Kenya staged another sweep as winners at the 40th edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (18).
Bernard Kipyego defended his men’s title and Joyce Chepkirui pounded the track to her maiden victory over the distance on Sunday.
In persistent drizzling rain, temperatures below 10C and a high humidity, the conditions were far from perfect. But both athletes recorded the sixth-fastest times in the history of the race; Kipyego triumphed in personal best of 2 hours, 06 minutes and 18 seconds, which was faster than his winning time of 2:06:22 in 2014 and Kenya’s new discovery, Joyce Chepkirui, the 27-year-old who won the Commonwealth Games 10,000m title in 2014, crossing the line in her personal best time of 2:24:10.
Defending champion Kipyego was intent on retaining his title and breaking the 2:06:22 PB he set when winning in Amsterdam last year. The 29-year-old Kenyan eventually achieved both of those goals, but the cold and rain gave him – and many others – cause for concern.
Kipyego was one of 16 runners in the leading group in the first half of the race, along with three-time winner Wilson Chebet and two-time world champion Abel Kirui.
The victories came in a span of three weeks after Eliud Kipchoge and Gladys Cherono stormed to their maiden Berlin Marathon victories in personal best times of 2: 04: 01 and 2:19:25 respectively with Dickson Chumba and Florence Kiplagat reigning at Chicago Marathon in 2:09:25 and 2:23:33 respectively.
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