Brigid Jepchirchir Kosgei winning in Bogota (© Victah Sailer/organisers)
Making their late race breaks in similar fashion, Feyisa Lilesa and Brigid Kosgei took convincing victories at the 18th edition of the Bogota Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (30).
Lilesa, the Olympic marathon silver medallist, won by nine seconds over Peter Cheruiyot in 1:04:30, while Kosgei, a 37-year-old Kenyan road racing veteran, produced an even bigger victory, clocking 1:12:17 to beat compatriot Veronicah Nyaruai Wanjiru by 26 seconds.
In the women's contest, the lead pair, along with Ruth Chepngetich, Mary Wacera and Meskerem Assefa ran together through five kilometres in 17:14 and through ten in just under 34 minutes. Given the Colombian capital's 2640m above sea level altitude, it was an honest pace, keeping an assault on Susan Chepkemei's 1:10:39 course record, set back in 2004, within the realm of possibility.
By 15 kilometres, it became a two-woman race with Nyaruai running nine seconds clear. But Kosgei was just biding her time. She made her decisive move just after 20 kilometres to cruise through the finish unchallenged.
Chepngetich was third in 1:13:57 with Wacera fourth in 1:14:36.
In the men's race, a pack of nine ran through the first five kilometres in just under 15:50, but that was reduced to five by 10 kilometres, reached in 30:20. By 15 kilometres, this too became a two-man race with Lilesa and Cheruiyot at the front. Lilesa then made his move after the 20-kilometre point en route to his comfortable victory.
Shura Kitata was third, another minute back in 1:05:40, with Stanley Biwott, the 2015 New York marathon winner, fourth in 1:05:54, in his comeback race from injury.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF
1. Feyisa Lilesa, ETH, 1:04:30
2. Peter Cheruiyot Kirui, KEN, 1:04:39
3. Shura Kitata, ETH, 1:05:40
4. Stanley Biwott, KEN, 1:05:54
5. Kimutai Kiplimo, KEN, 1:06:14
1. Brigid Jepchirchir Kosgei, KEN, 1:12:17
2. Veronicah Nyaruai Wanjiru, KEN, 1:12:43
3. Ruth Chepngetich, KEN, 1:13:57
4. Mary Wacera, KEN, 1:14:36
5. Meskerem Assefa, ETH, 1:14:46