Patrick Makau Musyoki and Pauline Wangui won the 34th edition of the Fortis City-Pier-City Half Marathon in The Hague today, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
For the 23-year-old Makau Musyoki it was his third win over the half marathon distance in 2008. Earlier this year he was the winner in Ras al Khaimah and Reading. He won today’s race in 1:00:08 outsprinting his compatriot Joseph Maregu by four seconds.
Also 23-year-old Pauline Wangui had an easy win in 1:09:49. German Susanne Hanh was a distant second in 1:11:29.
Last year Samuel Wanjiru clocked a World record of 58:33 on the fast flat course near the North Sea. Under nearly ideal conditions, less wind and a temperature between 13 and 15 degrees CT the men's field set out for an attack on the World record of Wanjuri, who was on the starting list but had to withdraw some days before the race after a severe attack of fever.
A group of eight set out to a fast start with a time of 13:57 for the first five kilometres. That was seventeen seconds slower as Wanjiru did in 2007.
It was then clear that the World record would not be in danger.
“I wanted a fast pace,” Makau Musyoki said afterwards. “We lost the pace maker already after four kilometres. Everybody was looking at me as I was the favourite.”
The group of eight (Makau Musyoki, Maregu, Ndiso, Kiprotich, Kibiwott, Kipsang, Kibet and Teter) was down to seven at 10 km (28:12) because Kibet could not follow.
Between 10 and 15 km the pace slowed as the runners were looking at each other. At 15 km (42.39) the leaders were down to five. It became clear that Patrick Makau Musyoki and Joseph Maregu would fight for the victory.
The two passed the 20km marker in 57:03 with Ndiso, winner of the 20 kilometres of Alphen aan den Rijn last week, and Kiprotich were fifteen seconds back.
In the final phase of the race Makau Musyoki accelerated and took four seconds on his last opponent.
Michel Butter, who was the first non Kenyan crossing the finish line in ninth took the Dutch half marathon title. It was the third national honour for the 22-year-old in two months after he become national champion on 10,000 m (road) and cross country. With his 1:03:17 Butter set a personal best on the half marathon.
Pauline Wangui was never in danger during the race. With splits of 15:57, 32:16; 49:07 and 1:06.10 she was far ahead of the rest of the women's field. Nadja Wijenberg who turns 44 on 2 April finished third collecting her fifth Dutch half marathon title.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
1. Patrick Makau Musyoki (Ken) 1:00:08
2.Joseph Maregu (Ken) 1:00:12
3. Dennis Ndiso (Ken) 1:00:33
4. Wilson Kiprotich (Ken) 1:00:43
5. Francis Kibiwott (Ken) 1:00:52
6. William Kipsang (Ken) 1:01:31
7. Sammy Kibet (Ken) 1:01:42
8. Philemon Terer (Ken) 1:01:59
9. Michel Butter (Ned) 1:03:17 (Dutch champion)
10. Peter Riley (GBr) 1:03.18
11. Koen Raymaekers (Ned) 1:03:19 (2nd Dutch champ.)
12. Daabaaya Badhaso (Eth) 1:04:10
13. Greg van Hest (Ned) 1:04:17 (3rd Duch champ.)
14. Sander Schutgens (Ned) 1:05:01
15. Marco Gielen (Ned) 1.05.13
16. Jim Svenoy (Nor) 1:05:54
17. Martin Lauret (Ned) 1:06:20
18. Lander van Droogenbroeck (Bel) 1:06:34
19. Robert Cheboror (Ken) 1:06:34
20. Colin Bekers (Ned) 1:06:59
1.Pauline Wangui (Ken) 1:09:49
2. Susanne Hahn (Ger) 1:11:29
3. Nadja Wijenberg (Ned) 1:16:32 (Dutch champion) 40+
4. Maria Sig Moeller (Den) 1:16:34
5. Daphne Panhuijzen (Ned) 1:16:51 (2nd Dutch champ.)
6. Saskia van Vugt (Ned) 1:18:10 (3rd Dutch champ.)
7. Marisa Hopmans (Ned) 1:20:16
8. Inge de Jong (Ned) 1:21:06