12 November 2012 - Kenyan Stephen Chebogut and Koren Jelela of Ethiopia won their respective titles at the 34th Vodafone Istanbul Eurasia Marathon on Sunday (11).
Chebogut clocked 2:11:05 to take a lopsided victory in the men’s contest at this IAAF Gold Label Road Race while Jelela won a closer women’s race in 2:28:05.
Warm conditions, with 14C at the 9 am start and 17C at the finish along with some rain and wind obviously didn’t agree with the runners. Chebogut, 28, finished 26 outside of the 2:10:39 course record set by his countryman Vincent Kiplagat in 2010, and Jelela, 25, crossed the line 40 seconds shy of her compatriot Ashu Kasim’s 2:27:25 course record, also set in 2010.
Women’s race –
Women's race turned out to be tactical affair between four – an Ethiopian trio and Turky’s Sultan Haydar, 25, an Ethiopian-born race walker and distance runner, who set a personal best of 2:25:09 at the Paris Marathon earlier this year.
Jelela, who arrived with a 2:22:43 PB from her win at the 2011 Toronto Waterfront Marathon and a 2:28:05 season’s best from the London Marathon, staked her claim for the win from the start, taking charge and maintaining her lead through the finish.
In the opening 5Km, which Jelela passed in 17:35, her main pursuers were her compatriots - defending champion Alemitu Abera, 26 with PB and season’s best 2:23:14 from the Houston marathon and Amane Gobena, 30, with 2:24:13 PB from 2010 Seoul International Marathon, along with Haydar.
Jelela passed 10Km point in 34:34 and 15Km in 51:41 with the same trio some five metres behind. The leader slowed a bit on the next 5km stretch to a 3:27 per kilometre pace and passed 20Km in 1:08:54, chased by the two Ethiopian runners five metres behind, with Haydar following another five metres behind them.
The order remained the same at the midway point, reached in 1:12:30.
By 30 kilometres (1:43:34) the pack slowed with Jelela still some ten metres ahead. went through it in 1:43:34, leaving the rest 5-10 m behind. The pack split between 35 and 40-K with Jelela passing kilometre 40 in 2:19:49, closely chased by Gobena, with Haydar and Abera now out of contention.
Jelela held on to win comfortably in 2:28:05 to claim the US$50,000 prize, with Gobena (2:28:38) second and $25,000 richer. Haydar finished third in 2:29:41, winning $15,000 and moving up from last year’s seventh place finish.
Men’s Race –
In the men’s contest, the 28-year-old Chebogut (PB 2:08:02, Paris 2011) chose different tactics and kept in the shadows until the 35 km mark.
Qatar’s Nicholas Kemboi, 28 (2:08:01 PB from last year’s Valencia Marathon) and Kenyan pacemaker Kiprotich Yegon led the field at the start, passing 5Km in 14:40, leaving Kenyan Evans Kiplagat, 24 (PB 2:09:22, Vienna 2011) some 25 metres behind. Chebogut was some 45 metres behind running together with Ethiopian Megersa Bacha, 26 (PB 2:08:55, Turin Marathon 2011).
Yegon led the field through the halfway point in 1:02:47, s Chebogut began to move up. In the 35th kilometre Chebogut finally came out of the shadows and headed the race, going through this mark in 1:47:01. Others dramatically slowed and rolled back, leaving Chebogut with an easy win and $50,000 prize. Yegon was a distant second in 2:15:34 with Kiplagat (2:16:43) third.
Yelena Kurdyumova and Sergey Porada for the IAAF
1. Stephen Chebogut, KEN 2:11:05
2. Kiprotich Yegon, KEN 2:15:34
3. Evans Kiplagat, KEN 2:16:43
4. Megersa Bacha, ETH 2:20:10
5. Nicholas Kemboi, QAT 2:20:40
1. Koren Jelela, ETH 2:28:05
2. Amane Gobena, ETH 2:28:38
3. Sultan Haydar, TUR 2:29:41
4. Alemitu Abera, ETH 2:30:14
5. Ummu Kiraz, TUR 2:36:15