Afera Godfay Berha of Ethiopia broke the women’s Mexican all-comers half marathon record at the 33rd Electrolit Guadalajara Half Marathon
Godfay, 27, clocked 1:08:53 to break the all-comers mark set of 1:09:07 set by Paula Radcliffe when the Briton won the 2000 world half marathon title in Veracruz.
Kenya's Mathew Kisorio won the men's race in 1:01:48, well inside the course record of 1:02:31 set by his countryman and seven-time winner Julius Kipyego Keter in 2011.
Godfay and Kenyan Joyce Chemkemoi set an aggressive pace from the start, covering the opening five kilometres in 15:58, running five second ahead of Naomi Vaati. By the 10km mark, covered in 32:06, she extended her lead to 22 seconds.
Berha made her decisive move in the next five-kilometre stretch and built a 35-second lead by 15 kilometres, reached in 48:41. She then cruised on to become the second Ethiopian woman to claim victory in Guadalajara since two-time winner Shewarge Alene Amare won in 2010 and 2011.
The 27-year old winner, a 2:23:54 marathoner, came within 22 seconds her half marathon best set in 2016.
Chemkemoi held on for second in 1:10:06 with Vaati, who clocked 1:10:17, finishing third.
Esmerala Rebollo was the first Mexican across the line, finishing fifth with a new personal best of 1:12:52. Her countrywoman, two-time winner Mayra Sanchez Vidal, finished eighth in 1:13:18.
In the men's race, a group of nine took up a conservative pace early in the contest, covering the first five kilometres in 14:13. Kisorio and three other men upped the pace, reducing the lead group to four as they reached 10 kilometres in 29:06. Then Kisorio found an extra gear, dropping his three remaining opponents as he reached 15 kilometres in 43:42, 34 seconds ahead of his closest rival.
Rhonzas Lokitam Kilimo and Justus Kangogo battled for the two remaining spots on the podium, a war Kilimo won as he pulled away to repeat his runner-up finish from 2018, clocking 1:02:43. Kangogo was next, four seconds behind.
Two-time Olympic finalist and two-time winner Juan Luis Barrios was the first Mexican finisher, taking fifth in 1:03:06.
“This performance is the result of running with great athletes who come to produce a great show," said Barrios, now 35. "They pushed hard and I tried to stay with the leaders as long as possible."
Each winner collected MXN 150,000 for their effort ($7,840). 13,568 runners finished the race.
posted Tuesday February 26th