The ninth edition of the Maratonina Città di Udine lived up to its reputation as the fastest Half Marathon race in Italy. On a new course Benson Barus, former world junior champion in the 10,000 metres in Annecy 1998, set a new fast PB of 59:41 to win the 9th Udine Half-Marathon on Sunday.
The race is in the Italian town which hosted the 2007 IAAF Road Running World Championships.
For Barus it a new Udine Half Marathon record which improved the previous one set by Patrick Ivuti in 2002 with 59:45.
“I trained very hard in Kenya and I felt ready to tackle this race,” said Barus. “I liked the course and I am very grateful for the support I received along the streets of Udine. My goal was to dip under the one-hour barrier. I am now preparing for the Frankfurt Marathon on 26 October.”
Second was John Kiprotich who also broke the one-hour barrier running an impressive 59:44 also setting a new PB.
“I expected to run this time. Udine was a good test. The race against Barus gave me a strong motivation. I am now training for the marathon which I have never run,” Kiprotich said.
Ethiopian Lilesa Gimecha Feyisa finished third with 1:02:26.
Hungarian Aniko Kalovics took the win in the women’s race in 1:10:08 beating Ethiopian 18-year-old Mare Dibaba (1:10:32 PB). Third was another Ethiopian Masresha Azalech (1:10:35, PB) ahead of Kenyan Hellen Kimutai (1:11:05). Kalovics won the Udine race for the second time in her career after her victory in 2006.
“This is an important win because I did not expect it,” said Kalovics. “I trained very well in St. Moritz to prepare my next Marathon in Venice on 26 October. I will also run the Newcastle Great North Run. I really liked the new course of Udine. The first 10 km were harder, then I ran more relaxed.”
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Benson Barus (Kenya) 59.41
2. John Kiprotich (Kenya) 59.44
3. Lilesa Gemechu Feyisa (Ethiopia) 1:02:26
1. Aniko Kalovics (Hungary) 1:10:08
2. Mare Dibaba (Ethiopia) 1:10:32
3. Masresha Azalesh (Ethiopia) 1:10:35