Isaac Macharia of Kenya (AFP/Getty Images) © Copyright
General News

Macharia and Ivanova take Nagano Marathon titles

Surging away at 30.5Km and covering each kilometre from 30Km to 32Km under 3 minutes, Kenyan Isaac Macharia won the 7th annual Nagano Olympic Memorial Marathon with 2:10:59 today, improving his personal best by 27 seconds.

The race started with approximately 20 runners in the lead pack but soon (5Km) Russian Grigory Andreyev surged into the front. Although the pace was far from blazing (3:11 for 5Km to 6Km stretch, for example), by 8Km Andreyev found himself alone.

After passing 10Km in 31:58 (15:19 for the 5Km stretch), by 12Km Andreyev was 10 seconds in the front of an eight-man chasing pack.

After 15Km (46:38) Macharia, who had been one of that group, started to chase Andreyev, and by 17Km had closed the gap to 10 seconds, but soon the margin started to grow again. Still in the front, Andreyev passed 20Km in 1:01:58 and the Half Marathon in 1:05:16, and by 24.4Km he led Macharia by 22 seconds.

The chasing pack behind these two was now just down to Moges Taye, Tomonori Michikata and M. Mwangi in that order.

The gap between Andreyev and Macharia grew further to 25 seconds by 25Km (1:16:59 (15:01)) but that was the Russian's last shot of the race, as soon Macharia started to bridge the gap.

By 30Km, Macharia had caught Andreyev and quickly left him in his wake, and by 33Km the Russian was adrift by 10 seconds. Although Macharia slowed down during the closing stage of the race, covering 38Km to 39Km in 3:17 and 40Km to 41Km in 3:15, he still won comfortably by 21 seconds.

Andreyev crossed in 2:11:20, with Moges Taye of Ethiopia in a distant third, 2:14:19.

When asked if he had had a pre-determined plan to increase the pace after 25Km, Macharia said, "I wouldn't have been able to run fast if I had waited behind the leaders, so I thought I would go for it if I felt that I could take the faster pace....I am very happy to set a new personal best.”

WOMEN

Turning to the women's race, Albina Ivanova of Russia won in 2:28:21 by surging away from Romania's Lidia Simon at 35Km.

Immediately after the start, the lead pack consisted of only five runners - Derartu Tulu, Gladys Asiba, Albina Ivanova, Lidia Simon and Tatiana Borisova. By 10Km it was further reduced to three runners - Tulu, Simon and Ivanova. Those three runners were together for the next twenty kilometres, but at that point, Tulu fell behind.

The next big move was by Ivanova, who covered the stretch between 35Km to 40Km in 16:55 to runaway from Simon. She won by nearly three minutes and later said: "I was not planning to surge at 35Km. It just happened. The weather was very conducive for a good marathon. I am very happy to win here."

Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
Assisted by Akihiro Onishi

Weather:  Sunny 8.1C, 66% humidity

Results: 

Men
1) Isaac Macharia (KEN) 2:10:59
2) Grigory Andreyev (RUS) 2:11:20
3) Moges Taye (ETH) 2:14:19
4) M Mwangi (KEN) 2:14:55
5) Tomonori Michikata  2:15:01
6) Adam Dobrzynski (POL)  2:15:48
7) Kazuaki Wakamoto 2:16:49
8) B Worash (ETH 2:16:58 

Women
1)  Albina Ivanova (RUS) 2:28:21
2)  Lydia Simon (ROM) 2:31:20
3)  Derartu Tulu (ETH) 2:31:58
4)  G. Asiba (ETH) 2:36:12
5)  Yoshimi Hoshino 2:36:19
6)  Yukako Goto 2:38:21
7)  Taeko Terauchi 2:41:03
8)  Chikako Ogushi 2:45:09

Splits for Ivanova:
5Km 17:41
10Km 34:44  17:03
15Km 52:03  17:19
20Km 1:09:53 17:50
25Km 1:27:31 17:38
30Km 1:45:52 18:21
35Km 2:04:15 18:23
40Km 2:21:10 16:55