Olympic Marathon silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo prevails in women’s race.
The weather was warm, but Kenyans Martin Lel and Priscah Jeptoo were the ones who turned up the heat at this morning’s Vodafone Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon RTP in Lisbon.
Running in very warm conditions that reached near 80 degrees by the race’s end, Lel outlasted countryman Albert Matebor by 10 seconds to win in 1 hour, 1 minute and 28 seconds, while Jeptoo dominated, winning by 58 seconds over Margaret Muriuki in 1:10:32.
A group of eight hit the 10K mark in 29:13, with that pack dwindling down to six by 15K. Lel, a three-time winner at the London Marathon and twice the New York champion, made his decisive break with one kilometer to go, stepping on the gas to pull away from Matebor, who ran a personal best of 1:01:38.
“This course is marvelous, totally flat, we can achieve great performances here, but this wasn’t that day,” Lel said after the race. “I thought the other runners made it harder for me, but all of them didn’t understand the weather very well.”
Titus Masai, also of Kenya, finished third in 1:01:49. Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia, who recently captured bronze in the 10,000m at the Olympics, finished sixth in his half-marathon debut, running 1:02:49.
In the women’s race, Kenyans Jeptoo and Muriuki battled alongside 2004 Olympic Marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi of Japan. Then Jeptoo, the silver medalist in the marathon in London, broke the race open, stretching her lead all the way to the finish line to finish only six seconds behind her personal best.
“I felt the hot weather, and ran cautiously, because of a lack of training sessions,” Jeptoo said. “I never expected to win today, but this flat course is marvelous and I could run faster than I thought I might.”
Portugal’s Ana Dulce Felix finished third in 1:12:12.
Vodafone Rock ‘n’ Roll Portugal Half Marathon TRP Results
1. Martin Lel KEN 1:01:28
2. Albert Matebor KEN 1:01:38
3. Titus Masai KEN 1:01:49
4. Cybrian Kotut KEN 1:02:25
5. Cuthbert Nyasango ZIM 1:02:26
6. Tariku Bekele ETH 1:02:59
7. Silas Sang KEN 1:04:21
8. Jacob Kintra ETH 1:04:30
1. Priscah Jeptoo KEN 1:10:32
2. Margaret Muriuki KEN 1:11:28
3. Ana Dulce Felix POR 1:12:12
4. Mizuki Noguchi JPN 1:12:20
5. Leonor Carneiro POR 1:13:49
6. Sara Moreira POR 1:15:43
7. Sandra Teixeira POR 1:19:18
8. Anália Rosa POR 1:19:25