Kipsang breaks 2:05 barrier to win the overall title.
Written by: David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
The course records for both men and women were smashed at Sunday’s Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon, and Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang became history’s eighth man to break the 2:05 barrier with his 2:04:57 winning time.
Behind four Kenyan pacemakers –Eric Ndiema, Julius Arile, Lani Rutto, and Allan Kiprono– Kipsang was part of a big lead pack which hit the halfway mark in 1:02:38. Kiprono and Ndiema were still pacing through 30 km (1:29:12), and eight men were still in contention: Kenyans Kipsang, Francis Kiprop, Elijah Keitany, Philip Sanga, and Elias Chelimo; Ethiopians Tadese Tola and Terefe Maregu; and Ugandan Daniel Chepyegon.
But the race broke up in the next five kilometers after the pacemakers retired. Kipsang and Tola split the 30 to 35K segment in 14:47 and both Maregu and Sanga managed to remain just steps behind them. Kipsang kept the pressure on, running a sparkling 14:46 for the next 5K, leaving Tola 43 seconds behind. It was a solo run from there to victory for Kipsang, and he crushed Gilbert Kirwa’s one year-old course record of 2:06:14 by more than a minute. Tola was able to hold on for second place in 2:06:31 –a personal best– Chelimo got third in 2:07:04, and Sanga fourth in 2:07:11.
In the women’s race –which did not have the benefits of pacemaking– three athletes ran aggressively from the start: Kenya’s Caroline Cheptonui Kilel, and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba and Dire Tune. They covered the first half of the course in 1:10:59, more than a minute ahead of their nearest chasers, the Netherlands’s Hilda Kibet and Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop. The leading trio stayed together through 35K (1:58:37), before Kilel managed to gain a ten-second advantage on Tune by running from 35 to 40K in 17:13. Kilel expanded her margin to 19 seconds by the finish to clock a course record and personal best 2:23:25, toppling Alevtina Biktimirova’s 2:25:12 Frankfurt record from 2005. Tune clocked 2:23:44 –a personal best by about a minute– and Kiprop got third in 2:24:07, also a career best. The Kenyan-born Swede, Isabellah Andersson, broke her own national record in fourth (2:25:10), and Dibaba finished fifth.
Kipsang’s victory was the 39th by a Kenyan man this fall marathon season, and his win marked the third performance under 2:05 this year, the first time in history that three men have broken that mark in one calendar year.