Kenyans notch up records in Chicago

2013-10-16 00:00

MARATHON times continue to be redefined with Dennis Kimetto and Emmanuel Mutai notching up the fourth and fifth fastest times yet in their one-two in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon.

The Kenyan duo finished in 2:03,45 and 2:03,52 to set personal bests, and were only 22 seconds off the world record set in Berlin by Wilson Kipsang two weeks ago.

Rita Jeptoo won the women’s race in 2:19,57 to become the 18th woman to break the 2:20 barrier.

The average of the top 10 times on the Chicago course move it up into fourth position on the fastest marathon courses behind Berlin, Dubai and Rotterdam.

• Nationally, Gezashigh Gemeda won the Spar women’s Johannesburg challenge, covering the 10 km in 33 minutes and 49 seconds.

The Ethiopian was content to sit in the lead trio, alongside René Kalmer and Putendo Nyahora, for the first three kilometres, but used the Killarney climb to move into pole position and never looked back.

Gemeda continued to pull away over the twisting and hilly route back through Illovo suburb to the new finish at the Wanderers Club, and had opened 600 m on Kalmer, who crossed the line in 34 minutes 31 seconds.

A disappointed Jenna Challenor was upset with her preparation.

“We flew on an early morning flight and spent the whole day waiting around. Then we arrived 15 minutes to the start. There wasn’t sufficient time to warm up. I feel I could have done much better,” said the Durban-based athlete.

• In Cape Town, Tanith Maxwell won the women’s Outsurance Gun Run 21 km in 1:17,24, leaving the Zimbabwean duo of Fortunate Chidzivo and Tabitha Tsatsa to fill second and third spot.

Central North West’s David Manja won the men’s race ahead of Lindikhaya Mthangayi and Xolisa Tyali in a fast 1:04,09.

• Locally, Maxed Elite’s Elmore Sibanda got the better of Thubalethu Phaku in Sunday’s Spar Chesterville 10 km to take the line honours in 32 minutes, 49 seconds, edging the DUT man by two seconds. Professor Mollen was a relatively distant third in 33:56.

• Entries for the Old Mutual Two Oceans 56 km Marathon opened yesterday with a limit of 11 000 runners. The 45th event will be run under the theme: “Designed to run”.

This year runners can enter online before completing the required five-hour qualifying marathon details, which can be updated before the closing date.

There are also revisions to the half marathon and trail run entry processes, which open on November 5 and December 2 respectively.

The first phase of 21 km entries will be restricted to the first 1 000 Blue number runners, then on November 11, 5 500 club runners will be accepted, with any previous Two Ocean race finisher being able to take up a further 6 000 spots from November 14.

Unsuccessful applicants and novice runners will then enter a computerised draw on January for the remaining 6 000 spots.

The ultra marathon is expected to attract a highly talented field of runners, who will attempt to improve the fastest times run in the race history in order to earn the new R1 million incentive put up by Old Mutual.

The men’s record of 3:03,44 was set in 1988 by road running legend Thompson Magawana, while Frith van der Merwe set the women’s record a year later in 1989 when she ran 3:30,36.

It is expected that these times will require runners to be capable of 2:09 and 2:27 marathons respectively, making it out of reach for the current crop of South Africans, but perhaps the target of the great Hailie Gebrselasse, a previous world marathon record holder, who last year said he intends to one day run the Two Oceans.

• This weekend sees the annual Swift half marathon that commences from the Hulamin ground in Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg at 6 am and covers a challenging route through the local community.

The normal cash prizes and finishers rewards are on offer.

Alex Anthony has the details at 072 209 0092.


1 Gezasshigh Gemeda ETH Nedbank 33:49, 2 Rene Kalmer Ned CGA 34:31, 3 Putendo Nyahora 35:00.


Men: 1. Elmore Sibanda ZIM/Maxed Elite 32:49, 2. Thubalethu Phaku DUT 32:51, 3. Professor Mollen ZIM/Maxed Elite 33:56.

Women: 1. Slindile Chili C/ville AC 41:57, 2. Cherone Rutlidge Fitness Beat AC 53:48, 3. Nonsipho Mbatha KwaMashu AC 55:43.

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