Course records fall at the 42nd anual Madrid Marathon
Kenya’s Reuben Kerio and Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu set race records at the 42nd Rock ’n’ Roll Madrid Marathon, crossing the line of the IAAF Gold Label road race in 2:08:18 and 2:26:24 respectively on Saturday (27).
While the 25-year-old Kerio led a Kenyan clean sweep of medals, Insermu obliterared the previous record by over four minutes, getting the better from her fellow Ethiopian Fetale Dejene Tsegaye on a perfect day (10C at the start).
Led by pacemakers Emmanuel Bett of Kenya and Ugandan cross-country specialist Timothy Toroitich, the main pack set off at a steady 3:03/km pace. The opening 10 kilometres were covered in 30:39 with 16 men still in the lead.
The pace increased in the following five-kilometre section and they went through 15km in 45:33 and reached the half-way point in 1:03:54 with Toroitich still in the lead. Bernard Kiprop Koech, Kiprotich Kirui, Kipkemoi Kipsang and Ethiopia’s Sisay Jisa ran closest to the pacemakers by then.
With the clock reading 1:19, Jisa fell injured and was forced to stop. Shortly afterwards Eliud Barngetuny lost contact with the main pack at the 29th kilometre.
Once Toroitich dropped out, Kirui took charge of the pace and only Kerio, Kipsang and Kiptoo managed to stay at his shoulder while the local favourite Javier Guerra could not live with their pace and ran in fifth alongside Nicholas Kirwa.
The lead pack reached 30km in 1:31:08 and with four men still in the group it became clear they were on pace to break the race record of 2:09:15.
The long-legged Kerio made his move at the 36th kilometre and he soon opened a clear gap over Kipsang, Kirui and Kiptoo. By 40km (2:01:35) the leader had built a 22-second margin on Kipsang and 24 on Kirui, having both secured podium places in detriment of a fading Kiptoo.
Kerio crossed the finish line in 2:08:18 to take nearly a full minute off the previous race record. Kipsang (PB of 2:08:58) and Kirui (2:09:05) also dipped inside the previous mark set in 2014. To the delight of the crowd, Guerra finished fifth in 2:10:19, a couple of seconds behind Kiptoo.
“This is my first win at an IAAF Gold Label event so I’m over the moon,” said Kerio. “In addition I ran 2:08 low which means a much faster time competing at sea level so I hope to be in the 2:05 region shortly.”
Paced by compatriot Fikadu Kebede, Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu, a 2:23:28 performer, set out with the intention of breaking the 2:30:40 race record set last year, but she had a hesitant first 10km, covered in 35:41 in the company of compatriots Tsegaye Dejene, Beshadu Bekele, Gebeyanesh Ayele and Hemila Wortessa.
Shortly after 15km, reached in 52:24, Insermu had built up a sole lead while her three compatriots ran together, helped by 2006 5000m European champion Jesús España, a recreational runner nowadays after his retirement last summer
Insermu, contesting her 11th marathon, cruised to the half-way point in 1:13:00, some 1:15 ahead of record schedule and 20 seconds clear of debutant Tesfaye, Bekele and Ayele.
Taking advantage of Kebede’s pacing duties, Insermu maintained her rhythm for the rest of the event, despite the second half of the circuit being the toughest part.
By 30km, reached in 1:43:28, the leader still held a 20-second advantage over Tesfaye but Bekele and Ayele’s speed decreased dramatically as they lost 1:48 by then. Finally, the gap between the experienced Insermu and debutant Tesfaye increased and the only question remaining was how much the course record would be broken by.
The 26-year-old Insermu won in style in 2:26:24 with a 41-second advantage over Tesfaye while Bekele completed an Ethiopian sweep in 2:32:15.
“Once I knew I would run in Madrid in April, I set myself the goal of setting a new race record as a lot of people said it was not possible to dip under the 2:30 barrier,” said Insermu. “I thought I might clock 2:27 so my performance was even beyond expectations.”
posted Saturday April 27th