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General News Utrecht, The Netherlands

Chumba wins bitterly cold Utrecht Marathon in 2:12

  Kenyan Sammy Chumba won the 8th Jaarbeurs Utrecht Marathon, which was held in winterly conditions on Sunday, in 2:12:07 outsprinting compatriot Raymond Bett (debut) in the final phase of the race.

Bett clocked 2:12:14 for second place. A third Kenyan, Mariko Kiplagat, the winner of 2007 with a course record of 2:11:14, came home third in 2:13:31.

The race started in bright sunshine and the overnight snow was melted away, and the conditions looked good although the temperature was rather low with 4 degrees CT.

The first kilometres went well and the 10km marker was passed in 30:30 by a group of Kenyan runners, who rounded the halfway point in 1:05:22. Then the group then down from thirteen to seven had to fight a fairly strong headwind.

In the cold wind and the falling snow the pace went down and the so hoped for attack on 2:10:00 and a course record was gone. 

After 1hr and 50 minutes the leaders were down to just three runners: Chumba, Bett and Kiplagat. The three had passed the 35 kms in 1:49:00.

The first to falter was Mariko Kiplagat the 2007 race winner, and so Chumba and Bett struck out together to contest the victory and the more experienced Chumba finally outsprinted his compatriot by seven seconds. Last Chumba finished second in the race.

The women's race was won by Irene Cherop of Kenya in 2:41:44. She was nearly fourteen minutes ahead of Lithuanian Justtina Jasulyte who clocked 2:55:04. Cherop, 22, finished seventeenth overall.

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF

8th Jaarbeurs Utrecht marathon at Utrecht Monday 24 March.
4 degrees CT, wind, snow, hailstones.
1.Sammy Chumba (Ken)        2:12:07
2. Raymond Bett (Ken)          2:12:14
3. Mariko Kiplagat (Ken)        2:13:31 (winner of 2007)
4. Larbi Zeroual (Mar)           2:16:05
5. Elijah Cheburet (Ken)        2:20:11
6. Gino van Geyte (Bel)        2:20:25
7. Rachid Ben Salem (Mar)   2:22:32
8. David Langat (Ken)           2:22:55
9. Neals Strik (Ned)               2:23:44
10. Henri Cherono (Ken)       2:25:22
1. Irene Cherop (Ken)           2:41:44 (17 th total)
2. Justine Jsutyte (Lit)          2:55:04
no others under 3:00:00
The Marathon had 528 finishers.

Half Marathon

1. Hassan Belkhanouch (Mar) 1:04:08
2. Wesley Langat (Ken)          1:04:09
3. Peter Sitienei (Ken)            1:07:50
1. Flomena Chephirchir (Ken)  1:15:56
2. Emily Rotich (Ken)               1:16.33
3. Remalda Kergyte (???)        1:17:47
4. Milka Mihailova (Cze)           1:18:19