Ethiopian Derara Hurisa breaks the Tata Mumbai Marathon record in borrowed shoes

Ethiopians Brihanu Testome, Ayele Abshero and Derara Hurisa chatted among themselves as they strode along the Tata Mumbai Marathon route, before Hurisa took charge to finish in two hours, eight minutes, nine seconds — under the course record 2:08:35 (Gideon Kipketer, 2016).

Hurisa earned $45,000 first prize, plus a $15,000 bonus for the record. He also dragged Ayele (2:08:20) and Testome (2:08:26) under the course mark. The first seven runners in men’s elite category finished under 2:10min in this IAAF Gold Label event, run along a slightly revised course, in cooler January weather and pushed by pacemakers for a major part of the race.

The women’s winner, Ethiopian Amane Beriso (2:24:51s) did not get on top of the conditions and struggled in the last phase. But, with the nearest challenger far behind, she held on to breast the tape first, but missed the course record of 2:24:33s (Valentine Kipkieter, 2014). She will also be richer by $45,000.

Long-limbed pace-setter Sylvester Kipketer loped ahead of Amane from start to finish, even alerted the Ethiopian to forget fatigue and put in a burst to the tape as the course record was within grasp till the end. Rodah Jepkorir finished in 2:27:14 for the silver while Haven Hailu bagged the bronze in 2:28:56.

The men’s race turned into an engrossing tussle, seven remaining in the lead pack after the pace-setters had exited. Defending champion Cosmas Lagat from Kenya also faded away, supposedly due to injury. Ayele remained the name to watch (personal best 2:04:23). “My body felt good at the 30km mark and thoughts in my mind changed from finishing to running in record-breaking time.”

However, running in borrowed shoes, Hurisa stole the show with a stunning burst to leave his fellow countrymen behind. The champion is a cross-country runner with no marathon experience. “I knew Ayele is experienced over this distance and looked to him to show the way. I kept telling him to take charge of the race. Sensing that he was holding back, I decided to finish,” said Hurisa, a World junior athletics participant for Ethiopia in cross country.

His shoes were borrowed from Abraham Girma, a fellow elite runner. “I lost my regular shoes in flight,” said the champion. The TMM is organized by Procam International.

posted Monday January 20th