Marílson dos Santos takes his third Sao Paulo victory (Sérgio Shibuya/ZDL) © Copyright
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Dos Santos and Timbilil cruise to Sao Paulo wins

Running in warm and pleasant conditions, Brazilian Marílson Gomes dos Santos and Kenyan Alice Timbilil won the 86th edition of the traditional 15 kilometre “Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre”, in São Paulo, Brazil, on the afternoon of New Year's Eve (31).

It was the third victory at the classic race (a record for a Brazilian runner since 1945, the year the race became open for international athletes) for the 33-year-old dos Santos, who also won twice the New York City Marathon (2006, 2008). He previously won in São Paulo in 2003 and 2005, the last year he ran the race. His winning time on Friday was 44:07.

The 27-year-old Timbilil repeated her victory from 2009. Her winning time was 50:19, a course record that improves the 17-year-old previous best of fellow Kenyan Hellen Kimayo (50:26).

Dos Santos dominates

The men’s race started at 16:45 local time, in front of the MASP (Museum of Modern Arts of São Paulo). The first part of the race was dominated by the rabbits at a pace of 2:50-2:55 per km. Dos Santos, along with the Kenyan contingent took an observant attitude, and only grabbed control of the race at the end of the Elevado Costa e Silva, towards the 6th km.

At the Avenida Pacaembu, by the middle of the race, the runner from Brasília opened an important gap from the rest of the peloton, and never allowed any moves from the rest of the field. He crossed the line with a 200m gap over the runner-up Barnabas Kosgei from Kenya who clocked 44:49.

Dos Santos ends the year with a fine victory at home, after obtaining good results over the Marathon distance: 6th in London with a SB of 2:08:46, and 7th in New York.

“It was a tough victory. I left the field a little bit too early, and I almost paid the price at the hill of the Brigadeiro Luiz Antônio, which is very hard for your legs. I almost had forgotten how hard it was”, Dos Santos said with a smile.

Timbilil takes down course record

The pacemakers did their job at the initial parts of the women’s race, which started 15 minutes before the men’s. The first attack was thrown by Ecuadorian Diana Landi at the end of the Rua da Consolação (2nd km). Landi ended up being caught back by the field at the 4th km (Avenida São João).

By the Avenida Pacaembu, Timbilil accelerated the pace, and left behind the two Brazilians that were running with her, Simone Alves da Silva, and Cruz Nonata da Silva.

Timbilil’s superiority was undeniable, but after opening a gap of 60m, she was pushed by Simone de Silva over the final stages. Timbilil’s winning time was 50:19, a course record, and Simone da Silva, with 50:25, also ran under the previous course best.

Timbilil ended an outstanding year on the personal level. She set PB’s at 10km (31:25), 15km (48:15), 25km (1:24:38), and the Marathon (2:25:03 while winning at Amsterdam on 17 October).

“I was very aware of what a good race Simone was runn, and I feared she would beat me”, said the winner, who has the 2011 Yokohama Marathon as her next important challenge.

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF

“86° Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre” – São Paulo, Brazil, 31 December 2010 – 15Km
Men -
1 Marílson dos Santos BRA 44:07
2 Barnabas Kosgei KEN 44:49
3 James Kwambai Kipsang KEN 45:15
4 Giovani dos Santos BRA 45:34
5 Emmanuel Bett KEN 45:41
6 Diego Colorado COL 45:48
7 Mathew Kiptoo Cheboi KEN 45:58
8 Mark Korir KEN 45:59
9 Anoé dos Santos Dias BRA 46:06
10 Cosme Anselmo de Souza BRA 46:09

Women -
1 Alice Timbilil KEN 50:19
2 Simone da Silva BRA 50:25
3 Eunice Jepkurui KEN 51:42
4 Cruz da Silva BRA 51:51
5 Diana Landi ECU 52:35
6 Fabiana Cristine da Silva BRA 53:20
7 Marily dos Santos BRA 53:43
8 Chemtai Rionotukei KEN 53:56
9 Sueli Pereira Silva BRA 54:10
10 Maurine Jelegat Kipchumba KEN 54:28