NAIROBI, Kenya, November 17- London Marathon champion, Mary Keitany blasted to victory in the Ras-Al-Khaimah Half Marathon women’s race as teenager Dennis Kipruto completed the Kenyan double in the UAE on Friday.
Keitany, the defending champion who set the 1:05:50 world half marathon record at the same event last year breast the tape in 1:06:42 that was still a commanding 2:24 seconds ahead of compatriot and second placed Georgina Rono who timed 1:09:06.
The winner went after her record for the first 10km (31:09 which is 65:43 10km pace) but ended up settling for a dominant win in a time that is still the eighth fastest ever.
Gladys Cherono arrived home in 1:09:06 to seal the podium sweep with Boston Marathon titleholder, Caroline Kilel (1:11:15), and Rose Chelimo (1:11:24) trailing each other for sixth and seventh to impose their nation’s dominance of the race.
Keitany who is in the probable Olympics Marathon squad is keen to defend her London title in April in addition to fighting for one of the three slots available for the Summer Games.
Kipruto, 17, a training partner of pre-race favourite the Boston and New York Marathon champion, Geoffrey Mutai, ran away with the headlines when he stopped the clock in 1:00:04.
The winner who came in with a 1:01:30 half-marathon career best left with a win and a new all time best to lead Ethiopia’s Azmeraw Bekele by 8 seconds while Mutai did not feature in the top ten.
Frankfurt Marathon titleholder, Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich, who ran 2:03:42 last fall, was third in 1:00:55 with Bernard Kipyego (1:01:23/fourth), Kiplimo Kimutai (1:01:57/seventh) and Levy Matebo (1:02:08/eighth) the other Kenyans in the top ten.
– Results sourced from Letsrun.com