Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo broke the course record and Emily Sisson picked up her first win at the USATF 5K Championships, hosted by the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K in New York on Saturday (3).
Taking the lead with just over 800 metres to go, Chelimo forged on to seal the men’s title in 13:45, taking one second off the course record that was set by Nick Willis in 2013.
“It’s a good day to win,” said Chelimo, who also raced to World Championships 5000m bronze in 2017. “It’s so exciting, I wasn’t going to lose it today.”
This was the 28-year-old's first competitive outing since his 3000m victory at the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava in early September.
In a narrow finish, last year’s winner, Shadrack Kipchirchir, was second also credited with 13:45. Further back, Stanley Kebenei took third in 13:53.
After finishing as runner-up twice at the United Airlines NYC Half, Emily Sisson won her first race in New York, taking the tape in the women’s race with a solo sprint to the finish in 15:38.
“It means a lot winning here today,” said Sisson, who largely ran alone along the course through New York's Central Park.
“I came second the last two times I raced in New York, and both of those races were really good, but to finally break the tape meant a lot to me. There’s something really special about racing here.”
Erika Kemp, who recently graduated from North Carolina State University where she won two NCAA titles – one indoors, one outdoors – over 5000m, took second in 15:50. Sisson trains with 2017 winner Molly Huddle who is racing in Sunday's New York City Marathon.
Olympian Amy Cragg, who was third at the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year, finished third in 15:54.
Organisers and USATF for the IAAF
Tibedu breaks course record in Hangzhou
Ethiopia’s pre-event favourite Hirut Tibedu lived up to the expectations as she trimmed nearly three minutes off the course record to take the victory at the Hangzhou Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label road race, on Sunday (4).
The top two finishers in the women’s race both beat the 2:28:08 course record set by Ethiopia’s Muluhabt Tsega last year. The 23-year-old Tibedu, the fastest entrant with a personal best of 2:23:35 set in Shanghai last year, paced the race from the gun to the finish. She pulled away from compatriot Tsehay Desalegn after 27 kilometres to seize the sole lead and never looked back, sealing a convincing win in 2:25:10.
It is Tibedu’s second victory in as many marathons this year following her 2:24:08 triumph in Seoul in March.
The 27-year-old Desalegn finished second in 2:27:35, cutting one minute off the PB she set when finishing third in last year’s edition of this race. Sifan Melaku crossed the line in 2:31:47 as the remote third finisher to complete a sweep of podium for Ethiopia.
The men’s race was dominated by Kenyan runners. Michael Njenga Kunyuga upset a deep field which included 11 men with PBs faster than 2:10 to take the top honours in 2:10:37, just four seconds shy of the course record set by Azmeraw Bekele of Ethiopia last year.
Running under cool and wet conditions, a crowded leading group paced the race in the early stages. When they hit the 30-kilometre mark in 1:33:03, the leaders were cut to only 10 men. After another three kilometres, Kenya’s Douglass Kimeli first pulled away but was soon caught up by Kunyuga.
After a five-kilometre see-saw battle between Kimeli and Kunyuga, the latter finally pulled clear after 38 kilometres. The 31-year-old was well on track to assault on the course record when he passed 39 kilometres in 2:00:53. But it seemed his target was only on the victory, as Kunyuga apparently slowed down in front of the line, waving hands to celebrate his win instead of keeping pushing ahead.
Kunyuga’s winning mark is 21 seconds slower than his career best time set from his second-place finish in Hannover seven months ago. But it’s already the third title claimed by the efficient Kenyan, who debuted over the classic distance just last year and was competing in his fourth ever international road race.
Kimeli finished second in a PB of 2:11:06, followed by compatriot Mike Kiprotich Mutai, six seconds in arrears.
Vincent Wu for the IAAF
Milaw breaks course record at Marathon des Alpes Maritimes
Ethiopia’s Abrha Milaw and Nurit Shimels claimed the titles at the Marathon des Alpes Maritimes, an IAAF Bronze Label road race held between the French southern cities of Nice and Cannes on Sunday (4).
In the men’s race, a group of six –Milaw, Kenyans Nixon Kurgat, Benad Too, Ronald Kurgat, Ben Sowinko as well as Berhane Tsegaye of Eritrea – hit the first 10-kilometre checkpoint in 30:25, suggesting a possible finish time of about 2:08.
At the halfway point, reached by the leaders in about 1:03:45, Ronald Kurgat and Tsegaye trailed behind by 1:34.
At this point, only Milaw, Nixon Kurgat and Too were still in contention for the victory as Somiwko, who was in charge of setting the pace, had finished his work; he would finish seventh in 2:27:20.
Milaw took command of the race, going through 30 kilometres in 1:31:10. His opponents started to drift back as Kurgat was 13 seconds in arrears, and Too 19 seconds adrift.
The gap continued to increase over the remaining kilometres. At the 40-kilometre mark, hit in 2:00:45, Milaw’s lead grew to 2:27 over Kurgat and 3:17 over Too.
He didn’t fade in the waning stages, crossing the line in 2:07:26, 1:14 faster than the previous course record of 2:08:40 set by Kenya’s Lukas Kanda in 2008.
The 30 year-old Ethiopian, who improved his personal best by 20 seconds, notched his second career win over the distance following a success in Stockholm last year.
Kurgat, who was the fastest man of the field with a PB of 2:07:11, held on for second in 2:10:41, as his compatriot Too rounded the podium in 2:11:56.
In the women’s race, Nurit Yimam fulfilled her role of favourite to seal an Ethiopian double, as in 2017.
Yimam, whose PB of 2:28:41 was 1:09 faster than Kenya’s Doris Changeiywo’s, passed the 10-kilometre mark in 34:40, one second ahead of Changeiywo and one minute ahead of Edna Kimaiyo.
Yimam maintained her tempo to hit the halfway point in about 1:13:45, as Changeiywo, timed in 1:13:49, started to struggle with the pace.
Although she faltered during the closing stages, covering the 10-kilometre section between 30 and 40 kilometres in 37:00, Yimam broke the tape in 2:31:54, just 1:17 shy of the course record set by Radiya Adlo in 2010.
Changeiywo, who eased off during the second part of the race, finished second in 2:38:17, 6:23 behind the winner, as Kimaiyo wound up third in 2:41:56.
Quentin Guillon for the IAAF
1 Abrha Milaw (ETH) 2:07:26
2 Nixon Kurgat (KEN) 2:10:41
3 Benard Too (KEN) 2:11:56
4 Berhane Tsegaye (ERI) 2:12:26
5 Ronald Kurgat (KEN) 2:16:27
1 Nurit Yimam (ETH) 2:31:54
2 Doris Changeiywo (ETH) 2:38:17
3 Edna Kimaiyo (KEN) 2:41:56
4 Magali Aureille (FRA) 2:47:41
5 Purity Jerop (KEN) 2:51:40
Chemonges breaks Porto course record
In wet and windy conditions, 21-year-old Ugandan Robert Chemonges broke the course record at the Porto Marathon, clocking a personal best of 2:09:05 in the race’s first edition as an IAAF Bronze Label event.
Chemonges, who set his previous best of 2:10:32 when winning the 2017 Dusseldorf Marathon, was always in the leading group. He passed half way in 1:05:24 but waited until the 37th kilometre to make his move to the front.
He went on to win in 2:09:05, finishing 42 seconds ahead of marathon debutant Olivier Irabaruta of Burundi, whose time of 2:09:47 was also inside the previous course record of 2:09:51, set by Kenya’s Philemon Baaru in 2011. Ethiopia’s Fikadu Kebede was third in 2:10:41.
Marathon debutant José Sousa finished eighth overall in 2:19:25 and claimed the national title as the first Portuguese finisher. José Moreira, who finished ninth in the marathon at the 2009 IAAF World Championships, was the second Portuguese runner to finish, clocking 2:19:43.
Like Chemonges, women’s winner Abeba Tekulu Gebremeskel set a personal best to take top honours.
The Ethiopian, who won in Porto back in 2012, ran alone for most of the race and won in 2:30:13, taking five seconds off the PB she set in Warsaw in 2013. She finished more than three minutes ahead of compatriot Meskerem Abera Hunde (2:33:50), one of the pre-race favourites.
Following Irabaruta’s runner-up finish in the men’s race, marathon debutante Elvanie Nimbona was the second Burundian athlete to achieve a podium finish in Porto. The 20-year-old, who set a half marathon PB of 1:10:32 in September, finished third in 2:44:24.
At 41 years of age, Rosa Madureira was the top Portuguese finisher in fourth place overall in 2:50:06, taking her sixth national marathon title in the past seven years.
António Manuel Fernandes for the IAAF
1 Robert Chemonges (UGA) 2:09:05
2 Olivier Irabaruta (BDI) 2:09:48
3 Fikadu Kebede (ETH) 2:10:41
4 Jackson Kibet Limo (KEN) 2:12:19
5 Abraham Girma (ETH) 2:12:46
1 Abeba Tekulu Gebremeskel (ETH) 2:30:13
2 Meskerem Abera Hunde (ETH) 2:33:50
3 Elvanie Nimbona (BDI) 2:44:24