Hillary Kipchumba became the sixth consecutive Kenyan winner of the Vidovdan Road Race on Saturday (22), but searing temperatures of 37°C in the Bosnian town of Brcko put paid to any fast times at the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race.
Eritrea’s Samson Gezahai was the early leader and went through half way in 14:58, leading by nine seconds ahead of Kipchumba with Ethiopia’s Tolossa Chengere a further eight seconds back.
But 20-year-old Kipchumba caught Gezahai in the second half and went on to build up a comfortable lead. He crossed the finish line in 29:16, which broke his previous 10km best of 29:19, although earlier this year at the Lago Maggiore Half Marathon, he passed through 10km in 28:35.
Only three other men have posted faster winning times in Brcko. Gezahai finished second in 29:23, more than a minute ahead of Chengere (30:36).
It was Kipchumba’s third international 10km victory, having also won in Oslo and Crevillente in 2011.
The women’s race was much closer. Eritrea’s Letekidan Hailemariam was neck-and-neck with Tanzania’s Mary Naali for much of the race, both passing through half way in 17:28.
The pace increased slightly in the second half, and it was Hailemariam who had the edge at the end, winning in 34:43. Hailemariam, winner of the Shanghai Half Marathon last December, is the first Eritrean athlete, man or woman, to win in Brcko.
Naali, meanwhile, finished just one second behind in 34:44. The fact it was almost two minutes shy of her 32:53 personal best was another sign of the tough conditions.
Hungary’s Zita Kacser, the 2009 national 10,000m champion, was third in 36:17.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF