© Copyright
General News Ljubljana, Slovenia

Njoroge, Grandovec easy winners in Ljubljana Marathon

Breaking from the field in the 35th kilometre, Kenyan Samuel Njoroge won the tenth edition the Ljubljana Marathon, clocking 2:15:47 on the streets of the Slovenian capital.

“The first half went well,” said the 29-year-old, originally from Eldoret but now based primarily in Sienna, Italy. “But it was very windy, and when I tried to push the pace in the second half, it became very difficult.” It was a big improvement for Njoroge, whose previous best was 2:17:02 set in Treviso earlier this year.

London-based Australian Phillip Sly, a pace-setter, confirmed the winner’s remarks. “Yes, it was very windy out there. On the flat and downhill part of the course we had a headwind, and on the hilly parts, we were protected from the wind.”

Joshua Kipchumba, another Italian-based Kenyan, was a distant second, clocking 2:17:49, with Joseph Rutto, also from Kenya, third in 2:18:26. Defending champion Joachim Nshimirimana of Burundi, who set the event’s last year (2:13:31), faded badly in the second half, and finished a distant eighth (2:24:15).

The race also served as the Slovenian national championship. National record holder Roman Kejzar, who clocked 2:11:50 in Torino in 2000, was an easy winner, clocking 2:22:08, sixth overall. 

21-year-old Daneja Grandovec, the Slovenian national record holder in the 3000m Steeplechase, won the women’s race in her marathon debut, clocking 2:50:42. Running the race primarily as a test of her late-season fitness, Grandovec was an easy winner, finishing well ahead of runner-up Lidija Rajcic (2:55:07) of Croatia.

Click here for complete results

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF