New york Marathon: Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai tipped for 2012 games after setting new record

2011-11-10 00:00

KENYAN Geoffrey Mutai set a new course record in winning the New York Marathon at the weekend, in a time of 2:05:06.

With seven runners still in contention after 32 km, Mutai, the winner of the Boston Marathon, pulled away and never looked in danger of losing the lead. He is now being heralded as the top-ranked marathoner for the 2012 Olympics.

Emmanuel Mutai, the winner in London, left his charge too late, but overtook Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede to secure second place, while Kebede hung on for third.

Mary Keitany, the world half-marathon record-holder, went from the gun, but the chase group, including the eventual winner, Firehiwot Dado, and runner-up Buzunesh Deba — both from Ethiopia — gradually whittled away the lead. As Keitany slowed on the gradual pull to Central Park the gap was closed and the trio were together at 40 km. Although attempting a fightback, Keitany had to settle for third behind Dado, with Deba only four seconds adrift.

Relative newcomer Michael Mazibuko of Frankfurt in the Free State won the Soweto Marathon, with Moses Mosuhli the runner-up in an event that was marred by technical errors at the start.

Mazibuko was an unexpected winner and brought the title back into South Africa after a run of Lesotho winners. Portipher Dombonjena was the first of the large KZN contingent finishing in fifth.

However, it was Mamarollo Tjoka who stood atop the podium in the women’s race with a new record time of 2:43:40. Emma Gooderham in the colours of the Durban-based Bluff Meats Formula One club was second only 17 minutes adrift.

Russian Nina Podnesbesnova failed to make her goal of a new course record, but took third some five minutes adrift.

With both the 10 km and the marathon starting under one gantry, many runners were knocked and battered, with Gooderham falling and grazing her shoulder, while Irvette van Blerk was trampled in her debut and eventually pulled out.

The 10 km also suffered problems as the combined start resulted in many of the 10 km runners following the marathoners and missing out a three kilometre loop.

The 2012 Old Mutual Two Oceans 56 km marathon has already attracted almost 600 entries — primarily overseas runners.

The South African entries are expected to start coming in now that a number of qualifying marathons have been held in the provinces and the bulk are normally received in the first months of the new year. Today is the first day for half-marathon entries, which open online at 10 am.

The 2012 half-marathon will start at a new venue closer to the UCT finish and will tackle Edinburgh Hill and part of the Blue Route before rejoining the race for the climb back up Southern Cross drive. Entries are at www.twooceansmarathon.org.

The Comrades Marathon and the local clubs are hosts for the Edendale 10 km event on Sunday, starting from the FNB Wadley Stadium at 7.30 am.

It is open to runners and walkers and there is also a five kilometre fun run for younger runners or those looking to be part of the festivities.

The race is now in its fifth year and with a first prize of R2 500 some of the top runners in the province can be expected to take on the challenge.

The event has seen a growth from the original 100 entrants to well over a 1 000 last year.

Thami Vilakazi has more details at 083 413 9827.

In Durban the age group runners get their annual opportunity to take the limelight in the Bluff Vets Half-marathon and 15 km that starts from the Fynnlands Combines Sports Club at 6 am.

Grant Howes has all the additional information at 083 225 9815.

Soweto Marathon

Men

1. Michael Mazibuko Toyota AC 2.19.04

2. Moses Mosuhli Mr Price AVT 2.19.05

3. Lebenya Nkoka Mr Price AVT 2.19.34

Ladies

1. Mamarollo Tjoka Toyota ACC 2.43.40

2. Emma Gooderham Formula 1 AC 2.43.57

3. Nina Podnebesnova Nedbank RC AGN 2.48.05

New York Marathon:

Men

1) Geoffrey Mutai (KEN), 2:05:06*,

2) Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 2:06:28,

3) Tsegaye Kebede (ETH), 2:07:14,

Women:

1) Firehiwot Dado (ETH), 2:23:15,

2) Buzunesh Deba (ETH), 2:23:19,

3) Mary Keitany (KEN), 2:23:38.

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