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New course records were established at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon in China today

Kenya’s Felix Kimutai and Afera Godfay of Ethiopia raced to course records at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, in the Chinese city of Dongying on Saturday April 20. 

Running his first race in China, the 30-year-old Kimutai pulled clear with six kilometers to go to secure the victory in 2:09:23, beating the course record of 2:09:27 set by compatriot Dickson Kipsang Tuwei in 2016. His performance also improved his previous best of 2:09:57 set during his victory in Istanbul last year.

A lead group of 15 covered the opening 10km in 30:49, a pack reduced to 11 at 15km and further cut to 11 runners at 25km.

Six kilometers later, Morocco’s Hicham Laqouahi, who bettered his PB to 2:08:35 with his victory at the Oita Mainichi Marathon in Beppu two months ago, made the first move. Although he was soon caught by the chase pack, the sudden change of pace forced four men to drop back.

When they reached the 35km water tables in 1:47:56, only four remained in contention: Laqouahi, Kimutai, Ethiopia’s Fikadu Kebede and Dominic Ruto of Kenya.

Kimutai waited for another 1500m before launching his decisive move for the lead. He was 10 seconds ahead of course record pace at 40km (2:02:50) and continued to push until breaking the tape in style with his finger pointing high towards the sky.

Kebede, a past winner of the Rabat Marathon with a 2:08:27 PB, finished second 15 seconds behind the winner in 2:09:38, while the 28-year-old Ruto finished third in 2:09:43, 35 second shy of his lifetime best set in Rome two years ago.

The top two finishers in the women’s race both beat the course record of 2:24:45 set by two-time winner Letebrhan Haylay last year.

The 27-year-old Godfay outraced race favourite Waganesh Mekasha to celebrate her first marathon title since debuting over the classic distance in 2015. Godfay also bettered her career best of 2:23:45 from the fourth finish in Shanghai last year with a winning mark of 2:22:41.

A pack of seven paced the race in the early stages, passing 10km in 34:05 and 15km in 51:01. The 27-year-old Mekasha, who owns a fast PB of 2:22:45 set at the Dubai Marathon in January, tried to pull away after the half way point with only Godfay managing to keep up.

The Ethiopian duo ran neck-and-neck for some ten kilometres before Mekasha had to hand over the lead.

The in-form Godfay left no chance to her rivals. She kept pushing on, extending her advantage until wrapping up the convincing victory.

Mekasha clocked 2:23:19 to finish second in the first race in which she didn’t improve on her PB since her victory at the Singapore Marathon in 2014. 

Kenya’s Truphena Chepchirchir was a distant third clocking 2:27:52, improving her PB by 19 seconds.

The 13th edition of the race, which was usually held in May, was staged under cool and breezy conditions with the temperature ranging from 13-19C degrees and the humidity remaining around 50 percent.

(04/20/2019) ⚡AMP
by Vincent Wu for IAAF
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Yellow River Estuary International Marathon

Yellow River Estuary International Marathon

Over 30,000 runners participate in the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon. The Yellow River Estuary International Marathon was first held in 2008 and has continued to grow in popularity every year. This IAAF Silver Label Road Race attracts over 6,000 runners in the marathon portion alone and another 24,000 participants run in the other events. The marathon takes place...

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Waganesh Mekasha will target the course record of the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon this Saturday

Organisers of the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon have assembled a deep field capable of breaking the men’s and women’s course records at the IAAF Gold Label road race in Dongying on saturday.

Waganesh Mekasha is a serious title contender and arguably the most in-form woman on the entry list. The rising Ethiopian achieved a big personal best of 2:22:45 to finish fourth at Dubai Marathon in January.

Since her first international marathon in Singapore in 2014, when she took the top honours in 2:46:54, the 27-year-old has improved her lifetime best each time in four races including her victories in Padua and Hengshui last year.

Should such momentum continue in the Chinese city of Dongying, Mekasha stands a good chance of breaking the course record of 2:24:45 set by two -time winner Letebrhan Haylay last year.

Caroline Cheptanui Kilel of Kenya is actually the fastest woman on paper, but her career best time of 2:22:34 was recorded back in 2013 when she took the victory in Frankfurt.

After clocking 2:27:39 to win the Daegu Marathon in 2016, the 38-year-old hasn’t bettered 2:30 since. She competed in Dongying last year and finished fifth in 2:34:39.

Fellow Kenyan Agnes Kiprop is also returning to the familiar course following her fourth-place finish in 2017.

The 39-year-old achieved her PB of 2:23:54 in 2011 and has maintained a high level of competitiveness, with her last victory coming two months ago in Hannover.

(04/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Yellow River Estuary International Marathon

Yellow River Estuary International Marathon

Over 30,000 runners participate in the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon. The Yellow River Estuary International Marathon was first held in 2008 and has continued to grow in popularity every year. This IAAF Silver Label Road Race attracts over 6,000 runners in the marathon portion alone and another 24,000 participants run in the other events. The marathon takes place...

more...
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