2:05:21, set last year, was under threat.

Evans Chebet on his way to winning the Buenos Aires Marathon


Kiprono was the first of the Kenyan quartet to drop off the pace, and by 30km it was down to just Chebet and Kipyego. Although Chebet’s pace slowed slightly in the second half, he was able to detach himself from Kipyego at about 34km and went on to win in 2:05:02, taking 28 seconds off the PB he set in Valencia two years ago.

Kipyego finished second in 2:05:19 with Kibet placing third in 2:06:52.

Rodah Tanui took almost five minutes off the women’s course record to win in 2:25:46. Having been joined by Ethiopia’s Mulu Demissie for the first half, Tanui broke away from her opponent before the 25-kilometre mark and went on to win comfortably.

Demissie finished second in 2:30:33 with Faith Chemaoi placing third in 2:32:52.

Lema wins in Hengshui with course record

Ethiopia’s Marta Lema Megra took more than a minute off the course record to secure a convincing victory at the Hengshui Lake International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (22).

The 28-year-old Lema, who set a PB of 2:22:35 last year in Toronto, enjoyed a comfortable sole lead in the latter half of the race and wrapped up her first victory in China in 2:24:21.

It was Lema’s second appearance in Hengshui; she finished second in 2:25:59 four years ago behind Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop. And Kiprop’s winning mark of 2:25:43 had stood as the course record until Megra renewed it by 1:22.

Lema’s compatriot Askale Alemayehu trimmed nearly one-and-a-half minutes off her career best to finish second in 2:27:32. Her previous PB of 2:29:01 was set three years ago in Shanghai.

Olympian Tirfi Tsegaye finished third in 2:28:30 to complete an Ethiopian sweep of the podium. The 34-year-old, who won the 2016 Dubai Marathon in 2:19:41 and finished fourth at the Olympic Games later that year, was contesting her first marathon in three years having taken a maternity break.

As the fastest entrant in the men’s field, Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia led from gun to finish to claim the victory in 2:08:51.

A leading group of 12 runners paced the race to 10km in 30:37. After passing the 20km water tables in 1:00:10, the group started to wither rapidly as eight runners, including 2015 Hengshui winner Ernest Ngeno of Kenya, dropped off one after another.

Only four men were left in the leading pack after 25km and Ethiopia’s Teshome Girma quit the contest for the title before 40km.

The leading trio – Bantie, Bonsa Dida of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Joel Kemboi Kimurer – remained together until Bantie launched his powerful charge for the win with about 400 metres to go.

Bantie’s winning mark was a couple of minutes shy of the 2:06:23 PB he set four months ago in Prague, but it was his first ever marathon victory.

Dida, 24, bettered 2:10 for the first time as he finished second in 2:09:04. Kimurer, a 2:07:48 performer, trailed one more second behind to take the third place.

Vincent Wu for the IAAF