Kibet cruises 2:07:53 course record in Milan
24 November 2008 – Milan, Italy - Duncan Kibet won the ninth edition of the Samsung Milano City Marathon breaking the course record with 2:07:53, a time which improves the previous Milan all-time best set by Benson Cherono in 2006 by five seconds. This result makes Milan the fastest Italian marathon race in 2008.
Kibet improved his PB set last spring in warm weather conditions in Vienna where he finished second in 2:08:33. In a sunny but cold morning with a temperature of 6°C the top three men set PBs: second placer Elias Kemboi Chelimo, this year’s winner in the Rome Marathon in 2:09:36, ran 2:08:39, while Leonard Mucheru Maina, a former 12:59.79 runner in the 5000 metres, who switched back to Kenyan citizenship after competing for Bahrain, finished third improving his record from 2:10:12 set in Tiberiade in 2008 to 2:10:05.
Italian top runner Anna Incerti smashed her PB from 2:30:55 to 2:27:42 storming to a surprising win in the women’s race ahead of last year’s Milan winner and double world Half Marathon bronze medallist Pamela Chepchumba, who ended in runner-up position in 2:28:34 ahead of multiple world Cross Country medallist Merima Denboba, third in her new PB of 2:29:57.
Despite a strong wind the men’s race was launched by Kenyan pacemakers Elijah Keitani and Benson Cherono who made a good job running at a course record pace. Keitani helped Haile Gebrselassie to set the fabulous 2:03:59 world record in Berlin on 28 September, while Benson Cherono won the Milan Marathon in 2:07:58 in 2006.
Seven men made up the leading pack which featured Keitani, Cherono, Kibet, Mucheru, Benjamin Korir Kiprotich, and Chelimo from Kenya and Rashid Kisri from Morocco who passed the first 10 km in 30:19.
Cherono, Keitani, and Kisri went through the halfway mark in 1:04:02. Three men, Keitany, Cherono and Kibet led at the 30 km mark they passed in 1:31:26 closely followed by Maina, Chelimo.
After pacemakers dropped out Kibet and Chelimo remained in the front (35 km in 1:46:47). From 36 km Duncan Kibet broke away from Chelimo. With a very strong final 5 km split Kibet dipped under the 2:08 barrier crossing the finish-line in the central Piazza Castello in 2:07:53 for his first big marathon win. Kibet added his name to the list of past winners of the Milano Marathon which features 2006/2007 World Marathon Major winner Robert Cheruyiot (winner in 2002) and 2007 first placer Evans Cheruyiot who went on to win this year’s Chicago Marathon in 2:06:25.
30-year-old Kibet started his international career late. He made his debut in the Marathon last spring in Vienna after competing in some half-marathons in 2007. In January he acted as a pacemaker for Haile Gebrselassie’s world record attempt in Dubai. Kibet trains with Martin Lel and Robert Cheruyiot under the guidance of Claudio Berardelli.
“In Vienna it was warmer but I had some problems,” Kibet said. “Today it was colder but I felt better. Despite the cold day we managed to run the course record. In the second half of the race I managed to run very fast.”
Merima Denboba and Pamela Chepchumba took the early lead in the first half of the race passing the 10 km in 35:08. Anna Incerti followed nine seconds behind. The Italian was twelve seconds behind the African leading duo who went through the halfway mark in 1:14:01.
At 23 km Incerti caught up with Denboba and Chepchumba. Incerti and Chepchumba ran in the front passing the 30 km mark in 1:45:40. They continued to run in the lead dropping Denboba by 25 seconds at 35 km (2:03:16).
At 38 km Incerti broke away from a fading Chepchumba and went on to take the first big win of her career in 2:27:42, the fifth fastest time in history in Italy. It was a perfect wedding present for Incerti who will marry Stefano Scaini, a former European junior cross country bronze medallist, on 23 May 2009. The 28-year-old runner from Palermo finished 14th at the Olympic Games in Bejing in her previous PB of 2:30:55. Before Milan she took part in four marathons. After winning the Italian title in Florence in 2003, she finished ninth at the European Championships in Gothenburg 2006 and 17th at the World Championships in Osaka 2007.
“I thank my coach Tommaso Ticali and Angelo Carosi (a former European 3000 metres steeplechase silver medallist) who made a good pacemaking job for me,” Incerti said. “I started the preparation for Milan soon after Bejing. I trained with a temperature of 20-25°C in Sicily, so I found very different weather conditions today. The problem today was the strong wind. When I caught up with the African at 23 km I realized that I could win. Now I will take a short rest before planning my next marathon race which will be probably in Rome on 22 March.”
Pamela Chepchumba sufferd from a bout of malaria after taking the World Half Marathon bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro and this affected her preparation for Milan. “It was so windy. My race was affected by some problems at 38 km.”
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Leading Results from the Samsung Milano City Marathon:
1. Duncan Kirong Kibet (Kenya) 2:07:53
2. Elias Kemboi Chelimo (Kenya) 2:08:39
3. Leonard Maina Mucheru (Kenya) 2:10:05
4. Rachid Kisri (Morocco) 2:11:53
5. Benjamin Kiprotich Korir (Kenya) 2:13:17
6. Musundeki Ikoki (Tanzania) 2:13:32
7. Ali Mabrouk El Zaidi (Libya) 2:13:33
8. Alexandr Kuzin (Ukraine) 2:13:43
9. Christopher Isegwe (Tanzania) 2:16:52
10. Dadi Ourge Bedane (Ethiopia) 2:18:16
11. Danilo Goffi (Italy) 2:18:38
1. Anna Incerti (Italy) 2:27:42
2. Pamela Chepchumba (Kenya) 2:28:34
3. Merima Denboba (Ethiopia) 2:29:57
4. Ivana Iozzia (Italy) 2:37:32