Olympic Mrathon champion Stefano Baldini of Italy and Hilda Kibet of Kenya ran through the rain and wind - 64F(18C) – to respectively win the men’s and women’s races at the British 10km London Run which was contested on the streets of London today.
However, there was sadness for reigning World Road Running and World Cross Country champion Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands, who had barely started the women’s race before she had to pull out with a calf injury.
Both winners crossed the line today holding an original Olympic Torches from the 1948 London Olympic Games.
Baldini dashed into the lead, maneuvering through Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square with Phil Wicks (GBR) and Simon Tanui (KEN) in tow. Along the Victoria Embankment, these two followed the Italian’s lead, and as Baldini approached Westminister Bridge, Wicks even ran along side and took a slight lead, but before recrossing the bridge, Baldini put the hammer down and opened-up a 15 gap over Wicks, which he held to the finish line.
"I really pushed the first 5km too hard, it was 14.12 through 5k, and then I hit the wind and at 8km, it was really tough going over Westminister Bridge,” said the 36-year-old Baldini who has been struggling to find top fitness and form after his ‘DNF’ at the London Marathon earlier this year.
The women's 10km was expected to be a seesaw between Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands, the World Cross Country and World Road Running champion, Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, the 2003 World Marathon, and Kiplagat's training partner, Hilda Kibet, another Kenyan by birth who has been trying to secure Dutch citizenship this year.
“This will be my last competition prior to the World Championships,” Kiplagat had said just prior to the start but tragedy struck when having run straight into the lead as usual, she pulled off the course with a calf injury after running only about 600 metres.
As such, Kibet found herself in the lead, and led to the finish line never being seriously challenged by Ndereba, who is the reigning World and Olympic marathon silver medallist. Ndereba had suffered a slight hamstring injury back in May, causing her to start slowly in most events.
Hilda passed the 5km mark in 15.55, with Ndereba passing the same location 10 seconds later. Ndereba will go back to Kenya before the Sapporo Half Marathon next weekend in Japan.
Victah Sailer for the IAAF
1.Stefano Baldini (ITA) 29:27
2.Phil Wicks (GBR) 29:33
3.Simon Tonui (KEN) 30:35
1. Hilda Kibet (KEN) 32:34
2. Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 33:11
3. Banuela Katesigwa (TAN) 35:31