Hungary’s Aniko Kalovics, who ran the first marathon of her career, smashed the national record with 2:26:43 winning the Maratona d’Italia Memorial Enzo Ferrari from Maranello to Carpi one week after finishing eleventh in the IAAF World Road Running Championships in Debrecen in 66:20 (also a national record) in the 20 km. Rosaria Console crossed the finish-line in 2:28:48 bouncing back from her disappointment in the European Championshps in Gothenburg where she fell because she was obstructed in the mid of the race, an accident which forced her to drop out. Vincenza Sicari, who used Carpi as a test before the Florence Marathon on 26 November, ended the race in third place in 2:37:00.
Kenyan David Kemboi Kiyeng took a dramatic win beating his compatriot David Omiti Makori prevailing by just one second in 2:10:07 after a very close battle to the finish-line in Piazza Martiri in Carpi. Hillary Korir and Henry Serem also dipped under 2:11 finishing third in 2:10:16 and fourth in 2:10:59 respectively.
Gun-to-tape for Kalovics
Kalovics set a fierce pace from the beginning of the race aided by her fiancé and coach Zsolt Zsoder, a former triathlete, who paced her in the first half of the race.
The runner from Szombately, who won the Stramilano and the Udine Half Marathons this year, won a “gun-to-tape race” in which she ran at a sub-2:27 pace for most of the competition. The Hungarian star built up a three-second gap on Rosaria Console by 10 km (34:48 to 34:51), and upped the lead to 20 seconds at 15 km (52:07) and to 39 seconds at halfway (1:13:15).
In the second half Kalovics still had the strength to keep a steady pace which enabled her to increase her gap to 1:29 over Console at 40 km (2:19:16 to 2:20:45). For Kalovics it was the second best time ever recorded in Carpi after Maria Guida’s course record (2:25:57) set in 1999.
“The race was very good,” said Kalovics. “I did not feel tired after Debrecen. I am very happy after running my second Hungarian record in one week. I am planning to run the European Cross Country Championships in San Giorgio su Legnano on 10 December. But my future is the marathon. I will run a second marathon next spring in Italy.”
Console finished her first marathon race of the year after pulling out of Rome and Gothenburg in a confidence-boosting 2:28:48, the third best time of her career: She set her PB in Paris in 2003 where she ran 2:27:48. Console is married to Italian marathon Daniele Caimmi who is scheduled to run in Venice next week against Italian top runner Alberico Di Cecco.
The Italian was also delighted with her second place. “I am fully satisfied because I prepared for this marathon in a short period of time after falling in Gothenburg,” said Console. “This accident let me down but I knew that I was in good form and I worked well.”
Men’s race - Kiyeng in a nail-biter
The men’s race was launched at a fast pace by a big group of eleven Kenyans and one Ethiopian who passed the first 10 km in 30:13 over a slightly downhill section of the course from Maranello. Former European 10,000 metres and junior Cross Country champion Vasyl Matvichuk of Ukraine was dropped by 42 seconds by the leading group.
Pacemaker Jackson Kirwa set a fast pace running 15 km in 45:20 in a big leading group which still included 12 men. Favourites David Kiyeng and David Makori ran in the front reaching the halfway mark in 1:04:13, well inside a final sub 2:10 time, while Matvichuk was 32 seconds behind the Kenyans. Kirwa accomplished his pacemaking task at 25 km after passing in 1:31:50. At this point eight men remained in contention for the victory.
Kiyeng pushed at 35 km pulling away from Makori and built a gap of 21 seconds by 40 km.
The victory seemed to be in the hands of Kiyeng but with 2 km to go Makori dramatically closed the gap on the fading Kiyeng who continued to turn around to see Makori catching up. First place was under threat but Kyieng found the strength to save the win in the final metres.
Kiyeng improved his previous PB to 2:10:07. For Makori the Carpi race marked a good return to form after a career blighted by injuries which followed his victory in the 2002 Venice Marathon in 2:08:49.
“I was worried when I saw Makori getting closer,” admitted Kiyeng. The 23-year-old Kenyan comes from Marakwet but he is guided by Italian coach Claudio Berardelli. He began running only two years ago and made his debut over the Marathon distance this year. He ran his PB 2:11:42 in Prague last May.
Dorando Pietri celebrations
Carpi is set to celebrate the century anniversary of Italian marathon legend Dorando Pietri in 2008. Pietri began the proud Italian marathon tradition in the 1908 Olympic Games in London where he entered the stadium first but exhausted by his efforts. Watched by 80,000 spectators he turned the wrong way. He collapsed but was helped to his feet by officials. He fell three more times before crossing the finish-line 32 seconds ahead of the next finishing runner. He was disqualified for receiving assistance but his name has remained in the athletics history books. He was presented with a gold cup by the Queen Alexandra of England. To mark an important stage in the preparation for the one hundredth anniversary celebrations all runners wore a special bib 19, the same number used by Dorando Pietri in his famous London race in 1908.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Results of the Maratona d’Italia Memorial Enzo Ferrari in Carpi:
1. David Kemboi Kiyeng (Kenya) 2:10:07
2. David Omiti Makori (Kenya) 2:10:08
3. Hillary Korir (Kenya) 2:10:16
4. Henry Serem (Kenya) 2:10:59
5. Vasyl Matvichuk (Ukraine) 2:13:07
6. Solomon Rotich (Kenya) 2:14:01
7. Stanley Biwott (Kenya) 2:14:24
8. Julius Choge (Kenya) 2:14:55
1. Aniko Kalovics (Hungary) 2:26:43
2. Rosalba Console (Italy) 2:28:48
3. Vincenza Sicari (Italy) 2:37:00