During a great weekend for road running Kenyan Felix Limo got the outstanding
result. The 23 year-old won the Rotterdam Marathon in a world-class time of
2:06:14. Despite strong head winds in parts of the race Limo ran the fastest
time of the year so far and additionally broke the course record. That was
quite a legendary mark, because it dated back as far as 1988. It was Ethiopian
Belayneh Dinsamo who had set a world record 16 years ago. His 2:06:50 stood as
a world record for more than ten years. In 2001 Josephat Kiprono tied the
course record, running exactly the same time.
At 32 k Limo left behind his last opponent. Michael Rotich (Kenya) finally
finished second in 2:09:07. In contrast to Limo Marocco’s Salah Hissou
lacked the stamina in the last part of the race. In his debut marathon he
finally had to be content with 2:12:45 for 11th place. There was more success
in the women’s race for Marocco: Zhor el Kamch won the race in 2:26:10
while Madai Perez (Mexiko/2:27:08) came in second. About 11,000 runners
participated in the Rotterdam Marathon.
34,500 RUNNERS AT THE PARIS MARATHON
In Paris 34,500 runners took part in the marathon. In the end there was a
surprise winner: Ethiopian Ambesa Tolosa clocked 2:08:56. He now hopes to be
selected for the Olympic marathon in August. Before running the greatest race
of his career so far Tolosa had a personal best of 2:10:11. For Raymond
Kiprotich it was a surprise defeat. The Kenyan finished second in 2:10:08.
Third place went to Paul Biwott (Kenya/2:10:30).
For the first time the women ran a separate race in Paris, starting 30
minutes ahead of the field. There was a surprise as well in this competition,
because the winner was a debutant: Kenyan’s Salina Kosgei ran a very good
2:24:32. She had covered the first half extremely fast in 70:22 although even
her half marathon best was slower than that. Asha Gigi (Ethiopia) managed to
hold on until 31 k. She finished second in a personal best of 2:26:05.
COLLEEN DE REUCK WINS US OLYMPIC MARATHON TRIALS
There was a surprise as well in the US women’s marathon trials at St.
Louis. Colleen de Reuck who is nearly 40 years old won the race in 2:28:45 and
booked her ticket for Athens. It will her fourth Olympics. And it was de
Reuck’s first marathon win since Berlin 1996. It was experience that
played into the hands of the former South African runner. De Reuck ran decided
to run a constant pace although she was well behind at half way. But after
catching three runners she finally also passed Deena Kastor at about 40 k.
Kastor, who was supposed to be the favourite, was second in 2:29:38. Jen Rhines
will be the third Olympic runner for the US team. She finished third in 2:29:57
at St. Louis.
ANOTHER KENYAN WIN AT THE STRAMILANO
The Kenyans won another great race during the weekend: Robert Kipchumba
crossed the line first at the Stramilano. He clocked 60:21 to win this famous
half marathon. Martin Salle of Tanzania was second (60:27) and Kenya’s
Wilson Kiprotich came in third (60:28). Five men finished in a sub 61 minute
time. For the first time in 18 years there was an elite women’s race
included in the Stramilano. Italian Tiziana Alagia was the fastest woman in
1:13:21. About 50,000 runners participated in the mass race, which is not a
half marathon but a 15 k race.