Beating the heat, Solomon Bushendich takes the Milano City Marathon in 2:10:38 (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News Milan, Italy

Bushendich and Mancini beat the heat in Milan

Running in unseasonably warm conditions, Kenyan Solomon Bushendich took the honours at the 11th edition of the Milano City Marathon on Sunday (10), clocking 2:10:38.

The summer-like weather and windy conditions, with temperatures rising to 27 C, took and more more dramatic toll in the women’s race Italian Marcella Mancini crossed the finish-line in Piazza Castello in the heart of Milan in 2:41:24 after overtaking struggling Kenyan Monica Kanyata Wangari, who completed her effort in 2:42:56 after running the final kilometres at a 5:00/kilometre pace.

Italian Ruggero Pertile was second in the men’s race in 2:11:23 with Kenyan Daniel Too third in 2:13:04.

Men’s race -

Kenyan pacemaker Nickson Kurgat and Gilbert Chepkwony set the early pace passing five kilometres in 15:01 and the 10km in 30:37 leading over a group which featured Daniel Limo, Daniel Too, Joel Kimurer Kemboi, Bushendich and Pertile.

Chepkwony led at halfway going through in 1:04:50 closely followed by Pertile, Too, Kurgat, Limo, Naibei and Kimurer. After going through at 30 km in 1:32:35, Chepkwony finished his pacemaking task and four men - Bushendich, Pertile, Too and Limo – remained in the lead.

At 32Km Bushendich changed gear and broke away with a 33 km split clocked in 2:56. Bushendich, who clocked 2:08:41 in Kosice last October and finished third at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in 2003, carved out a gap of 40 seconds over Pertile and Too, a 2:08:29 runner.

Pertile, fourth at the European Championships last year and winner at the 2010 Turin Marathon, and Too tried to close the gap on Bushendich who, however, managed to maintain a solid lead.

In the fight for second place Too tried to pull away from Pertile at 38 km but the Italian managed to respond to Too’s attack and caught up with the Kenyan at kilometre 39 and took overtook him at 40Km.

“Last year I ran in Milan to get experience but I dropped out after halfway,” said Busehdich, who made his Marathon in 2006 when he won in 2:08:52 in Amsterdam. “This year I came here to win. I broke away at 32 km because I know Pertile who trained with me in Kenya and I was aware that he could be very dangerous in the final stages. I felt the effect of the very warm conditions but I got used to it.” Bushendich hails from Eldoret and trains with Claudio Berardelli.

Pertile was not very happy with his performance despite a solid race. “The conditions were very difficult. I tried to keep the pace with the Kenyans but I didn’t think I would be able to respond to Bushendich’s attack. Running on a warm day was a good test for the World Championships in Daegu”, said Pertile referring to his next goal, the IAAF World Championships.

Women’s race -

Wangari, third at this year’s Roma-Ostia Half Marathon, led at halfway by more than two minutes (1:14:21 to 1:16:45). The Kenyan increased her gap to more than three minutes at 30Km (1:47:13 to 1:51:25) but began to fade after kilometre 34. Wangari ran a 5:20 split in kilometre 39, a clear indication that she was struggling.

Mancini closed the gap and with two kilometres to go Mancini overtook the Kenyan to take the victory in 2:41:24, the slowest winning time in the history of the Milan Marathon.

“It was not a good day despite the win,” said Mancini, second in 2007 and fourth in 2010 in her previous Milan races. “I suffered a lot from the warm weather and the wind but in the final kilometres I heard the crowd supporting me and this gave me extra strength to take the win.”

While the conditions did not allow for fast times, the sunny weather was the ideal backdrop to a marvellous running day for a record figure of 10,203 runners who took part in the two main events. No less than 5075 runners toed the starting-line from Rho-Pero, the venue of the 2015 Expo to take part in the Marathon and 5128 runners took part in the second edition of the Relay Marathon, which is contributing to make the Milan Marathon a more popular event.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

Leading Results:
Men - 
1 Solomon Naibei Bushendich (Kenya) 2:10:38
2 Ruggero Pertile (Italy) 2:11:23
3 Daniel Too Kiprugut (Kenya) 2:12:04
4 Daniel Kiprugut Too (Kenya) 2:13:40
5 Joel Kemboi Kimurer (Kenya) 2:15:48

Women -
1 Marcella Mancini (Italy) 2:41.24
2 Monica Wangari (Kenya) 2:42:56
3 Stefania Benedetti (Italy) 2:45:20