2:06:29 victory for Emmanuel Mutai in Amsterdam (ING Amsterdam Marathon) © Copyright
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2:06:29 breakthrough for Mutai - Amsterdam Marathon

Amsterdam, The NetherlandsIdeal weather with 10-12 degrees CT, nearly no wind and sun created ideal circumstances for the 32nd ING Amsterdam Marathon. In a race which was open till the last 250 metres, Emmanuel Mutai proved to be the fastest.

The 29-year-old Kenyan won in 2:06:29, clocking the third fastest time in the history of the event and the second fastest time of the year. Compatriot Magdaline Chemjor, running her first marathon won the women's race in 2:28:16.

The ideal weather circumstances in the Dutch capital caused a "rain" of personal best performances. Twenty one runners out of the first 26 finishers never ran the 42,195 kilometres as fast as they did in Amsterdam.

For Mutai, running from the front pays big dividents

Mutai earned the victory by his strong front running. After a somewhat moderate start a large group of runners followed the lead of young Dutch pacemaker Michel Butter. After the first 5km (15:13) the pace quickened to 14:43 (10km 29:55) for the second and 14:56 (15km 45:22) for the third. A large group ran along the river Amstel outside Amsterdam passing 20km and the half marathon in 1:00:35 and 1:03:56 respectively. After the halfway point, the distance was still big. As the pace went up and some pacemakers done for the day, the lead group became smaller but was still counting elevens runners who passed the 25 km point in 1:15:32.

Just before the 30th kilometre, five were leading by some ten metres but the group came together again clocking 1:30:20 at thirty kilometres. Around the 35km point there were three leaders: the Kenyans Mutai and Richard Limo and Yonas Kifle of Eritrea, passing in 1:44:55. Under the pressure of Mutai, Kifle could not follow any longer. He lost contact and was overtaken by the Kenyans James Rotich and  Paul Kirui around 41 kilometres.

Mutai and Limo battled on but in the last kilometre Mutai succeeded in breaking away from his last opponent Limo, who came home second in 2:06:45. Rotich and Kirui stayed together till the last stride at the finish line, both clocking the same time 2:07:12 for third and fourth place.

"I wanted to win but did not expect to win," said Mutai, whose previous best was a modest 2:13:06 from Rotterdam in April. "I am very happy and did a good job."

Dutchman Kamiel Maase gave himself, a day after his 37th birthday, a nice present finishing nineth with a new Dutch record of 2:08:21, bettering his old national record he also set in Amsterdam four years ago by exactly ten seconds.

Maddaline Chemjor, who just like Mutai got a car for her victory, lost her last opponents, Ethiopians Marta Markos and Ayelech, at 35 kms (1:44:47). The experienced Pole Dorota Gruca was very strong in the final seven kilometres, finally taking second place in 2:30:10. Five seconds later Ayelech Worku took third place at the 1928 Olympic stadium.

Over 8000 runners took part in the Marathon while another 16,000 competed over the other two distances.

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Emmanuel Mutai, Ken        2:06:29 PB
 (splits: 15:13-29:55-45:22-1:00:35-1:03:56-1:15:32-1:30:20-1:59:49)
2. Richard Limo, Ken        2:06:45 PB
3. James Rotich, Ken        2:07:12 PB
4. Paul Kirui, Ken         2:07:12 correct
5. Yonas Kifle, Eri           2:07:34 PB
6. Jason Mbote, Ken         2:07:51 PB
7. Shadrack Kiplagat, Ken         2:07:53 PB
8. Tsegaye Kebede, Eth          2:08:16 PB
9. Kamiel Maase, Ned         2:08:21 PB, NR
 (previous NR Maase, 2:08:31, Amsterdam 2003)
10. Paul Kosgei, Ken         2:09:31 PB
11. Francis Kiprop, Ken         2:09:49 PB
12. Thomson Cherongony, Ken         2:11:11 PB
13. Gidey Amaha, Eth          2:13:00
14. Koen Raymaekers, Ned         2:13:02 PB
15. Terefe Yae, Eth          2:13:41

1. Magdaline Chemjor, Ken          2:28:16  PB
2. Dorota Gruca, Pol            2:30:10
3. Ayelech Worku, Eth           2:30:15
4. Shiru Deriba, Eth           2:30:30   PB
5. Liza Hunter-Galvan, NZl           2:30:40  PB
6. Hilda Kibet, Ned          2:32:10  PB
7. Marta Markos, Eth           2:32:28  PB
8. Holly May, GBr          2:38:54
9. Debbie Coslett, GBr          2:47:50
10. Claartje Maase, Ned           2.50:50 PB