Carpi, ItalyAniko Kalovics scored a backto back win in the Maratona d’Italia Memorial Enzo Ferrari in Carpi running 2:28:17 while Kenyan Noah Serem took the honours in the men’s race with a PB 2:11:18.
Italian 39-year-old Ornella Ferrara, a former Mrathon world championships bronze medallist from Gothenburg 2005, ran a good 2:30:18 to finish runner-up in her comeback competition after undergoing surgery twice in the last two years, while Philip Biwott (2:11:29) and James Cheruyiot (2:12:52) completed a Kenyan podium sweep behind Serem.
Depsite recent setbacks, Kalovics cruises - women’s race
Kalovics announced on the eve of the race that she was not in the same form as last year when she set the Hungarian record running 2:26:43. Recently, she’s suffered setbacks due to some Achilles tendon problems along with a bout of tonsillitis.
Kalovics, who took the lead at 10 km, ran the first 15 km in 52:27 building up a gap of 45 seconds over Getnet Kassa Salomie from Ethiopia, former 3000m Steeplechase World record holder Justina Bak from Poland and Ferrara. The Hungarian passed halfway at 1:13:53.
Kalovics increased her gap on Ferrara to 1:06 at 25 km (1:27:46) and to 1:45 at 35 km (2:03:10). The cross country and Marathon specialist ran the second half in 1:14:24 to finish in 2:28:17 for the third Marathon win of her career. This year she won the Turin Marathon and the Stramilano Half Marathon and finished third at the Great North Run Half Marathon behind Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe.
“I feel a bit disappointed because I wanted to dip under 2:28 but it was too cold today,” Kalovics said. “The first part of the race did not go as I hoped for. Last year’s win in Carpi has changed my career because it opened me the doors to big Marathon races. I am planning to run the European Cross Country Championships in Toro (Spain) on 9 December and a spring Marathon in Rome.”
Ferrara was delighted with her second place in her comeback to competition. The northern Italian marathon runner, who is married to marathon runner Corrado Bado and is mother of Riccardo and Aurora, ran the fastest titme of the year in Italy in her first Marathon race in three years.
“During the race I hoped to run under 2:30. But considering that I have not run a Marathon race since December 2004 I am happy,’ Ferrara said. “After running 2:27:49 in Rome in 2004 I suffered from Achilles tendon injuries. I was operated on twice. I decided to run in Carpi because I returned to my best shape quickly.”
Bak smashed her PB by ten minutes with her third place in 2:30:45.
With Baldini setting the tempo, Serem bides his time - men’s race
Reigning Olympic and European champion Stefano Baldini made his final test for the ING New York City Marathon running 25 km in Carpi, which is located just a few kilometres from his native town Castelnovo di Sotto.
Baldini showed progress after a difficult 2007 season running the first 25 km alone. The Italian marathon hero reached 1:04:57 at the halfway mark and finished his test at 25 km where he clocked 1:17:02.
A seven-men group of African runners followed two minutes behind the Olympic champion, and after Baldini concluded his day, four Kenyans remained in contention for the final victory: Serem, Biwott, Cheruyiot and Willy Korir. Injecting a pair of sub-three minute kilometres, Biwott was the first to launch attack at 31 km. The race reached the climax when Serem increased the pace pulling away at 36 km. Biwott was the only man able to resist this attack but had to content with second place at 37 km when Serem built up a gap of six seconds and mantained his lead until the end crossing the finish-line in 2:11:18.
“I improved my PB by 17 seconds,” said Serem, who hails from Kapsabet and is coached by Claudio Berardelli. “I ran my previous PB in Trieste this year.”
Baldini, who did not finish in London this year, his only marathon of 2007, was pleased. “I could train well in the last few weeks,” he said. “I am ready for New York where I want to run 2:10 on a very difficult course in a race without pacemakers and qualify for the Olympic Games in Bejing. I am optimistic for 4 November.”
During the weekend Carpi’s organizers presented the initiatives for next year’s celebrations of the century anniversary of the famous Marathon race of Italian Marathon legend Dorando Pietri at the Olympic Games in London 1908. A monument dedicated to the great Italian runner will be unveiled. A fascinating book “The race of the century” written by athletics historian and journalist Augusto Frasca was presented to the Italian media. The celebration will also be marked by the issue of a series of special stamps and postmarks and a set of illustrated postcards will be printed.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Noah Serem Kiplagat (Kenya) 2:11:18
2. Philip Biwott Kiplagat (Kenya) 2:11:29
3. James Cheruyiot (Kenya) 2:12:52
4. Willy Korir (Kenya) 2:13:20
5. Yared Temesgen (Ethiopia) 2:14:37
1. Aniko Kalovics (Hungary) 2:28:17
2. Ornella Ferrara (Italy) 2:30:22
3. Justina Bak (Poland) 2:30:45
4. Getnet Salomie Kassa (Ethiopia) 2:34:44