BEIJING, China, Nov 4 – Kenya’s duo of Mathews Kisorio and Marius Kimutai were in good form at the Beijing and Hanghzou Marathons respectively this weekend, setting new course records in the Chinese cities.
In Beijing, Kisorio broke away in the final 10 kilometres to rewrite the men’s course record at the IAAF Gold Label road race.
The 30-year-old clocked 2:07:06 to earn his second victory over the classic distance, knocking 10 seconds off the course record set six years ago by Ethiopia’s 2013 world bronze medallist Tadese Tola.
“It is my first time to run in Beijing and I am very happy to win and to break the course record,” said Kisorio, who set his PB of 2:04:53 last year in Valencia. “The weather was fantastic. I expect to come to Beijing again next year.”
Starting under cloudy and drizzling skies with the temperature ranging from 7-10C, the race was fast from the outset. Four runners – Bazu Worku of Ethiopia, Kisorio and his compatriots Emmanuel Rutto and Solomon Kirwa Yego – led the race to 25km.
Worku, a three-time winner of the Houston Marathon, was the first to fade away after 28km, while 36-year-old Rutto quit the title contest after 30km. After another two kilometres, Kisorio broke away from Yego to move into a sole lead.
The 2017 Daegu Marathon winner was well on track to break the course record at 35km, reached in 1:45:10, and kept pushing ahead before hit the line in 2:07:06. Yego trailed by more than two minutes to finish second in 2:09:45. Rutto clocked 2:10:15 to finish third.
-Kimutai triumphs in Hangzhou
In Hangzhou, Pre-race favourite Kimutai lived up to expectations as he improved the course record by nearly half a minute.
The 26-year-old outraced compatriot Stanley Bett in the last kilometre of the race to become the first Bahraini winner in the 33-year history of the event, clocking 2:10:05.
It was Kimutai’s second victory in China this year, having won in Taiyuan in September with 2:09:43. It was also the sixth career marathon title for the 2:05:47 performer, following victories in Rotterdam, Danzhou, Ljubljana and Rennes since debuting over the distance in 2013.
The patient Kimutai bided his time in a crowded leading group in the early stages, passing 10km in 30:52 and 20km in 1:02:31.
The 32-year-old Bett finish second with a personal best of 2:10:12, also finishing inside the course record of 2:10:33 set two years ago by Azmeraw Bekele of Ethiopia. Fellow Kenyan Douglas Kimeli, the runner-up in Hangzhou last year, finished third in 2:11:01, improving his PB by five seconds.
Agnes Jeruto Barsosio of Kenya also confirmed her favourite status in the women’s race, but in a more overwhelming way compared with Kimutai.
The 37-year-old, who owns a PB of 2:20:59 from the 2017 Paris Marathon, built up a comfortable lead soon after the gun and never met any real threat all the way to the finish.
Her winning mark of 2:25:20 was 10 seconds shy of the course record set by Ethiopia’s Hirut Tibebu last year.
Alice Jepkemboi Kimutai, winner of the 2018 Taiyuan Marathon and the 12th-place finisher in Hangzhou last year, clocked a lifetime best of 2:28:14 to take second place. Priscilla Chepatiy, winner of last year’s Wuxi Marathon, clocked 2:36:55 to complete a Kenyan podium sweep.