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Chirchir wins Dam tot Damloop road race

Evaline Chirchir wins the Dam tot Damloop

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – One week after setting a big PB at the Copenhagen Half Marathon, Kenya’s Evaline Chirchir clinched the Dam tot Damloop title on Sunday, finishing just one second shy of the long-standing course record at the IAAF Silver Label road race.

The first three finishers are awarded bonuses of Sh 571,000 (€5000), Sh 399,000 (€3500) and Sh 285,000 (€2500) respectively.

In sunny and warm weather (16-18C) with relatively low humidity and a moderate tailwind, Chirchir ran with compatriot Irene Cheptai and Israel’s Dagnechew Selamawit to break away as a lead trio.

Chirchir reached the finish line in Zaandam in 50:32, three seconds ahead of Cheptai. Selamawit was third in 50:48. Chirchir narrowly missed out on breaking the 50:31 course record set back in 1987 by Norwegian distance legend Ingrid Kristiansen.

Chirchir’s winning performance is the third-fastest time ever recorded by a woman over 10 miles, but the point-to-point course means times aren’t record-eligible.

Half way through the men’s race, Ethiopia’s Solomon Berihu, Kenya’s John Langat and Uganda’s Joel Ayeko detached themselves from the rest of the lead pack. Berihu accelerated at 12km and broke away from Langat and Ayeko.

In the hunt to be the overall first finisher, Berihu wasn’t close to catching Chirchir, who finished 1:21 ahead of the Ethiopian, but he was a comfortable winner of the men’s title in 45:49. Langat was second in 46:20 and Ayeko third in 46:40.

The bonuses for the first three overall finishers went to the top three women.

Mohamed Ali was the first Dutch finisher, clocking 46:51. Michel Butter, who is currently preparing for the New York City Marathon on 3 November when he hopes to finish in a qualifying spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was 13th in 48:59.

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