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Report07 Apr 2019

Weekend marathon round-up: Course records tumble in Rotterdam, Daegu, Vienna and Rome while Italian all-comers’ records fall in Milan


Marius Kipserem wins the Rotterdam Marathon (© AFP / Getty Images)

Last updated: 7 April, 18:30 CET

Kipserem regains Rotterdam title with 2:04:11 course record

On a perfect day for running, Kenya’s Marius Kipserem regained his NN Rotterdam Marathon title with a course record of 2:04:11, while Ashete Bekere won the women’s crown in 2:22:55 at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (7).

A large lead group set off a bit too fast for the first kilometre but the pace soon settled and they covered the first 10 kilometres in 29:33 before reaching the half-way point in 1:02:17.

Twelve men were still together at the front when the pacemakers left at 30 kilometres, reached in 1:28:38, but Kenya’s Emanuel Saina then accelerated and only his teammates Kipserem and Vincent Rono could follow. Kipserem soon took up the running, forcing everyone to run alone for the final 10 kilometres.

With a slight increase in pace in the final stages, Kipserem eventually crossed the finish line on the Coolsingel in 2:04:11 to take 16 seconds off the course record set 10 years ago.

“I’m very happy with my victory and course record,” said the 30-year-old, who took exactly two minutes off the PB he set when winning in Rotterdam in 2016. “At 39 kilometres it seemed as though the course record might not be possible, but thankfully I was able to speed up.”

Turkey’s Kaan Kigen Özbilen finished second in 2:05:27, just 16 seconds shy of Mo Farah’s European record and the second-fastest time ever by a European athlete. Saina, unable to keep the pace in the last kilometres, finished third in 2:05.42.

Abdi Nageeye, who trains with Özbilen and Eliud Kipchoge in Kaptagat, took almost two minutes off his own Dutch record with 2:06:17, moving to fourth on the European all-time list.

European champion Koen Naert finished seventh in a PB of 2:07:39, just 19 seconds away from the Belgian record.

Ashete Bekere won the women’s race in 2:22:55, a time that has been bettered in Rotterdam by only former world record-holder Tegla Loroupe and 2012 Olympic champion Tiki Gelana.

A relatively small lead pack ran together during the first half, covering 10 kilometres in 33:36 and reaching half way in 1:11:02. After 25 kilometres, passed in 1:24:20, Bekere left behind the last of her opponents and ran alone for the remainder of the race.

She reached the finish in 2:22:55, not far off the PB of 2:21:14 she set when winning in Valencia last year. Kenya’s Stella Barsosio was second in 2:23:34 while USA’s Aliphine Tuliamuk was third in 2:26:48.

Eric Roeske for the IAAF


Ekiru and Kiplagat shatter Italian all-comers records in Milan 

Running in rainy but cool conditions, Titus Ekiru and Vivian Kiplagat shattered the Italian all-comers records at the 19th Generali Milano Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Race, on Sunday (7).

Ekiru clocked 2:04:46 to smash his previous PB of 2:07:43 he set in Seville last year and the 2:07:13 Italian all-comers mark set by Edwin Koech in 2017.

Kiplagat won the women’s race in 2:22:25, well under Galina Bogomolova’s previous Italian all-comers record of 2:22:53 set in Rome in 2008.

In the men’s race, a nine-man pack set off at a fast pace going through 10 kilometres in 29:31.

That leading group was whittled down to five by the half-way point, with Koech, Ekiru, Tedesse Senebeta, Evans Chebet and Justus Kimutai passing the 21.1km marker in 1:02:29. A quartet formed by Chebet, Kimutai, Ekiru and Koech stepped up the pace, reaching 30 kilometres in 1:28:38 at 30 km.

Then, Ekiru made his move, breaking away from Chebet and Koech, passing 35 kilometres in 1:43:28 and 40 in 1:58:22 before crossing the line alone with the fourth fastest time of the year.

“I did not expect to run so fast,” said Ekiru, who won his fourth career marathon after victories in Seville 2017 with 2:07:43, Mexico City 2018 with 2:10:38 and Honolulu 2018 with 2:09:01.

“The weather conditions were not bad and the race course was very fast. I tried my best and at 30 kilometres I could push the pace by myself.”

Chebet, the fastest runner in the field with a PB of 2:05:30, finished runner-up in 2:07:22 ahead of Koech (2:08:24) and Hosea Maiyo Kiprono (2:09:02).

Vivian Kiplagat Jerono winning the Milan Marathon


In the women’s race, Kiplagat took the early lead going through 10 kilometres in 33:47 with a four-second lead over 2009 world 10,000m bronze medallist Wude Ayalew Yimer from Ethiopia and Kenya’s Joan Jepchirchir Kigen. The race then turned into a one-woman show when Kiplagat went through the halfway mark in a fast 1:11:06 with a gap of 1:29 over Kigen.

Kiplagat exended it to more than four minutes by 30 kilometres before adding to it with each passing kilometre to eventually win by more than ten minutes. Kiplagat, 27, also broke Margaret Okayo’s race record of 2:24:59 set in 2002.

Kiplagat ran in Milan for the third consecutive year after clocking 2:32:37 in 2017 and 2:27:08 in 2018. She also clocked her half marathon best of 1:09:05 on Italian soil in Verbania in 2017.

Kigen finished a distant runner-up with 2:32.32 ahead of Ayelu Abele Hordofa (2:37:50).

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF


1 Titus Ekiru (KEN) 2:04:46
2 Evans Kiplagat Chebet (KEN) 2:07:22
3 Edwin Koech Kipngetich (KEN) 2:08:24
4 Hosea Kiprono Maiyo (KEN) 2:09:02
5 Geza Senebeta Tadesse (ETH) 2:13:46

1 Vivian Jerono Kiplagat (KEN) 2:22:25
2 Joan Kigen Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:32:32
3 Abebe Ayelu Hordofa (ETH) 2:37:50
4 Nikolina Sustic (CRO) 2:38:47
5 Getahun Kasaye Bizuwork (ETH) 2:39:59


Kipchirchir clocks 2:05:33 to smash Daegu course record

Felix Kipchirchir smashed the course record at the Daegu Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label road race, on Sunday (7).

Breaking from compatriot Kennedy Cheboror after the 35th kilometre, Kipchirchir forged on to a 2:05:33 victory to break the course record of 2:06:29 set by Abraham Kiptum in 2018.

Kipchirchir was on a tear from the start, leading the field through the first five kilometres in 14:49 and 10 kilometres in 29:31. That initial seven-man lead pack was reduced to six by 30 kilometres when Ethiopian Shifera Tamru Aredo, Ugandan Fred Musobo, Kenyans Cheboror and Evans Korir and Eritrea's Tsegay Tuemay were still giving Kipchirchir company.

But he finally showed his cards in the next five-kilometres stretch with a sizzling 14:38 split that dropped everyone but Cheboror. He too would succumb over the next five kilometres, which Kipchirchir covered in 14:32, the fastest of the race.

Aredo managed to blistering closing stages best, finishing second in 2:06:21 with Musobo third in 2:06:21.

While Kipchirchir ran away alone, Cheboror wilted over the final kilometre but still managed to finish fourth in 2:06:59 to knock nearly a minute-and-a-half from his previous best.

In a close race, Pamela Rotich won the women's title to regain the title she won in 2017.

The Kenyan, who finished third in Daegu last year, crossed the finish line in 2:28:10 with Ethiopia's Medina Deme Amino finishing just one second behind. Korea's Choi Kyungsun was third in 2:29:06.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF


Kiprop smashes course record in Vienna

Nancy Kiprop produced the outstanding performance of the 36th Vienna City Marathon on Suday (7), when she broke the women’s course record by over a minute and a half in running 2:22:12 at this IAAF Gold Label road race.

Kiprop led a Kenyan clean sweep of the podium with all three women setting personal bests. Angela Tanui was runner-up in 2:25:37 and Maurine Chepkemoi third in 2:26:16.

In the men’s race Kenyan Vincent Kipchumba won with a personal best of 2:06:56, improving his lifetime best by almost four minutes.

Kipchumba surged away in the closing stages from Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham who finished second with 2:07:24. Uganda’s Solomon Mutai took third with 2:08:25, improving his best by just over one minute.

Full report to come.

Organisers for the IAAF


Alemu improves Rome record

Megertu Alemu trimmed one second from the course record at the Acea Rome Marathon on Sunday (7), winning the IAAF Silver Label road race in 2:22:52 to lead an Ethiopian sweep of the podium.

Compatriot Tebalu Zawude won the men’s title in 2:08:37 in a race where Ethiopian men filled the top five places.

With rain falling for the first half of the race, Alemu and Muluhabt Tsega took the early lead, going through 10 kilometres in 33:45 and half way in 1:11:11. They had a three-minute margin over the chasing group of Egigayehu Mengistu, Alemi Tsegaye Degefa, Chaltu Negesse and Mestawet Tadesse.

Alemu finally pulled away from Tsega shortly before they reached the 35-kilometre point and went on to win in a five-minute PB of 2:22:52, briefly holding the Italian all-comers’ record before Vivian Kiplagat clocked 2:22:25 in Milan a few minutes later. Tsega finished second in 2:26:41 and Chaltu Negesse third in 2:30:45.

“The weather did not bother me,” said Alemu. “I pushed hard from the beginning because I believed that I could break the course record.”

In the men’s race, 14 athletes were still together through 15 kilometres, covered in 46:07, but the group started to splinter a bit as they reached half way in 1:04:57. With 10 kilometres remaining, five Ethiopian men – Zawude, Musa Babo Ido, Birhanu Teshome Demisie, Yihunilign Adane and Tesfa Tiruneh – remained in contention

Zawude pulled away from the rest of the field at 36 kilometres and went on to win by 40 seconds, crossing the finish line in 2:08:37 ahead of Workneh (2:09:17), Adane (2:09:53) and Ido (2:09:55).

“I am very happy because I did not expect to win,” said Zawude. “It was a very tough race because the cobblestones were slippery due to the rain. I wanted to run 2:07 but weather conditions were not ideal.”

Italy’s 2014 European champion Daniele Meucci struggled with stomach problems and withdrew from the race after 33 kilometres.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF


Mwetich and Mutgaa secure Kenyan double in Hannover

Kenyans Silas Mwetich and Racheal Mutgaa cruised to victories at the HAJ Hannover Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label road race, on Sunday (7).

Silas Mwetich en route to the Hannover Marathon title


Mwetich, 22, clocked 2:09:37 to take the race after running away after the 35 kilometre mark, clipping more than seven minutes from his previous personal best.

Hosea Kipkemboi of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Debas Alebachew Wale finished second and third with 2:10:40 and 2:10:57 respectively. Germany’s Arne Gabius was a distant seventh in 2:14:29.

In the women’s race, Mutgaa took command after the 35th kilometre. The 31-year-old clocked a course record of 2:26:15, lowering her own career best from 2:28:39.

Racheal Mutgaa wins the Hannover Marathon


Tigist Memuye Gebeyahu of Ethiopia was third in 2:27:35 with Poland’s Karolina Nadolska fourth in in 2:27:43.

Organisers for the IAAF

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