Eindhoven, The NetherlandsFor Kenyan Willy Cheruiyot the streets through the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven are quite familiar. Following wins in 2000, 2002 and 2003 the 37 year old Kenyan was again the fastest in the 21st edition of the event which was held today.
Near to course record
Cheruiyot clocked a winning time of 2:09:20 missing the course record he set a year ago with a mere fifteen seconds. The experienced East African was in the leading group from the beginning. After 39 kilometres he left his last opponents, compatriots Philip Singoei and Barbabas Koech, who finished second and third nearly a minute behind.
Eindhoven, the third top international marathon in The Netherlands behind Rotterdam and Amsterdam (which will be run next Sunday), hoped to have a new course record under 2:09:00, and from the beginning it looked as this wish would be fulfilled.
Directly after the start an eighteen men strong group formed which covered the first five kilometres in 15.14. At 10 kilometres (30.15) the leaders were down to twelve with Cheruiyot, Vincent Kipsos, Robert Cheruiyot, Barnabas Koech, Singoei, Abdelkadir Lamachi and Sammy Rotich (both running their first marathon) and the pacemakers Musa Cherotich, John Kipchumba, Timothy Simatna, Mark Tanui (all Kenya) and Dimitri Baranovski (Ukraine). The latter was doing most of the work and he brought the group through 15 and 20 kilometres in resp. 45.25 and 1:00:59.
Winner struggles at 32km
At half way (1:04:05) as Baranovski, Tanui and Simatna stopped their pacing and the runners were entering the second lap of the course it became clear a sub 2:09:00 was going to be very difficult. The cold wind on the sunny course, lined with thousands of spectators, was growing stronger. Kipsos and Rotich could not follow any longer.
However, coming from behind was the strong looking Tom van Hooste of Belgium was coming, and while seven leaders passed 25 kilometres in 1.16.20, shortly after passing this point Van Hooste succeded to joining them.
At the 30k point (1.32.10) Cheruiyot, Singoei and Koech were the three clear leaders, and around 32 kms it looked as Cheruiyot might not be able to follow any longer, as he lost about 20 metres before recovering. The three passed 35 kms in 1.47.06.
Singoei who was struggling lost contact at 37 kms and soon after that it was clear that Koech also was not able to follow the three times winner, and in the final stage he slowed so much that Singoei passed him to take second place.
Women's race - van der Sluijs' victory
The women’s race was won by Dutch women Annelieke van der Sluijs who ran the first loop of the course with Fatiha Baouf of Belgium but had to fight the wind in the second lap alone.
She clocked a winning time of 2.37.33 and finished 25th overall. Baouf running her first marathon was timed at 2.39.41. Another Dutchwomen, Sandra ter Horst, finished third bettering her personal best with over two minutes to 2.46.11. There were no other women under three hours.
Wim Van Hemert for the IAAF
1. Willy Cheruiyot (Ken) 2:09:20
(fourth win at Eindhoven after 2000, 2002 and 2003)
2. Philip Singoei (Ken) 2:10:07
3. Barnabas Koech (Ken) 2:10:19
4. Robert Cheruiyot (Ken) 2:12:12
5. Vincent Kipsos (Ken) 2:13:52
6. Sammy Rotich (Ken) 2:14:03
7. Tom van Hooste (Bel) 2:14:08
8. Abdelkadir Lamachi (Mar) 2:14.55
9. Chadli Moulay Tahar (Mar) 2:15:47
10. Boubker El Afoui (Mar) 2:15.58
1. Annelieke van der Sluijs (Ned) 2:37:33
2. Fatiha Baouf (Bel) 2:39:41
3. Sandra ter Horst (Ned) 2:46:11