Patrick Terer won the Turin Marathon for the second consecutive year, smashing his personal best by 78 seconds with 2:08:52.
Kenyan teammate Benjamin Kiptoo – the fastest man in the field with a 2:06:31 PB from winning the 2011 Paris Marathon – finished runner-up in 2:09:50.
A four-man group formed by Kiptoo, Terer, Robert Ndiwa and Samson Kagia went to the front from the early stages of the race. After a split of 15:30 for the first 5km, they sped up and went through 10km in 30:28 and 15km in 45:20, running a series of three-minute kilometres.
They continued to run at 3:01-3:03 pace in the first half before reaching half way in 1:03:57, on course to break 2:08. Terer, Kiptoo and Ndiwa remained at the front with a gap of seven seconds over Kagia. By 25km the lead trio’s margin over Kagia had grown to 25 seconds.
At 34km Terer surged away from Kiptoo and Ndiwa by injecting a sub-three-minute kilometre split. He continued to increase his gap over his chasers, romping home in 2:08:52 cheered on by enthusiastic spectators in the big Piazza Castello in the heart of the Piedmont city.
Kiptoo, winner in Rome in 2009 in 2:07:17, dipped under 2:10 with 2.09:50.
Terer, 24, is coached by Turin-based trainer Gabriele Nicola who works in Kenya for most of the year. “He told me yesterday that he was going to launch his attack at 34km and this is what he did today,” said Nicola.
“I am happy to improve my personal best by almost two minutes,” added Terer, who became the first man to win back-to-back titles in Turin since Ethiopia’s Simretu Alemayehu in 2001. “It was a hard and competitive race, not because of the course but because my rivals were very strong.
“My next goal is to run inside 2:07,” he added. “Give me two years and I will run the marathon in 2:04.”
Italian 40-year-old Ivana Iozzia ran a gun-to-tape race, winning the women’s race in 2:34:12, just five seconds shy of the PB she set five years ago.
The three-time national marathon champion ran together with her compatriot Fatna Maraoui until halfway, covered in 1:16:32, before breaking away in the second half.
It was a well-deserved win for Iozzia, who has endured some difficulties in her life.
“I’ve had a tough life. My brother passed away some years ago. He was the most important person in my life. I was diagnosed with cancer one year ago. I faced a lot of difficulties in my life but I learnt that you have to continue to fight and never give up. I am not a professional athlete and I want to thank my employer who has given me the chance to combine work and training,” said Iozzia.
No less than 4200 runners took part in the 27th edition of the Turin Marathon Gran Pemio La Stampa. About 10,000 participants took to the streets to run the popular Stratorino mass race. About 5000 children took part in the junior marathon.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1 Patrick Terer (KEN) 2:08:52
2 Benjamin Kiptoo (KEN) 2:09:50
3 Samson Kagia (KEN) 2:10:38
1 Ivana Iozzia (ITA) 2:34:12
2 Monica Da Silva (POR) 2:41:43
3 Elena Casaro (ITA) 2:43:00