Kenya's Moses Kangogo Kibet won the 31st edition of the adidas Dublin City Marathon on the October Bank Holiday Monday (25), achieving a new course record of 2:08:58, which was also a huge new personal best for the 30-year-old.
There were blue skies overhead with a record 13,200 athletes trailing through the streets of the Irish capital, as Kibet smashed the previous record set by Aleksey Sokolov of Russia in 2007, by 11 seconds.
Kibet's win ensured a first Kenyan victory in the race since Lezan Kipkosgei Kimutai led the field home in 2004.
Meanwhile, Tatyana Arysova maintained Russia's fine record in the women's race, clocking a course record time of two hours, 26 minutes and 12 seconds. She is the seventh Russian winner of the Dublin women's race in the last nine years.
It was an impressive victory with Arysova having over 13 minutes to spare over second-placed Barbara Sanchez, who was the first Irish woman home.
Tough weather, tough course
Moses Kangogo Kibet admitted afterwards that he did not think he would be able to produce such a fast time, given the crisp conditions.
"No, no, no, because of the weather I didn't think it would suit me," he said. "It was a little cold. I have never run in such cold weather. I thought I wouldn't make it (to first place), but on my way I realised that it was possible."
And despite his good time, Kibet reckons he could have gone faster around the city course. "I think I can still do better than that. Probably next year I will try and run it, and hopefully it is a warmer race!"
Moses Kangogo Kibet had a previous personal best of 2:13:29 from when winning the Limassol marathon on 28 February this year.
The first five finishers in today's men's race all posted times under two hours and 11 minutes. Africans claimed the top four places, including three Kenyans.
Ethiopia's Fikada Kedir took second place with a time of 2:09:44, just 40 seconds ahead of third placed Mourice Mutinda Musyoki of Kenya (2:10:25). His countryman Chesso Jonath Kipchirchir claimed fourth spot in 2:10:27, with Russian Aleksey Sokolov four seconds adrift in fifth place (2:10:31).
The Moldovan-born Sergiu Ciobanu, who runs for the Clonliffe Harriers club in Dublin, was the leading Irishman in a time of 2:19:33, claiming back-to-back National Championship titles. Joe McAllister was the first elite Irish finisher. He crossed the line in a time of 2:21:05.
In the women's event, Arysova had 13 minutes to spare over the second-placed Barbara Sanchez. The Mexican-born Sanchez, who runs for Dublin's Raheny Shamrocks, crossed the line in a time of 2:39:39.
Aysova was delighted to take victory, but admitted that she found the course very tough.
"When I began running before the half marathon mark, I felt it was so difficult. I don't know why, but my legs were very heavy," she said afterwards.
"I think to run with girls before the half marathon mark it's so difficult. After 17 kilometres I felt better, 40 kilometres then I felt so good."
Race director Jim Aughney was delighted with the first ever sub-2 hours and nine minutes time achieved in Ireland.
"It's absolutely brilliant today. Those times recorded today really put Dublin on the international map," he said. "Sub 2:09, we were disappointed that we missed it last year but it's great to see it today. It really elevates Dublin to a world class level."
Aughney was also pleased with a record breaking women's race, adding: "The ladies' time of 2:26:13 was again a world class time."
Cóilín Duffy for the IAAF
1. Moses Kangogo Kibet (Kenya) 2:08:58
2. Fikadu Kedir (Ethiopia) 2:09:44
3. Mourice Mutinda Musyoki (Kenya) 2:10:25
4. Chesso Jonath Kipchirchir (Kenya) 2:10:27
5. Aleksey Sokolov (Russia) 2:10:31
1. Tatyana Arysova (Russia) 2:26:12
2. Barbara Sanchez (Ireland) 2:39:39
3. Lorraine Manning (Ireland) 2:46:12