Eindhoven, The NetherlandsGeoffrey Mutai scored his second consecutive victory at the 26th edition of the Eindhoven Marathon on Sunday (11).
Four days after his 28th birthday the Kenyan won the race in an impressive 2:07:01 bettering the course record he set last year with a time of 2:07:50. Mutai thanked his course record due to a very fast final stage where he was forced to run solo. He clocked a very fast five kilometres between 35 and 40 kms with 14:24.
The women’s race was won by 28-year-old Namibian Beata Naigambo in a personal best of 2:31:01.
The weather in Eindhoven, in the south of The Netherland, was not ideal with strong wind along several parts of the fast course. The temperature was around thirteen degrees under weak sunshine.
Mutai: 'I know I can be faster than this'
From the start of the men's race there was a leading pack of more than 20 runners led by six pacemakers. They covered the first five kilometres in 15:09, and went through 10Km in 30:13. With a good pace and most of the leaders still in contentions, the midway point was passed in four seconds under 1:04:00.
At 25 Km (1:16:09) the lead group began to splinter. Mutai was running behind the pace makers at the front of the lead group which was reduced to 10 - Mutai, Philip Kimutai Sanga, Joseph Ngeny, Samson Barmao, Jonathan Kosgei Kipkorir, James Rotich, Kenai Kiprotich Kenei, Jacob Kitur, Philip Kanda (all Kenya) and Ethiopian Gebreselassie Tsegay.
With a five kilometres split of just over 15 minutes (15:03) the 30 kilometres was passed in 1:31:12. Five kilometres further on (1:46:32), with the last two pacemakers, Jonathan Keiyo and Josphat Kamzee leaving the race, Mutai accelerated and within a few hundred metres he opened a huge gap.
The following group broke rapidly and at the 40 kilometre marker, which Mutai passed in 2:00:56, his nearest opponents Ngeny (2:01:41) and Sanga (2:01:45) were well back. With strong strides Mutai went on and he was informed he could break the course record and his personal best. With 6:05 for the final 2195 metres he finished in 2:07:01.
Philip Kimutai Sanga and Joseph Ngeny, who eventually finally finished second (2:08:07) and third (2:08:10), both set huge personal best times.
In total nine runners broke 2:10:00.
Mutai said he was never in doubt about breaking his course record and personal best.
“I always start rather slow,” Mutai said. “I do that in training also. In the end I accelerate. I did it here too and with success. I hope to run a marathon in the future with stronger opponents. I know I can be faster than this.''
Namibian Beata Naigambo, won the women's race in 2:31:01, a personal best. Kenyan Lydia Kurgat, who won in Eindhoven two years ago, finished second in 2:31:26, also a personal best.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Geoffrey Mutai, KEN 2:07:01 PB course record old Mutai 2:07:50 2008
2. Philip Kimutai Sanga, KEN 2:08:17 PB
3. Josephy Ngeny, KEN 2:08:10 PB
4. Samson Barmao, KEN 2:09:20
5. Jonathan Kosgei Kipkorir, KEN 2:09:22
6. David Tarus Kiptui, KEN 2:09:24 PB
7. James Rotich , KEN 2:09:33
8. Kenai Kiprotich Kenei, KEN 2:09:34
9. Tsegay Gebreselassie, ETH 2:09:44 PB
10. Jacob Kitur, KEN 2:11:40
11. David Njagi, KEN 2:11:47 debut
12. Philip Kanda, KEN 2:11:53 PB
13. Stanley Rono, KEN 2:12:10
14. Hilary Bett, KEN 2:13:51
15. John Kirui, KEN 2:14:02
16. Hans Janssens, BEL 2:15:26 PB
17. Julius Muriuki, KEN 2:15:53
18. David Kipkorir Rutoh, KEN 2:16:43
19. Ben Kimutai Kimwole, KEN 2:16:46
20. Artur Kozlowski, POL 2:16:58 debut
21. Eric Gerome, BEL 2:19:40
22. Chris Kipyego, KEN 2:19:49
23. Caleb Kipkemoi Kosgei, KEN 2:19:50
24. Guy Fays, BEL 2:20:59
25. Stijn Fincioen, BEL 2:24:15
1. Beata Naigambo, NAM 2:31:01 PB
2. Lydia Kurgat, KEN 2:31:26 PB
3. Virginie Van Droogenbroeck, BEL 2:43:48 PB
4. Inge van Bergen, NED 2:44:07 PB
5. Ingrid Prigge, NED 2:44:19
6. Mounia Aboulahcen, BEL 2:44:40
7. Veerle d'Haese, BEL 2:48:20
8. Ann Parmentier, BEL 2:50:06