Course record fill at the Madrid Half Marathon Sunday

Kenya’s Kipkemoi Kiprono and Tigist Teshome of Ethiopia secured their respective victories at the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday April 7. 

While the men’s victor managed to lower the previous race record by seven seconds thanks to a 1:01:47 performance, Teshome’s clocking came 28 seconds outside the women’s best.

The men’s race opened at a cautious rhythm as the first half of the race was uphill. The leading group reached five kilometres in 15:07, composed of 12 men including the favourites Kiprono, Ronald Kiptotich, Bernard Kiprop Kipyego, Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Abera and South Africa’s Desmond Mokgobu.

Kenya’s Langat Kipkurui went through the 10km checkpoint in 30:10 closely followed by Kiprono and the Ethiopian tandem of Abera and Erkihum Jenberie as the main group had whittled down to nine.

Once the race entered in the downhill section the pace increased dramatically. It was the eventual winner Kiprono who took charge of the race to clock a 14:32 split for the next five kilometres (44:43 overall), a pace that only Abera, Kiprotich and Erkihum could mustre.

Shortly before the 18th kilometre, Kiprono shook off his rivals and began to cushion his lead and turning his attention, successfully, to breaking the 1:01:54 course record.

In the fight for the runner-up spot Abera, a 2:04:24 marathoner, got the better of Kiprotich, 1:01:59 and 1:02:02 their respective times. The Ethiopian was making his first outing in 18 months while the unheralded Kenyan set a new career best.

Paced by Spain’s Francisco Javier de León, the women’s contest kicked off at a steady 3:20/km clip with five Ethiopian runners at the front: Teshome, Hawi Magersa, Abebech Mulugeta, Obse Abdeta and Aberu Ayana. Mulugeta was the first to drop while the remaining four clocked 33:32 for the opening 10km.

Around the 12th kilometre, Teshome and Magersa broke away, reaching 15 kilometres in 50:03. Teshome’s relentless pace paid off shortly afterwards when she forged on alone, eventually reaching the line in 1:10:08, a new personal best.

Magersa was second in 1:10:55 while Mulugeta regrouped to finish third in 1:11:08.

posted Sunday April 7th