A cool morning (25C !!!)greeted the start of the men’s race of the inaugural Sunfeast World 10km on Sunday (18 May), but by the time the women’s race got underway temperatures were seriously on the rise above 30C.
Two-time World Road Running champion Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea took the men’s victory, while there was a dead-heat in the women’s race.
South Africa’s Enos Matalane and Kenyan Ezekiel Cherop were the initial leaders before World 5000m bronze medallist Moses Kipsiro of Uganda and Tanzanian Dickson Marwa, third at this year’s Ras Al Khaimah half marathon, joined them at the 2 km mark.
Pre-race favourites Tadese and Moses Masai of Kenya shortly moved in front and stayed there along with Kipsiro. Tadese went past the half-way mark in 13:58 with Kipsiro and Matthew Koech (Kenya) closely on his heels.
Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede, the 2:06:40 winner of this year's Paris Marathon, came from behind to join the leaders at the 7th Km as they were running in front of Vidhan Saudha, the provincial Karnataka legislative assembly. The runners then turned into the extensive Cubbon Park in their last stretch towards the finish where Tadese and Kipsiro emerged as clear leaders.
Kipsiro was ahead when he entered the Sree Kanteerava Stadium but once on the synthetic track surface Tadese ran faster and overtook the Ugandan to win in 27:51 and take a USD 20,000 victor’s purse.
“My legs were unable to cope-up with the heat of the race and I wonder what happened at the last few metres,” Kipsiro confirmed after the race. Kipsiro clocked 27:54 for the second place.
Turkey’s Elvan Abeylegesse, the World silver medallist for 10,000m, was the pre-race favourite, and as expected, she led the race from the start. Ethiopian Berhane Adere, former World champion both on the track at 10,000m and on the roads over Half Marathon, stayed at the fore with a big bunch of runners including her team-mate Tiki Gelana. This group passed the 5K mark in 16:07.
By the 22nd minute of the race, Abeylegesse, Gelana together with Kenyan duo Grace Momanyi and Doris Chenwego were in the lead. With 2Km to go, Gelana started trailing off the pace leaving the three remaining runners in contention for the top-spot.
A strong Abeylegesse entered the stadium first keeping in mind that Kenya’s African champion Grace Momanyi was less than a metre behind. They ran neck-to-neck in the last few metres of the race and crossed the finish-line together in 32:02.
At first Abeylegesse was announced as winner. However, on verification of the tape, both Abeylegesse and Momanyi were declared joint winners and so get USD 16,000 each for their effort.
Apart from the main race, there had been other events including a 4Km Wheel Chair event, an open 10Km race for juniors, another 4Km run for the senior citizens and a 5.7 Km Majja Run. As many as 5000 people took to the streets in the open race.
The ITC-sponsored event had a budget of over 1.5 million US dollars of which USD 150,000 was distributed as prize money. This race was the third in the row of athletic events promoted by the Mumbai-based Procam International, who organizes the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and Vodafone Delhi Half Marathon.
Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF
1. Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) 27:51
2. Moses Kipsiro (Uganda) 27:54
3. Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) 28:10
4. Moses Masai (Kenya) 28:22
5. Feyisa Lelisa (Ethiopia) 28:35
6. Demesew Tsega (Ethiopia) 28:44
7. John Korir (Kenya) 28:48
8. Mubarak Shami (Qatar) 28:51
9. Dickson Marwa (Tanzania) 28:52
10. Matthew Koech (Kenya) 29:10
1. Elvan Abeylegesse (Turkey) 32:02
1. Grace Momanyi (Kenya) 32:02
3. Doris Chepngeno (Kenya) 32:31
4. Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) 32:46
5. Salina Kosgei (Kenya) 33:18
6. Joan Ayerbei (Kenya) 33:29
7. Berhane Adere (Ethiopia) 33:38
8. Amane Gemeda (Ethiopia) 33:48
9. Roman Gessesse (Ethiopia) 33:53
10. Hilalia Johannes (Namibia) 34:04