La Rochelle, France – Kenyan John Komen ran 2:07:13 to break the race record of Marathon de La Rochelle Serge Vigot on Sunday, while Ethiopian Ture Chatu won the womenâ€™s race in 2:36:04. The weather was cool and hazy on the old Port of La Rochelle at the start of the 21st edition of the Marathon. The race opened on a faster basis than had been planned, as the Kenyan pacemakers Eliud Kiplagat Barngetury and Samwel Maswai were timed at 5km in 15:12, instead of probable 15:25.
Behind them were four of their associate countrymen: John Komen, the fastest of the field with a 2:08:06 performance set three years ago, Nahashon Kimaiyo who placed 3rd last year, as well as outsiders Daniel Limo and Peter Kwalia, who ran in 2009 respectively 2:10:54 and 2:12:07. Also integrated in this pack was the Ethiopian Feyisa Woldemikael, debutant at the Marathon with a 62:27 to his credit for the Half Marathon.
Kwalia was the first to be dropped even though the pace remained stable in the significant city centre, while a light drizzle occurred. 10km was making in 30:22, and no change in the group occurred through 15km (45:53) and the Half Marathon (64:43). It was then clear that the race record of 2:09:44 was in danger, as the best passed the halfway point in 1:04:43, about one minute faster than record holder Ethiopian Haile Haja in 2009.
The second pacemaker stopped at 28km, after having passed the 25km in 1:16:16. Just before 30km (1:31:20), Kimayo was dropped, and a few minutes later it was Woldemikaelâ€™s turn to fade. The two remaining runners, Komen and Limo, kept side by side for a couple of metres before Komen insert a speeding up to get a rid of his rival. The leader was now only fighting against the clock (1:45:47 at 35km). Limo placed second in 2:08:38 while Kimayo passed Woldemikael to take third place in 2:10:43.
The womenâ€™s race was highlighted by the runs of three Ethiopians. Wayinshet Abebe Hailu (2:42:57 in 2009) led Ture Chatu (2:38:41 last season) and Marathon debutante Zerfe Boku. The trio divided early from the rest of the field and remained together until the 24th kilometer, after having passed the half-way in 1:16:44. Hailu dropped back and ultimately finished third in 2:38:39. Chatu emerged as the winner in the last couple of kilometer and shattered her personal best with 2:36:04, still far from the race record of Goitetom Haftu (2:28:24). Boku took the second place in 2:36:48.
1. John KOMEN (KEN) 2:07:13
2. Daniel LIMO (KEN) 2:08.39
3. Nahashon KIMAYO (KEN) 2:10:44
4. Feyisa WOLDEMIKAEL (ETH) 2:11:34
5. Nourdine JALAL (MAR) 2:14:23
6. Eliud BARNGETUNY (KEN) 2:19:05
7. Peter KWALIA (KEN) 2:21:48
8. Julien COTTIN (FRA) 2:25:40
9. Victcheslav PRIHOTKO (UKR) 2:28:33
10. Victor ROGOVOY (UKR) 2:28:34
1. Ture CHATU (ETH) 2:36:04
2. Zerfe BOKU (ETH) 2:36:51
3. Wayinshet Abebe HAILU (ETH) 2:38:39
4. Adeline ROCHE (FRA) 2:45:15
5. Kelly CRICKMORE (GBR) 2:51:47
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