New records set in the 37th Amsterdam Marathon

2012-10-24 00:00

WILSON Chebet of Kenya ran negative splits to win the 37th Amsterdam Marathon in a new course record of two hours, five minutes and 41 seconds, with countryman Abrha Gebretsadik scoring a personal best (as did the whole top five) in 2:06:21.

Chebet eased through the first half in 63:06 then sped up over the last third to give a second-half time of 62:35.

The records continued in the women’s race, with Meseret Hailu taking the course record down to 2:21:09 and pulling Eunice Kirwa Jepkirui (KEN) and Genet Getaneh (ETH) through to personal bests in second and third positions.

Locally, Kenyan Julius Tenai, running in the Bluff Meats colours, won the Swift Half marathon around the Pietermaritzburg and Edendale suburbs, on Sunday, in one hour, eight minutes and three seconds — holding off local man, Sibonela Duma, of the Boxer club by little over 100 m.

Tenai also won the 35-39 age group category, while Duma’s club-mate, Thobani Chagwe, completed the podium placings in 1:09:27.

These times were not particularly fast, whereas Savages Makosi Mhlongo and Suzette Botha headed the women’s race with times that compare favourably with their personal bests.

Mhlongo took the line honours in 1:20:44, with Botha claiming second and first in the 40-49 in 1:21:51.

PDAC’s Liza Muchna was first outside the 90-minute barrier for third place.

Collegians Harriers are the hosts for this week’s Duke of York 16 km race. This is one of the oldest and most consistently held events in the country. Over the years, the event has had to move around to cater for the increasing traffic, but the same principle of a downhill event over 16 km remains giving runners the opportunity to record fast times over the old imperial 10 mile distance.

The race will start at 7 am from Boulder Hill, in Ashburton, and makes its way to the Collegians Clubhouse in Boshoff Street. Runners are rewarded with gold, silver and bronze awards, depending purely on their times. There will be a five kilometre fun run to cater for the younger runners or those looking for a less onerous exercise.

For more information, contact Andre Booysen at 082 318 5137

Don Oliver, a 19 times Comrades runner — who, as a result of medical problems, had both legs amputated last year — will be competing in next weekend’s New York Marathon as part of the Achilles SA team. The 78-year-old, who has long been one of the traditional advisers for Comrades runners, will attempt to complete the classic distance using a hand cycle.

The Achilles SA Foundation is sending nine such disabled runners to the event. Braam Mouton of the Ethembeni School on the Comrades route will accompany the team.

“As a former Comrades runner, one of the people who played a vital role in inspiring me was Don Oliver. He always gave really great advice on running the Comrades. In addition, through his involvement with the Rocky Road Runners Club, Don always had a soft spot for disabled runners. He was, therefore, a number one choice to represent South Africa in the New York City Marathon,” said Mouton.

In a similar vein, Canadian runner Ed Whitlock set another world age group record in last week’s Toronto Marathon when, as an 85-year-old, he ran 3:30:26, breaking the previous mark by 16 minutes.

Whitlock, who slipped and broke a rib last year, went through half way in 1:41:01.

“Based on a false appreciation of my preparedness, my initial pace was [too] ambitious. I realised sometime before halfway that I had made a big mistake and things were going to be difficult, and that’s how it turned out. I ran the last four kilometres very slowly, nearly nine minutes a mile, against a stiffening breeze,” said Whitlock, who felt he could go quicker.

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