Novosibirsk, RussiaThe annual Novosibirsk Half Marathon held in Novosibirsk, the third Russian biggest city after Moscow and St. Petersburg hosted the Championship of Russia on Saturday (13) and attracted runners from 27 regions of Russia, including foreign athletes from Kenya, Germany, USA, Japan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus.
The race records set by Kenya’s Sammy Tum Kipkoech (1:02:40 in 2007) and Silvia Skvortsova (01:09:37 in 2001) stayed, but Anatoliy Rybakov and Olesya Syreva, finished close to the best course times, claiming the men’s and women’s titles and $5000 prize money each in 1:02:54 and 1:09:52, respectively.
On a cool sunny afternoon (9 C) under overcast skies, an international field of about 700 runners set off from the central city square on the loop course 3.5km long, along the main street Krasniy Avenue, passing the geographical center of Russia marked by the beautiful Nikolskaya Chapel.
Last year top three, the 23-year-old Rybakov twin brothers - Yevgeniy second and Anatoliy third - again met with their Kenyan counterpart, last year’s winner and course record holder, Sammy Tum Kipkoech, 30, to take revenge in their home race.
The young and promising Rybakovs both ran 10,000m in the Russian National Championships in Kazan this year, where Yevgeniy again finished second and Anatoliy third.
This top trio led a head pack from the gun and were joined by Russia’s Mikhail Lemaev, Fedor Shutov and experienced 33-year-old Dmitriy Semenov who finished 11th in 2:11:15 at the Frankfurt Marathon.
This time Anatoliy Rybakov was more successful than last year finishing almost half a minute ahead of unexpectedly fast 22-year-old runner up Lemaev from Saransk (1:03:22), who moved last year champion Kipkoech down to third position with 1:03:39. Yevgeniy Rybakov came forth in 1:04:15.
There was tough competition and an impressive race to the finish line in the women’s division headed by experienced and well known runners: 25-year old Olesya Syreva, who had already won a track 5000m this year with an impressive 15:19:96 at the Grand Prix of Andalusia in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
Battling with Syreva was Irina Permitina, 40, who set her personal best (32:14:01) at 10,000m at Russian National Champs in Kazan, and Olga Glok, 26, who was third last year in this race, and this year Rome Marathon finisher (2:30:40) and defending champion Rashida Hairutdinova, 33.
This top group set the pace ahead for the rest of the large pack of Russian female runners.
In the end Syreva tore to victory from Permitina in the fierce race on the last stretch, finishing just 4 seconds ahead and setting a personal best.
Olga Glok fought off Alena Samokhvalova for the third place, improving her result from 2007 by almost a minute.
Hairutdinova fell out of the hunt and finished seventh, almost 3 minutes worse than her winning time last year.
The Half marathon is a part of Siberian Running Festival which includes shorter distances and a half marathon relay with total annual participation of around 20 thousand runners.
Yelena Kurdyumova and Sergey Porada for the IAAF
1. Anatoliy Rybakov RUS 1:02:54
2. Mikhail Lemaev RUS 1:03:22
3. Sammy Tum Kipkoech KEN 1:03:39
4. Yevgeniy Rybakov RUS 1:04:15
5. Dmitriy Semenov RUS 1:05:47
6. Fedor Shutov RUS 1:05:59
1. Olesya Syreva RUS 1:09:52
2. Irina Permitina RUS 1:09:56
3. Olga Glok RUS 1:10:24
4. Alena Samokhvalova RUS 1:10:47
5. Lyudmila Biktasheva RUS 1:12:07
6. Larisa Zuzko RUS 1:12:55