In cool and rather windy conditions, the 31st edition of the ING Amsterdam Marathon ended with a double Kenyan victory. Solomon Busendich was the men's winner in 2:08:52 and compatriot Rose Cheruiyot, running her second 42.195m race was the fastest woman in 2:28:26. While the 22-year old Busendich outsprinted compatriot Bernard Barmasai by two seconds in the final 200 metres on the track of Amsterdam's 1928 Olympic Stadium, the 30-year-old Cheruiyot, a mother of three, was nearly half a minute ahead of compatriot Helena Loshanyang (2:28:51).
Last year the ING Amsterdam marathon produced the year's fastest performance, with Haile Gebrselassie's 2:06:20. Although the Amsterdam organisers hoped for a repetition of a very fast time the cold eastern wind was too strong an opponent for the nearly 8000 marathoners.
In the men's race, a large group including four pacemakers passed the first five kilometres marker in 15:03. The leading group somehow stayed together and passed 10 and 15 kilometres in 30:25 and 45:20 respectively. Along the river Amstel a group of of ten passed 20 kms in 1:00:22. Halfway (1:03:56) three pacemakers led a group of six (Busendich, Barmasai, Francis Kiprop, Fabian Joseph, Patrick Ivuti and Stanley Leleito). The group broke after 25 kms (1:16:13). With pacemaker Emanuel Mutai doing the forcing there were four - Barmasai, Joseph, Busendich and Leleito - left at 30 kms (1:31:44). Around the 32nd kilometre Mutai pressed again and Leleito and Joseph began to fall back. Just after 35 kms (1:46:54) Maurai stopped making the pace and Busendich and Barmasai were left alone. The two stayed together till they entered the stadium where Busendich ousprinted the former World recordholder in the 3000m Seeplechase.
Busendich, who ran his third race of the year after Half-Marathons in The Hague and Rotterdam in The Netherlands, was very happy with his victory.
"I was a little bit afraid for the last kilometres as this was my first marathon. The last five kilometres were indeed difficult. The course is fast but most of the race the wind was heavy."
In the women's race, Cheruiyot was in the lead from the beginning. At the halfway point she clocked 1:12:34 along with Ethiopian Gishu Mindaye. The two were followed by Helena Loshanyang and Emily Kimuria, who were five seconds back. Between 25 and 30 kms Cheruiyot broke away and after that was never in danger.
NB: This was not technically Solomon Busendich's marathon debut; he started but did not finish the 2005 ING New York City Marathon. This was the first marathon he finished.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
1. Solomon Busendich (Ken) 2:08:52 (debut)
2. Bernard Barmasai (Ken) 2:08:54
3. Getuli Bayo (Tan) 2:10:47
4. Stanley Leleito (Ken) 2:11:17
5. Vanderlei Lima (Bra) 2:11:36
6. Albert Matebor (Ken) 2:11:52
7. Francis Kiprop (Ken) 2:12:24
8. Fred Kiprop (Ken) 2:12:34
9. Mulugeta Wami (Eth) 2:13:19
10. Fabiano Joseph (Tan) 2:13:24
1. Rose Cheruiyot (Ken) 2:28:26
2. Helena Loshanyang (Ken) 2:28:51
3. Leila Aman (Eth) 2:29:32
4. Emily Kimuria (Ken) 2:29:56
5. Ayelech Worku (Eth) 2:31:11
6. Liz Yelling (GBr) 2:31:39
7. Gishu Mindaye (Eth) 2:33:07
8. Sirlene Souza de Pinho (Bra) 2:35:45
9. Martha Markos (Eth) 2:40:33
10. Ingrid Prigge (Ned) 2:41:06