Kenya’s Eliud Barngetuny decimated the course record at the New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon, taking more than four minutes off the previous best time when he clocked 2:13:14 at the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race on Sunday (22).
Barngetuny, not to be confused with the well-known former steeplechaser of the same name, made a strong surge just after 30km and was out on his own over the last 10km on the undulating course before crossing the line well inside the former mark of 2:17:17 set by Morocco’s Hassane Ahouchar in 2014.
“I had to battle high winds in the last part of the race but used my experience to win,” the 28-year-old told local reporters after notching up his third career win over the classic distance, after victories at the 2013 Salzburg and Lyon marathons.
The Kenyan pair of Josphat Chobei and Hosea Kosgei sped off early in the race and passed 10km in 31:43.
Chobei and Kosgei went through 15km together in 47:18, with Barngetuny part of a chasing group of four, 22 seconds in arrears.
The two leaders were still together at 20km in 1:02:43 but Barngetuny had decided to close the gap and was now just about 25 metres behind, four seconds further back and closing fast, with his compatriot Samuel Kalya just a couple of strides further back.
At the halfway point, all four Kenyans were now together and they passed that checkpoint in 1:05:58. The quartet went through 25km in 1:18:46 before Kosgei and Kalya started to slip back.
Only Chobei was left to challenge Barngetuny, the pair passing 30km in 1:34:41 before the latter made his decisive surge.
By 35km, passed in 1:50:24, Chobei was 25 seconds behind but held on to come second in 2:15:51 with Kalya third in 2:18:30.
The women’s race went to Kenya’s Gladys Kipsoi in 2:39:32 with Ethiopia’s Tigist Teshome Ayanu second in 2:41:31.
A three-woman leading group, which also included Kenyan pre-race favourite Ruth Wanjiru, were together at 30km in I:54:04 before Kipsoi surged at almost exactly the same place as Barngetuny to leave her two rivals trailing in her wake. Wanjiru was third in 2:42:18.
An estimated 13,000 people participated in the various races on Sunday. IAAF vice president and pole vault legend Sergey Bubka attended the opening ceremony and fired the gun to start the marathon
Phil Minshull for the IAAF