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Taye Girma captured victory at the Boulogne-Billancourt Half-Marathon,

Taye Girma and Parendis Lekapana captured victories at the Boulogne-Billancourt Christian Grangier Half-Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday. Spearheaded by Precious Mashele of South Africa, who established a steady tempo from the gun, the lead pack of eight runners hit the five-kilometer and 10-kilometer marks in 14:31 and 29:02 respectively. Mashele, Olika Adugna, Yismaw Ayenu, Taye Girma, Josphat Tanui and 2008 Olympic steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto were still in contention for the victory at 15 kilometres, reached in 43:32. Mashele broke up the field by ramping up the pace after about 17 kilometers and only Girma and Tanui were able to follow him. Then Girma began his decisive attack with two kilometers remaining, passing the 20-kilometers mark in 57:55, two seconds ahead of Tanui and six seconds ahead of Mashele. Girma maintained his pace in the closing stages and won in 1:00:52. It’s my first experience of a half marathon and I’m very happy to win today,” said the Ethiopian, who earlier this year set a 10km PB of 28:06. “I felt cold during most of the race.”  Tanui came home second in 1:01:00 as Mashele rounded the podium in 1:01:14. Kipruto, now focusing on road running, finished fifth in 1:02:24. Parendis Lekapana produced a solo effort to prevail over compatriot Susan Jeptoo, whose PB of 1:09:02 is 11 seconds faster than Lekapana’s personal record. Lekapana, 27, set out well inside PB pace and covered the first five kilometres in 15:51, suggesting a possible finish time of 1:06:50. She was then timed in 32:21 at 10 kilometers, 42 seconds ahead of Jeptoo, and was still on pace to challenge the course record of 1:08:29 set by Rahma Tusa last year. The Kenyan couldn’t maintain that kind of speed and covered the next 10-kilometer section in 34:32, but she still held a 55-second lead over Jeptoo at 20 kilometres. Although the gap had reduced to 40 seconds, Lekapana, second last year, crossed the line in 1:10:46 to seal her second win of the year following a 1:09:23 success in Krems. Karine Pasquier of France finished third in 1:15:26. (11/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Brimin Kipruto will make Half Marathon Debut in Boulgne-Billancourt on Sunday

Kenya’s 2008 Olympic steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto will embark on the road-running chapter of his career when he lines up for the Boulogne-Billancourt Christian Grangier Half-Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday. The 33-year-old, who also won the 2007 world steeplechase title, was eliminated from his heat at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, which was his last competition to date. Having now shifted his focus to the roads, he will have much to do in Boulogne-Billancourt with the likes of Josphat Tanui and Olika Adugna also in the race. Tanui has a personal best of 59:22 set last year in Usti, suggesting that Franklin Chepkwony’s course record of 1:00:11 from 2013 could be in jeopardy. His season’s best, however, is 1:01:14 from the Prague Half Marathon in April, while his most recent performance at the distance was a 1:02:42 clocking in Usti Nad Labem in September. The field also includes Precious Mashele of South Africa, who set a PB of 1:01:48 last year in Boulogne-Billancourt, Yismaw Ayeno of Ethiopia, who was fifth in Marseille-Cassis, and Taye Girma, whose 10km PB of 28:06 indicates he could play a leading role in what will be his half marathon debut. In the women’s race, Kenya’s Parendis Lakapana will attempt to move up from her second-place showing last year. Two months ago Lakapana won in Krems in a time of 1:09:23, only 10 seconds outside her PB. Her main opponent should be compatriot Susan Jeptoo, who clocked a best of 1:09:02 in Lille last year. This year she has set PBs of 31:59 for 10km and 2:30:50 for the marathon, while she also prevailed in Porto in a season’s best of 1:11:06. (11/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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