Report Turin, Italy

Cherop and Terer dominate in Turin

Sharon Cherop winning in Turn (Giancarlo Colombo)Sharon Cherop winning in Turn (Giancarlo Colombo) © Copyright

18 November 2012 – Turin, Italy - Kenyans Sharon Cherop and Patrick Terer took the honours at the 26th edition of the Turin Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday.

Cherop, the World Championships bronze medallist in Daegu 2011 and this year’s Boston Marathon winner, had originally planned to run the New York City Marathon on 4 November but was forced to change her plans after the Big Apple event was cancelled due to the Hurricane Sandy.

Cherop smashed the course record clocking 2:23:57 in a high quality women’s race where six women dipped under 2:30. Dutchwoman Hilda Kibet and Italian record holder Valeria Straneo, who had originally planned to run in New York, finished second and third respectively in 2:25:46 and 2:27:04. Ethiopian Derbe Gebissa Godana also set her PB clocking 2:27:32 to finish fourth ahead of Italian Emma Quaglia who smashed the 2:30 barrier for the first time with 2:28:15.

Patrick Terer, who has an 8:13 PB in the 3000m Steeplechase, made his debut over the Marathon distance with a win in the men’s race in 2:10:34. Kenya claimed a podium sweep with Daniel Rono, runner-up in 2:11:40 and Jackson Kirwa, third in 2:13:29.

Women’s race -

Cherop and Straneo ran side by side going through first half in 1:12:42 with a gap of six seconds over Kibet. At 22 km Cherop made her first attempt to break away from Straneo but the Italian did not give up and managed to catch up with the Kenyan.

Cherop pushed the pace and opened up a gap of 20 seconds over Straneo after 21 kilometres which she increased to one minute at 30 km (1:42:57). Cherop went through 35 km in 2:00:01.

This was the third Marathon this year for Straneo after her Italian record (2:23:44) set in Rotterdam and her eighth place at the London Olympics and this took its toll at 35 km when she was overtaken by Kibet.

“I felt too tired at the end but I am happy because I have not run in a Marathon on Italian soil for a long time,” Straneo said. “A lot of people supported me along the course. I need to recharge the batteries after a very long and busy season. Next year I will take part in some 10,000m and Half Marathons and I will run only one Marathon, either the World Championships in Moscow or in 2013 autumn.”

Cherop increased her pace and carved out a comfortable gap of 1:35 and romped home in 2:23:57, 1:18 off her lifetime best of 2:22:39 set in Dubai last January. Cherop smashed the previous Turin Marathon record of 2:26:22 set in 2009.

“My preparation was focused on the New York Marathon,” said Cherop. “The day the New York Marathon was cancelled Turin became a good option. I am happy because I ran a negative split running the second half faster than the first 21 km. I wanted to run under 2:23 but yesterday I realized that it was a risk to pursue a sub-2:23 time and I ran for victory.”

Kibet, a former European Cross Country champion and 2:24:27 Marathoner, chose to follow her own pace and this tactic paid off. “When I saw that 15-K was too fast I let Sharon go and I did not follow her. After 21-K I saw that Straneo did not respond to Sharon’s pace and at 35 km I caught up to her.”

Emma Quaglia, former Italian 3000, Steeplechase record holder, improved her PB from 2:31:15 (Milan 2012) to 2:28:15. “I did not expect to improve my career best by three minutes. I hope this time will be enough to run at the World Championships in Moscow next summer,” said Quaglia, a graduate in medicine at the University of Genova.

Men’s race -

The men’s race set off at a conservative pace with 10km and 15km splits of 31:10 and 46:10. Italian Stefano Scaini set the early pace in the lead group which featured Kenyans Patrick Terer, Daniel Rono, Jackson Kirwa, Nicholas Koech and Andrew Ben Kimtai and Erre Seboka Nugusse from Ethiopia.

The race really heated up at 18 km when a quartet formed by Terer, Kimtai, Kirwa and Seboka broke away. They went through the halfway mark in 1:04:25 while Rono led the chasing group 31 seconds behind.

Kirwa, who entered the race with a 2:10:35 PB, pushed the pace and broke away from Terer and Erre carving out a gap of 18 seconds thanks to 2:54 split at 30 km (1:31:17 at 30 km) which he increased to 33 seconds at 34 km and 38 seconds at 37 km.

The effort took its toll on Kirwa who was caught by Terer who overtook him at 39 km. Kirwa continued to struggle and was forced to stop because of an upset stomach for a minute and a half before re-starting. He was overhauled by Rono who chose to run his own race and his tactic was rewarded by a second place in 2:11:40.

Terer, a World junior bronze medallist in the 3000m Steeplechase in 2008, romped home in 2:10:34 with a gap of 1:06 over Rono. Kirwa’s struggles continued but he managed to keep his third place in 2:13:29.

“I come from Steeplechase and I ran my first Marathon, said Terer. “I started training for marathon quite by chance when I asked my coach to start training for Turin.”

Rono chose a more conservative tactic when he saw that his pace was too fast. “I decided to follow my own pace and at the end I felt better and I pushed at the end and I managed to close the gap,” said Rono who entered the Turin race with a 2:06:58 PB set in Rotterdam in 2006.

Kirwa admitted that he could have fought for the win had he had not been hit by stomach problems. “Without the physical problem I could have won. I began feeling it at 35 km and I had to stop and sit down before re-starting again.”

No less than 4000 runners toed the starting line from Piazza San Carlo. The Turin Marathon also featured the Stratorino and the Junior Marathon for children. Each of these popular events attracted 10,000 participants.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

Leading Results:

Men -

1 Patrick Kerer (Kenya) 2:10:34

2 Daniel Rono (Kenya) 2:11:40

3 Jackson Kirwa (Kenya) 2:13:29

4 Niguse Erre Seboka (Ethiopia) 2:14:48

5 Ahmed Nasef (Morocco) 2:15:13

6 Nicholas Koech (Kenya) 2:15:35

7 Stefano Scaini (Italy) 2:16:26

8 Flavio Andrade (Brazil) 2:17:58

Women -

1 Sharon Cherop (Kenya) 2:23:57

2 Hilda Kibet (Netherlands) 2:25:46

3 Valeria Straneo (Italy) 2:27:04

4 Godana Derbe Gebissa (Ethiopia) 2:27:32

5 Emma Quaglia (Italy) 2:28:15

6 Milka Kipkeror (Kenya) 2:29:33