Haron Kiplimo Toroitich took the honours at the Maratona d’Italia Memorial Enzo Ferrari from Maranello to Carpi by setting a new course record of 2:09:09, a time which lowered the previous limit held since 1996 by the Spaniard Fabian Roncero with 2:09:43 .
Toroitich, who ran his PB of 2:08:34 in Paris in 2003 and won the Tempe marathon this season in 2:10:33, was aided by the Kenyans Youssuf Songoka (Half marathon PB of 1:00:53), Richard Kiprono Maiyo and Moses Rotich Kemboi and the former European Junior 10,000 metres and Cross Country champion Vasyl Matviychuk from Ukraine who maintained a very regular pace in the first part of the race.
Home favourite Pertile comes in third
Italy’s Ruggero Pertile used Carpi as a re-match after being excluded from the national Olympic team despite his Rome marathon win in March in 2:10:12 because of a very strong competition between Italian marathon runners for just three spots at stake.
The Italian selectors picked the Athens Olympic champion Stefano Baldini, Alberigo Di Cecco (a good ninth in Athens) and Daniele Caimmi (sixth at the World Championships in Paris).
Pertile, coached by former marathon runner Massimo Magnani, finished his effort in a good third place in 2:10:22, the second fastest time of his career. The Italian received the strong support of his fans from his native town Villanova di Camposampiero near Padua who follow him to every race.
Kenyans set pace
Songoka, Matviychuk, Maiyo and Kemboi Rotich set a fast early pace by clocking 30:25 for 10km, 45:40 at 15km, 1:01:30 at 20km and reached the halfway in 1:04:18, a time faster than the 1:04:18 split agreed on the eve of this marathon.
Matviychuk, who was using the Carpi marathon as a final test before his debut over the marathon distance in New York on 7 November, dropped out just after the halfway point.
The race continued at a very regular pace and the 30 and 35 km splits (1:31:10 and 1:46:18) indicated a possible final time under the 2:09 barrier.
A Kenyan trio formed by Toroitich, Mayio and Benjamin Kiptarus (fourth in Padua this year in 2:10:56) kept a solid lead over Pertile.
Richard Mayio, one of the three designated pacemakers, decided to continue to the end, and battled for victory against Toroitich until the final kilometres.
“I felt well at 25km, so I decided to finish the race,” commented Mayio. This decision paid off because he finished second in 2:09:47, a huge improvement on his previous PB of 2:16:04 set at the Los Angeles marathon last March.
Toroitich increased his lead over Mayio to 23 seconds with two kilometres to go and secured the win in 2:09:09.
“I want to thank the pacemakers for their good job and the spectators who supported us along the course. The weather conditions were good despite a strong head wind which disturbed the final kilometres. But the win is there and this is what matters most,” said Toroitich.
Pertile, who has worked part-time in a supermarket store for a long time and has been allowed by his employers to find more time to train properly, said about his third place: “The pace set by the pacemakers was excellent. Unfortunately I had some problems between the 25 and the 30km and I lost the chance to run under 2:10 which was my goal at the start. I have no regrets for missing the Olympic Games because I think that the athletes who competed in Athens deserved to go there. I continued to train seriously during the summer with Baldini, Caimmi and Di Cecco although I admit that it was difficult to keep the form for a long time.”
Kenyan win also in women's race
On the women’s side Kenya’s Anne Jelagat Kibor took the fourth win of her career in 2:30:54 after her first places reached last year in Prague, Venice and Milan.
Jelagat (PB 2:29:23 set in Milan) led from gun to tape. A leading trio formed by Jelagat, the Ethiopian Meseret Kotu (PB 2:30:02) and the young Ukranian Tatyana Hladyr (PB 2:32:44) ran the first 15 kilometres in 51:49. At this point Jelagat increased the pace and pulled clear of Kotu and Hladyr.
The Kenyan had a solid margin of more than one minute at the 25km split reached in 1:27:34.
Kilometre after kilometre Jelagat considerably soared her lead and this secured a very easy win. Hladyr distanced a fading Kotu with about 12km to go and finished runner-up in 2:32:24.
“The conditions were good in the first part of the race, although the second half was more difficult when I remained alone. It was a mental problem to run without a real opposition,” said Jelagat.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1 Haron Kiplimo Toroitich (Kenya) 2:09:09
2 Richard Maiyo Kiprono (Kenya) 2:09:47
3 Ruggero Pertile (Italy) 2:10:22
4 Johnstone Changwony (Kenya) 2:10:59
5 Samson Kosgei (Kenya) 2:11:43
1 Anne Jelagat Kibor (Kenya) 2:30:54
2 Tatyana Hladyr (Ukraine) 2:32:24
3 Meseret Kotu (Ethiopia) 2:41:21