MUMBAI, JANUARY 20: Debutant Jackson Kiprop of Uganda and 20-year-old Valentine Kipketer of Kenya overcame rising heat and humidity to conquer the challenging course and set new course records in the USD 350,000 prize money Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on Sunday.
Kiprop, not among the pre-race favourites for the title, broke away at the 36-km mark from the lead bunch comprising Kenyans Laban Moiben, the defending champion and Elijah Kemboi and Ethiopians Abraham Girma, the fastest man in the race, and Jacob Cheshari to finish strongly in 2:09.32, shaving off 22 seconds from the course record of 2:09.54 set in 2011 by Ethiopian Girma Assefa in 2011. Following Kiprop home was the Ethiopian Cheshari in 2:0943, also under the course record. Kenyan Kemboi took third place in 2:10.03.
Lyngkhoi Bining of Army Sports Institute won the Indian men's full marathon title with a timing of 2:21.51, followed by Ashish Singh (2:23.05) and Elam Singh (2:23.09).
"I train at the Army Sports Institute and I want to thank them for all the support that they have given me," said Bining after winning.
Lalita Babbar defended her title in the Indian women's full marathon, winning in 2:53.42, followed home by Vijaymala Patil (2:57.42) and Rohin Raut (3:03.21). "Last year I was very happy with my time. This year I wanted perform better and break my own record, which I couldn't. However, the victory is very satisfying," said Lalita.
The Half Marathon men's title was won by Nitender Singh in a time of 1:06.16, while Sudha Singh won the women's title with a timing of 1:17.24.
Running in only the second marathon of her career, Valentine Kipketer salvaged some pride for Kenya in the otherwise Ethiopian dominated race as she clocked the season's world leading time 2:24:33 to win the women's race. This timing was 1.39 minutes faster than the course record of 2:26.12 set last year by Ethiopian Netsanet Abeyo. While Kipketer earned the course record bonus of USD 15,000 to supplement the winner's purse of USD 40,000, Kiprop and Cheshari will share the bonus of USD 15,000. Kiprop also earned USD 40,000 for first place.
Kipketer, who turned 20 just a fortnight ago, had finished a credible fourth in Hamburg last April, where she clocked a decent 2:28:02 in her debut. The Kenyan, running an all-out race on one of the toughest courses in the World, was briefly accompanied by pre-race favourite Aberu Mekuria and her Ethiopian teammate Dinknesh Mekash, who were taken through at a brisk speed by pacemaker Stefan van den Broek of Belgium.
Mekash started pushing Kipketer when the race was half-way through. "I felt the heat for a good kilometre before accelerating to the front," Kipketer admitted in the post-event briefing.
When she approached the Marine Drive on her return journey the Kenyan was on her own, but did not slow her tempo. She approached the finish-line with ease and went past the timer in a remarkable 2:24:33 -- new course record, Indian all-comers record and also the season's best time for a marathoner in the World. But more than anything the first ever victory for a woman runner from her country in Mumbai!
"I'm very happy with my performance. It was a little hot towards the end of the race but I just managed to push myself. I feel good about creating a new course record here at the Mumbai Marathon. In future, with better training, I'm definitely looking to go under 2:20," said Valentine.
Ethiopian Fatuma Sado's 2:27:35 was the previous world lead clocked during the Xiamen marathon in China just fifteen days ago.
The Ethiopian women filled nine out of ten places for which prize money was offered after giving away the top spot to Kipketer. Dinknesh Mekash (2:28:46) and Aberu Mekuria (2:29:03) completed the podium spots with Kipketer.
Everywhere in the World the debutant marathoners are the runners to be watched as can always be expected to spring surprises and the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon was no exception. With four runners - three Ethiopians besides Jackson Kiprop of Uganda - trying their luck for the first time over the 42.195 km distance, the anticipation was more in the men's race.
With three pace-makers driving the tempo, as many as a dozen runners went past the first 10 km in a modest 30:14. The mercury level went up after a cool 7:20 a.m. start but a pleasant breeze from the sea greeted the athletes as they approached the iconic Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link just before the 15 km mark.
Eritrean Mulue Andom paced around five runners for a good part of the race after the two other pacers, from South Africa and Kenya started trailing with the leading pack just 10 km from the finish.
The lead pack went together until the climb on the fly-over on Peddar Road, but nearing Jaslok Hospital Jackson, Girma and Moiben moved ahead. When the runners approached the 36th km mark around 1 hr,50 mins Kiprop made his move and broke away from the other two.
Ethiopia's Cheshari, another debutant like Kiprop, charged the leader and started running shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ugandan for a brief time, but gave up when the duo were less than five kms from the finish, dropping back to around 100 metres from the leader.
Kiprop went on strongly to win in a new course record, a first for Uganda in the men's race like what Kipketer gave to Kenya in the women's event.
Following are the results: (Finals)
(Overall Results Men): Jackson Kiprop (UGA) 2:09.32 (SCMM New Course Record); Jacob Cheshari (ETH) 2:09.43; Elijah Kemboi ((KEN) 2:10.03; Abraham Girma (ETH) 2:10.15; Laban Moiben (KEN) 2:10.55; Abay Tadesse (ETH) 2:14.14; Dese Endris (ETH) 2.14.37; Ashenafi Ketema (ETH) 2:16.35; Desta Gebrehiwet (ETH) 2:17.05; Argachew Tola (ETH) 2:18.44.
(Overall Results Women): Valentine Kipketer (KEN) 2:24.33 (SCMM New Course Record); Dinknesh Mekash (ETH) 2:28.46; Aberu Mekuria (ETH) 2:29.03; Fantu Jimma (ETH) 2:30.22; Yeshimebet Tadesse (ETH) 2:30.52; Megra Marta (ETH) 2:31.01; Desta Tadessa (ETH) 2:31.44; Kidist Fiseha (ETH) 2:39.42; Sosena Tekle (ETH) 2:39.45; Zeytuna Arba (ETH) 2:40.03.
Indian Overall Results Men: Binning Lynkhoi (IND) 2:21.51 (Overall 14th); Ashish Singh (IND) 2:23.05 (Overall 15th); Elam Singh (IND) 2:23.09 (Overall 16th); Karan Singh (IND) 2:24.29 (Overall 17th); Angad Kumar (IND) 2:25.09 (Overall 18th).
(Indian Overall Results Women): Lalita Babbar (IND) 2:53.42 (Overall 12th); Vijay Mala Patil (IND) 2:57.42 (Overall 13th); Rohini Raut (IND) 3:03.21 (Overall 14th); M Sudha (IND) 3:08.20 (Overall 15th); Jyoti Gawate (IND) 3:13.56 (Overall 16th).
Half Marathon (Men): Nitender Singh (IND) 1:06.16; Sachin Patil (IND) 1:09.01; Atwa Bhajat (IND) 1:09.32.
Half Marathon (Women): Sudha Singh (IND) 1:17.24; Ritu Pal (IND) 1:19.19; Monika Athare (IND) 1:19.28.
Marathon Super Veteran (Men): Charles Lo (USA) 4:12.53; Bibekananda Tripathy (IND) 4:55.52; Dharam Singh (IND) 4:58.38.
Marathon Super Veteran (Women):Rachel Chatterjee (IND) 4:55.56.
Marathon Senior Veteran (Men): S J Yadav (IND) 3:21.54; Kothandapani K C (IND) 3:42.32; Ramavtar Rajbhar (IND) 3:44.90.
Marathon Senior Veteran (Women):Radha Krishnaswamy (IND) 4:45.21; Pervin Batliwala (IND) 4:48.09; Caroline Yasuda (USA) 4:48.59.
Marathon Veteran (Men): Matt Ebiner (USA) 2:44.45; Gary Lew (USA) 3:05.15; Lourdes Irudaya Bosco (IND) 3:10.13.
Marathon Veteran (Women):Rachael Woolston (GBR) 3:55.07; Kranti Salvi (IND) 4:12.00; Shilpa Phadke (IND) 4:19.58.
Kingfisher Mast Mumbaikar (For Individual): 1st Prize Ameeta Gupta (Save the Girl Child); 2nd Prize Siddhesh Gothankar (Women Safety); 3rd Prize Apurpa Sampat (Justice for Terrorism).
Kingfisher Bindaas Bande (Best Costume Theme for Groups): 1st Prize Shrimad Rajchandra Mission theme: Love & Care). 2nd Prize: Zoop Group (Ek tha Tiger).
Kingfisher Green Crusader:
1st Prize Arati Sarvaiya (Plant Trees);
2nd Prize Pooja Mundada (Go Green).