Course record for Ndungu in Dublin
Provided by IAAF
Dublin, Ireland - Kenya's Geoffrey Ndungu claimed victory in the 32nd National Lottery Dublin Marathon on the October Bank Holiday Monday (31), achieving a new course record of 2:08:33 - the second year in succession for a Kenyan to set a new record.
Despite a testing wind and rain showers, Ndungu was able to clip 25 seconds off the record set last year by his countryman Moses Kibet, who finished in fifth place this time around.
Kenya provided the first six finishers in the men's race, with Sean Connolly from Tallaght the first Irishman home in 12th place some 10 minutes adrift of the excellent Ndungu.
There were relatively clear skies and humid temperatures for the earlier finishers in the 14,143-strong contingent of athletes, before heavy rain arrived for the remainder of the day.
Nambia's Helalia Johannes clocked a time of 2:30:35 to become the first woman home - over four minutes slower than Russia's Tatyana Arysova who set a course record last year.
Johannes, who was setting a new Namibian record, managed to stretch away from second-placed Emily Rotich of Kenya in the closing miles.
Dundrum's Linda Byrne, in her first Marathon, was the first Irish woman home in sixth place. Her time of 2:36:21 has secured her qualification for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Speaking afterwards, the victorious Ndungu said he felt comfortable when breaking clear of a four-man group at a crucial point in the race.
"At 37 kilometres when running together I tried to sprint and then I made it (the break) and I was running very fast," he said.
"I enjoyed it. When no one was coming I felt even more strong and then I ran even faster."
Impressively maintaining his long stride, Ndungu came home strongly to earn €15,000 for his first place finish, with a bonus of €5,000 for breaking the course record.
"I hope to save some money for the future. Running is my career, I am doing nothing else but running at the moment. I train every day and I am expecting to run even better than this to run my personal best."
And the 37-year-old already has plans to try to retain his Dublin crown, adding: "Maybe I will run in Germany in another marathon next year and I hope to come again to Dublin to defend my title."
Gilbert Kiptoo finished second in a time of 2:09:50 ahead of third-placed Jacob Kiplagat Yator (2:10:23). Jonathan Chesoo secured fourth spot in 2:10:57 and 2010 champion Kibet was a further 46 seconds adrift in fifth (2:11:43).
New women's champion Johannes was delighted to lead the field home as she continues her preparations for next year's Olympic Games.
"This is my last event for the year. I am going to the Olympics next year," she said afterwards.
"I did enjoy the run, but it is not easy because it is up and down. It is a bit hilly. I really enjoyed it but I was struggling because I have a hamstring injury.
"I will thank God for that (the win) because he was guiding me from the beginning of the race until the end."
Cóilín Duffy for the IAAF
1. Geoffrey G. Ndungu (Kenya) 2:08:33
2. Gilbert C. Kiptoo (Kenya) 2:09:50
3. Jacob Kiplagat Yator (Kenya) 2:10:23
4. Jonathan K. Chesoo (Kenya) 2:10:57
5. Moses Kangogo Kibet (Kenya) 2:11:43
6. Ben Maiyo (Kenya) 2:13:33
1. Helalia Johannes (Nambia) 2:30:35
2. Emily Rotich (Kenya) 2:32:10
3. Radiya Adilo (Ethiopia) 2:32:22
4. Olga Glok (Russia) 2:33:26
5. Shuru Diriba Dulume (Ethiopia) 2:34:31
6. Linda Byrne (Ireland) 2:36:21