Polish distance runner Yared Shegumo (© Polish athletics federation)
There were home wins at the 2014 Lodz Marathon Dbam o Zdrowie, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, as Yared Shegumo and Karolina Jarzynska were victorious in 2:10:41 and 2:28:12 respectively in the 10th edition of the Polish race on Sunday (13).
Shegumo, fourth in last year’s race, made it two back-to-back marathon wins on home soil after also taking the plaudits in Warsaw last September but he was just a few seconds shy of his personal best of 2:10:34 which he set in the Polish capital just over six months ago.
Halfway was reached by an 11-strong leading pack in 1:05:29 and a six man group, consisting of Shegumo, fellow Pole Marcin Chebowski, Kenya’s Hassan Mogaya and the Ethiopian trio of 2013 winner Alemayehu Belachew Ameta, Gelgelo Tona and Haile Haja Gemeda were still together six kilometres before the end.
However, as Shegumo and Mogaya started to force the pace as part of their own personal duel, the rest came off the back one-by-one.
In a thrilling finish, Shegumo managed to pull away from his Kenyan rival in the final 500m and Mogaya had to settle for second in 2:10:47. Tona, who had started to lose contact with the leading pair just over a kilometre from home, was third in 2:10:53.
Jarzynska, the Polish half marathon record holder, got huge cheers along the route but it was not enough to propel her to another personal best although she retained the crown she won 12 months ago.
On that occasion, 12 months ago, she set what was then a personal best and course record of 2:26:45, which she improved to 2:26:31 when finishing third in Osaka in January, but this year she stopped the clock in 2:28:12.
Jarzynska, who finished ninth in the race overall and was running by herself from 20 kilometres, came home more than six minutes clear of Kenya’s Gladys Kibsoi, who was second in 2:34:20.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF