Rotterdam, The NetherlandsThe fourth edition of the Fortis Rotterdam Half Marathon again confirmed the race’s extremely fast course. Outsprinting compatriot Patrick Makau Musyoki by only three seconds Kenyan Evans Kiprop Cheruiyot set a new course record of 59:12 (OFFICIAL) to win the men’s division.
Cheruiyot, 25, bettered by four seconds the old course record set by his compatriot and current World record holder Samuel Wanjiru in 2005, a time equalled by Eritrean Zersenay Tadesse last year.
Berhane Adere of Ethiopia former World champion at both 10,000m and the Half Marathon took the women’s race in 1:11:11.
In nearly ideal weather circumstances (19C, overcast and a light wind) a large group of ten runners got off to a fast start running 13:59 for the first five kilometres. At ten kilometres it looked as if there was a break coming amongst the leaders as Cheruiyot, Musyoki and Francis Kibiwott passed that point in 28:06 one second ahead of Deribe Marga (Eth), Patrick Mukutu Ivuti, Jonathan Maiyo, Abel Kirui (all Kenya) and Fabiano Joseph Naasi (Tan).
Musyoki then fell back as the winner of the Berlin Half Marathon last April lost some 40 metres on the leaders when trying to retrieve his drinking bottle wheich he dropped but he was back in the leading group by 15 kilometres (42:13). At that point with a light headwind and the course going up hill a little the leaders were back to a group of four: Cheruiyot, Musyoki, Merga and Ivuti, and for a short time the pace dropped a little as each eyed each other waiting for the next surge.
In the last kilometre on their way to the finish on the Coolsingel, the main street of Rotterdam, Merga and Ivuti lost contact with the other two after passing the 20 kilometres point in 56:20.
In the final 400 metres lined by thousands of spectators Cheruiyot out-sprinted Musyoki. For the 22-year-old runner-up it was the third time this year he had run the half marathon distance in under 60 minutes.
In the women’s race Berhane Adere of Ethiopia was planning an attack on the World record for the Half Marathon ( South African Elana Meyer - 1:06:44, 1999, Tokyo). The 34-year-old Adere however was not feeling in top condition in the morning and in the end ran just for the victory.
After five (16:05) and 10 kilometres (33:09) Adere was well ahead of her nearest opponent Pauline Wangui of Kenya. The latter however came back at the Ethiopian leader and the difference between Adere and Wangui at 15kms was just one second: 50:10 and 50:11.
However, Adere proved to have the greater experience dropping the 23-year old Kenyan in the final part of the race. She passed the 20 kilometre marker in 1:07:34, winning in 1:11:11. Wangui set a personal best of 1:11.20 for second place. Dutchwomen Selma Borst was third well behind in 1:12:53.
Wim Van Hemert for the IAAF
4th Fortis Half Marathon Rotterdam
1.Evans Kiprop Cheruiyot (Ken) 59:12 PB OFFICIAL
2. Patrick Makau Musyoki (Ken) 59:19
3. Deriba Merga (Eth) 59:25 PB
4. Patrick Mukutu Ivuti (Ken) 59:27 PB
5. Jonathan Maiyo (Ken) 1:00:10 PB
6. Abel Kirui (Ken) 1:00:11 PB
7. Fabiano Joseph Naasi (Tan) 1:00:14 PB
8. Francis KibiwotT (Ken) 1:01:00
9. Eshetu Wendimu (Eth) 1:01:06
10. Paul Kiprop Kirui (Ken) 1:01:07
11. Stephen Chelimò (Ken) 1:01:25
12. Philemon Gitia Baaru (Ken) 1:01:52
13. Rodgers Rop (Ken) 1:03:03
14. Philemon Kipchumba Kisang (Ken) 1:03:22
15. Felix Limo (Ken) 1:03:25
16. Christian Betz (Swi) 1:03:43 PB
17. Koen Raymaekers (Ned) 1:04:21
18. Abdellah Falil (Mor) 1:05:43
1. Berhane Adere (Eth) 1:11:11
2. Pauline Wangui (Ken) 1:11:20 PB
3. Selma Borst (Ned) 1:12:53
4. Nadja Wijenberg (Ned) 1:14:44
5. Merel de Knegt (Ned) 1:15:35