Leonard Langat won the Cardiff Half Marathon clocking 59:30, taking 73 seconds off the course record for the IAAF Silver Label road race on Sunday
Langat produced a strong sprint finish to pip fellow Kenyan Shadrack Kimining, the winner in Cardiff in 2016, by a mere two seconds.
Langat’s winning time of 59:30 was just 12 seconds shy of his lifetime best, while long-time race leader Kimming was rewarded with a 10-second PB to finish second in 59:32.
There was a group of 10 athletes in the leading pack at 5km (14:06) and this was cut to four by 10km (28:05). Kimining led for much of the next 10 kilometers as he led Langat and defending champion John Lotiang through 15km (42:15) and 20km (56:34).
Kimining tried to push up the steep incline coming off Roath Park Lake up to Cathays Cemetery, but Langat refused to be shrugged off. He stayed on the shoulder of his rival before making his move coming down the finishing straight.
“I was feeling comfortable behind Shadrack and I pushed on in the final 500 meters,” said Langat. “I kept the pace up right to the finish because I was feeling so strong.
“I always feel strong when I am running happy and that is down to the fantastic training group I have in Kenya. This is a wonderful course and I am sure that someone could run faster than 58 minutes on it in the future.”
“I am happy to have run a PB and I think this is one of the fastest courses on which I have ever run,” said Kimining. “It is a bit like the event in Ras Al Khaimah.”
There was also a dramatic finish in the women’s race as Kenya’s Lucy Cheruiyot and Ethiopia’s Azmera Abreha ran side by side down the finishing straight, with another Kenyan, Paskalia Kipkoech, not far behind.
In the end, Cheruiyot’s strength carried her to victory, although both she and Abreha were given the same times, 68:20. Kipkoech was a further five seconds behind in 68:25.
posted Tuesday October 8th