Komen breaks La Rochelle record with 2:07:13
Provided by IAAF
La Rochelle, France - Kenyan John Komen ran 2:07:13 to break the race record of Marathon de La Rochelle Serge Vigot on Sunday, while Ethiopian Ture Chatu won the women’s race in 2:36:04.
Marathon de La Rochelle Serge Vigot is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race.
The weather was cool and foggy on the old Port of La Rochelle at the start of the 21st edition of the Marathon. The race opened on a faster basis than had been planned, as the Kenyan pacemakers Eliud Kiplagat Barngetury and Samwel Maswai were timed at 5km in 15:12, instead of expected 15:25.
Behind them were four of their fellow countrymen: John Komen, the fastest of the field with a 2:08:06 performance set three years ago, Nahashon Kimaiyo who placed 3rd last year, as well as outsiders Daniel Limo and Peter Kwalia, who ran in 2009 rescpetively 2:10:54 and 2:12:07. Also included in this pack was the Ethiopian Feyisa Woldemikael, debutant at the Marathon with a 62:27 to his credit for the Half Marathon.
Kwalia was the first to be dropped even though the pace remained stable in the historic city centre, while a light drizzle occurred. 10km was reached in 30:22, and no change in the group occurred through 15km (45:53) and the Half Marathon (64:43). It was then clear that the race record of 2:09:44 was in danger, as the leaders passed the halfway point in 1:04:43, about one minute faster than record holder Ethiopian Haile Haja in 2009.
The second pacemaker stopped at 28km, after having passed the 25km in 1:16:16. Just before 30km (1:31:20), Kimayo was dropped, and a few minutes later it was Woldemikael’s turn to fade.
The two remaining runners, Komen and Limo, kept side by side for a couple of metres before Komen injected an acceleration to get a rid of his rival. The leader was now only fighting against the clock (1:45:47 at 35km). Unstoppable, the 34-year-old Kenyan maintained a 2:58 pace through the finish towards the Port and covered the two loop race in a surprisingly fast 2:07:12, easily a personal best and race record. This performance makes La Rochelle the second fastest ever Marathon in France, behind Paris.
Limo placed second in 2:08:38 while Kimayo passed Woldemikael to take third place in 2:10:43.
The women’s race was highlighted by the runs of three Ethiopians. Wayinshet Abebe Hailu (2:42:57 in 2009) led Ture Chatu (2:38:41 last season) and Marathon debutante Zerfe Boku. The trio separated early from the rest of the field and remained together until the 24th kilometre, after having passed the half-way in 1:16:44. Hailu dropped back and eventually finished third in 2:38:39.
Chatu emerged as the winner in the last couple of kilometre and smashed her personal best with 2:36:04, still far from the race record of Goitetom Haftu (2:28:24). Boku took the second place in 2:36:48.
P-J Vazel for the IAAF
1. John KOMEN (KEN) 2:07:13
2. Daniel LIMO (KEN) 2:08.39
3. Nahashon KIMAYO (KEN) 2:10:44
4. Feyisa WOLDEMIKAEL (ETH) 2:11:34
5. Nourdine JALAL (MAR) 2:14:23
6. Eliud BARNGETUNY (KEN) 2:19:05
7. Peter KWALIA (KEN) 2:21:48
8. Julien COTTIN (FRA) 2:25:40
9. Victcheslav PRIHOTKO (UKR) 2:28:33
10. Victor ROGOVOY (UKR) 2:28:34
1. Ture CHATU (ETH) 2:36:04
2. Zerfe BOKU (ETH) 2:36:51
3. Wayinshet Abebe HAILU (ETH) 2:38:39
4. Adeline ROCHE (FRA) 2:45:15
5. Kelly CRICKMORE (GBR) 2:51:47