Milan, ItalyDaniel Too Kiprugut and Irene Kosgei Jerotich took the honours at the Barclays Milano City Marathon which celebrated its 12th edition on a rainy day in Milan (15).
Thirty-three year-old winner smashed his PB lowering it from 2:11:05 to 2:08:39 to take his second marathon win five years after winning at the Colgne Marathon in 2:11:05 (2007). Last year Kiprugut finished third in Milan in 2:12:04 in totally different weather conditions with the temperature rising to over 30° C.
Today three men dipped under 2:09. Nickson Kurgat missed his PB by 7 seconds to finish runner-up in 2:08:43. Last year Kurgat won the Carpi Marathon in 2:08:36. Ethiopian Worku Biru Gemechu, who entered the Milan Marathon with a PB of 2:07:43 set in Tiberiade last January, finished third in 2:08:48.
Irene Jerotich Kosgei won the women’s race in 2:31:07 ahead of Italian Emma Quaglia, who improved her PB by two minutes to 2:31:15.
This year the temperature was ideal for marathon running with a temperature of 9°C. The men’s race set off from the Exposition Ground of Rho-Pero, the venue of the 2015 Expo. A ten-men pack went through 5km in 14:57 and 10km in 30:24. Kenyan pacemakers Joel Kemboi Kimurer and Samuel Kosgei Kiplimo (second in the 25 km all-time world list and former world record holder with 1:11:50) led a group formed by Ethiopian Berhanu Tolcha, Nickson Kurgat, Isiah Kosgei Kiplagat from Bahrain, last year’s Milano Marathon winner Solomon Naibei Busendich, Elijah Kipruto Sang, Worku Gemechu Biru, Daniel Too Kiprugut, and Daniel Abera Wedajo, younger brother of 2000 Olympic champion Gezahegne Abera.
Samuel Kosgei kept the pace ahead of a ten man group until halfway which was reached in 1:04:30. After Kosgei dropped out of the race, the leading group whittled down to seven men: Kiprugut, Kurgat, Gemechu, Tolcha, Sang, Busendich Naibei, Isiah Kosgei who reached the 30 km in 1:31:54. Brazilian Frank Caldeira, who chased the Olympic qualifying standard for London 2012, led the chasing group in 1:33:43.
The race really hotted-up at 32 km when Gemechu, Kiprugut, Kurgat and Busendich broke away from Sang and Tolcha. Three kilometres later Kurgat, Too and Gemechu changed gear, dropping Busendich Naibei.
After going through the 35 mark in 1:47:03, the race developed into a three-men battle between Gemechu, Too and Kurgat.
Gemechu and Kiprugut launched their attack at 39km pulling away a little from Kurgat. With the eventual winner unleashing his decisive kick with one kilometre to go, coming home in 2:08:39.
In the final km Kurgat held off Gemechu by five seconds in the final straight in Piazza Castello in 2:08:43.
“The course was slippery. There was a lot of rain but I managed to push the pace in the final km to take the win. Rain prevented me from running the time I wanted but I achieved the goal to win a big marathon as I set when I started running a long time ago”, said Daniel Too Kiprugut.
Caldeira was the first non-African runner in sixth place in 2:12:03.
Four women formed the leading group who went through the 10km in 35:35 and 21km in 1:15:03. They were Italian Emma Quaglia, Irene Kosgei, Nebiat Habtemariam and Ethiopian Etea Emebt Bedada.
At 30km Kosgei dropped Quaglia and Bedada by 8 seconds (1:46:58 to 1:47:06). Quaglia reduced her gap to five seconds at 33 km and managed to catch up with the Kenyan at 35 km which was reached in 2:05:07.
Kosgei, the Commonwealth Games champion and winner at the Nairobi Marathon (PB of 2:28:57), pulled away at 39 km in Parco Sempione and crossed the finish-line in 2:31:07.
Quaglia, who ran her previous PB of 2:33:23 at the Hannover Marathon last May, improved her PB with 2:31:15 despite a motorbike accident in her native city Genova a couple of days ago.
“I feel more confident after this win. I prepared well for this race. I was not used to rainy weather but at the end I managed to overcome this problem”, said Kosgei.
“My aim was to finish in the top three. Then I saw I was second and I had a try. This result shows that the work I did in Kenya with Claudio Berardelli’s group is paying off. I can run under 2:30 in the future, said Quaglia.
The Milano City Marathon is becoming more popular. A total of 13569 runners took part in the Marathon and the Relay Marathon. The Relay, which involved 2103 teams with a total of 8412 participants made up of former and present athletes, football players, journalists and other popular personalities, is aimed at raising funds for charity organization. This year Olympic 50 km walking race champion Alex Schwazer ran a leg of the relay with his training partners Matteo Giupponi and Diego Cafagna and his coach Michele Didoni. The Milano City Marathon was held on a Green Sunday a car-free day promoted by the City Council of Milan and this has contributed to the success of this edition.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Results from the Barclays Milano City Marathon:
1 Daniel Too Kiprugut (Kenya) 2:08:39
2 Nickson Kurgat (Kenya) 2:08:43
3 Worku Gemechu Biru (Ethiopia) 2:08:48
4 Elijah Sang Kipruto (Kenya) 2:11:44
5 Berhanu Tolcha (Ethiopia) 2:11:54
6 Frank Caldeira (Brazil) 2:12:03
7 Mokraji Lancen (Morocco) 2:14:13
8 Alcelmo Desousa Damiao (Brazil) 2:14:14
1 Irene Kosgei Jerotich (Kenya) 2:31:07
2 Emma Quaglia (Italy) 2:31:15
3 Nebiat Habtemariam (Eritrea) 2:38:09
4 Emebt Etea Bedada (Ethiopia) 2:42:02
5 Esther Hidalgo (Spain) 2:42:25