Wilson Kiprop, the 2010 World Half-marathon champion, took the honours at the Roma-Ostia Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, with a course record of 59:15 while fellow Kenyan Filomena Cheyech took more than a minute off her PB to win the women’s race in 67:39.
On a warm and sunny day the event celebrated its 39th edition with two high-quality races as three men dipped under the one-hour barrier and four women broke 68 minutes.
Last year’s Roma-Ostia winner Philemon Limo led an eight-man pack to set a fast pace from the early stages, passing through 5km in 14:06 and 10km in 28:14. The fast pace started taking its toll on Limo who was forced to drop out of the race at 15km when a leading trio formed by Kiprop, Edward Kwemoi Chomesin and Simon Cheprot started to pull away from the rest of the field, forcing the pace.
They went through 15km in 42:11, having covered the last 5km section in 13:56 – much faster than the first two first 5km splits. The three leading men worked together in a team until the final 300m when Kiprop broke away to romp home in 59:15, breaking the 59:32 course record set last year by Limo.
“I was excited to run on the Roma-Ostia course. I worked closely together with Robert Chemosin and Simon Cheprot, and they ran a very good race,” said Kiprop, whose 59:15 equalled the PB he set last year in Berlin.
Robert Chemosin finished runner-up four seconds behind Kiprop in 59:19 to smash his previous PB of 60:03 set last September at the Udine Half Marathon. Simon Cheprot followed one second behind Chemosin in third place with 59:20.
Sahle Warga from Ethiopia finished fourth in 60:39, three seconds ahead of Kiprop Limo, who had to settle for fifth place in 60:42 after his third place from last year. The first Italian runner was Stefano La Rosa who crossed the finish-line in tenth place in 62:32.
Women’s race goes down to the wire
By 5km (covered in 15:54) a lead group had formed comprising five women – Mercy Kibarus, Debele Degefa, Filomena Cheyech, Hilda Kibet and last year’s runner-up, Agnes Kiprop. They went through the 10km mark in 32:08 and 15km in 48:24.
The race went down to the final kilometre in which Cheyech broke away from Kiprop in the closing stages to romp home in 67:39, seven seconds ahead of her Kenyan team-mate who repeated her runner-up position from last year.
Ethiopia’s Degefa, winner of the 2013 Campaccio Cross Country race, completed the podium in third place with 67:49, beating Kibet of the Netherlands by ten seconds. The top-six was rounded out by Kibarus, fifth in 68:18, and Morocco’s Malika Asahassah, sixth in 69:11. Rosaria Console was the first Italian in ninth place with 72:07.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1 Wilson Kiprop (KEN) 59:15
2 Edward Kwemoi Chomesin (KEN) 59:19
3 Simon Cheprot (KEN) 59:20
4 Sahle Warga (ETH) 60:39
5 Limo Kiprop (KEN) 60:42
6 Mamo Behailu Ketema (ETH) 60:53
7 Birhanu Shume Gadisa (ETH) 61:34
8 Eric Ndiema (KEN) 62:22
9 Willy Mwangi (KEN) 62:24
10 Stefano La Rosa (ITA) 62:32
1 Filomena Cheyech (KEN) 67:39
2 Agnes Kiprop (KEN) 67:46
3 Debele Degefa (ETH) 67:49
4 Hilda Kibet (NED) 67:59
5 Mercy Kibarus (KEN) 68:18
6 Malika Asahssah (MAR) 69:11
7 Krisztina Papp (HUN) 70:54
8 Lydia Cheromei (KEN) 71:05
9 Rosaria Console (ITA) 72:07
10 Hanine Janat (ITA) 72:15