NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – Kenya’s long-distance great Vivian Cheruiyot on Sunday grabbed the headlines by winning her first career marathon at Frankfurt, clocking 2:23:35 to break her Personal Best of 2:23:50.
Cheruiyot’s landmark winning saw a Kenyan reclaim the women’s title for the first time since 2013 when Caroline Kilel won it and end the three year Ethiopian dominance.
Cheruiyot made her Marathon debut in London in April this year where she finished fourth in 2:23:50 after smoothly transiting from track to road running, just a year after winning her first ever Olympic title in the 5000m in Rio Summer Games.
Entering the Frankfurt Marathon, the 34-year-old had a target of breaking the course record of 2:21:01 set by Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu five years ago, but the script did not go according to her will as she missed it by 2 minutes and 32 seconds.
“Winning here has boosted my confidence. It was very windy. My body is small and running was hard. I had to knuckle down and thought I could run 2:20. But I am happy with my time. I’m still new to the marathon and can improve,” Cheruiyot said.
Cheruiyot was the favourite being the first Olympic champion to ever compete in the Frankfurt Marathon and she started by building a considerable lead, passing the 5km mark in 16:45, opening a 25 second lead ahead of the pack following her.
With the pace setters doing a great job as they were tasked to run 1:10:00 by halfway to be in the bracket of smashing the course record, Cheruiyot ran her own race, passing 10km in 33:25.
At halfway, Cheruiyot running in a big group of pace setters clocked 70:07 and she looked strong going on to pass the 25km in 1:23:20 despite the windy conditions.
She was 2:30 minutes ahead of a group of five, passing the 30km mark in 1:40:14, slightly inside the course record but she was out of gas, slowing down at 35km in a split time of 1:40:14 to make it impossible for her to break the course record.
However, she went on to make history by winning the race in style by obliterating her Personal Best time of 2:23:50 she ran in London on her debut, lowering it by 25 seconds.