Leonard Langat won the Cardiff University / Cardiff Half Marathon in 59:30, taking 73 seconds off the course record for the IAAF Silver Label road race on Sunday (6).
Langat produced a strong sprint finish to pip fellow Kenyan Shadrack Kimining, the winner in Cardiff in 2016, by a mere two seconds. Langat’s winning time of 59:30 was just 12 seconds shy of his lifetime best, while long-time race leader Kimming was rewarded with a 10-second PB to finish second in 59:32.
There was a group of 10 athletes in the leading pack at 5km (14:06) and this was cut to four by 10km (28:05). Kimining led for much of the next 10 kilometres as he led Langat and defending champion John Lotiang through 15km (42:15) and 20km (56:34).
Kimining tried to push up the steep incline coming off Roath Park Lake up to Cathays Cemetery, but Langat refused to be shrugged off. He stayed on the shoulder of his rival before making his move coming down the finishing straight.
“I was feeling comfortable behind Shadrack and I pushed on in the final 500 metres,” said Langat. “I kept the pace up right to the finish because I was feeling so strong.
“I always feel strong when I am running happy and that is down to the fantastic training group I have in Kenya. This is a wonderful course and I am sure that someone could run faster than 58 minutes on it in the future.”
“I am happy to have run a PB and I think this is one of the fastest courses on which I have ever run,” said Kimining. “It is a bit like the event in Ras Al Khaimah.”
There was also a dramatic finish in the women’s race as Kenya’s Lucy Cheruiyot and Ethiopia’s Azmera Abreha ran side by side down the finishing straight, with another Kenyan, Paskalia Kipkoech, not far behind.
In the end, Cheruiyot’s strength carried her to victory, although both she and Abreha were given the same times, 68:20. Kipkoech was a further five seconds behind in 68:25.
Organisers for the IAAF
Sichala breaks Kosice record
For the third yearin a row, the women’s course record was revised at the Kosice Peace Marathon, the oldest marathon in Europe, as Ethiopia’s Kumeshi Sichala won the IAAF Silver Label road race in 2:26:01 on Sunday (6).
The 24-year-old had Kenyan duo Joan Kigen and Chemutai Rionotukei for company through 10km (34:24), but Kigen soon dropped back. Sichala and Rionotukei passed through the half-way point in 1:12:43, well inside the schedule to break the course record of 2:27:16, and were still together at 30km, reached in 1:43:37.
Soon after, Sichala started to break away from Rionotukei and went on to finish more than seven minutes ahead of her Kenyan rival. Sichala crossed the lin in 2:26:01, taking 75 seconds off the course record and almost three minutes off her PB.
Rionotukei finished second in 2:33:27 with Kigen placing third in 2:34:05.
More athletes were in contention during the early stages of the men’s race as a pack of about 10 runners passed through 10km in 30:10, with eight of them still together at half way, reached in 1:04:06.
By 30km (1:31:00) the pack was reduced to four: Shumet Mengistu of Ethiopia, Kenyan duo Ezrah Sang and Hillary Kipsambu Kibiwott, and Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay. Kibiwott had the better finishing strength and he detached himself from the rest of the quartet to go on to win comfortably in 2:09:33.
Mengistu finished more than a minute behind in 2:10:51 while Tuemay took third place (2:11:02).