sunday, april 29, 1300gmt
can be won in lost in many different ways. Shami Dawit
of Ethiopia and Rael Kiyara of Kenya employed a similar
tactic to win the men’s and women’s races at the 27th
Haspa Marathon Hamburg this morning, attacking between
30 and 40 kilometres, and breaking both course records,
with 2.05.58 and 2.23.47.
big difference though was that Dawit was already close
to the lead at the three-quarter mark, and ran away at
pace to win by over a minute; whereas Kiyara was a
minute behind at 30k, and closed on her runaway rivals
like an avenging angel, putting them to the sword just
after 40k, and winning by half a minute. They were both
mightily impressive runs, on a windy morning that
threatened to ruin the organisers’ hopes of giving
their new committee the kudos of good results.
needn’t have worried. As soon as Dawit and Kiyara got
into gear, Julio Rey’s 2.06.52 from 2006, and Irina
Timofeyeva’s 2.24.14 from 2008 were destined for the
dustbin of history. Dawit was ten seconds shy of his
best, in Dubai three months ago, but given the
respective conditions, this was an infinitely superior
run, and two sub-2.06’s in succession contributes to
the resurgence of Ethiopian marathoning. Kiyara flew the
flag for the Kenyan rivals with close to two minutes
improvement on her previous best.
a city that boasts one day’s rain in three, this was
fortunately one of the other two days, though the wind
off the North Sea did threaten proceedings. But a group
of 15 men and a half dozen women through the first half
helped dissipate that, and with the breeze at their back
over the final kilometres, both winners said they barely
noticed the wind.
waiting for his moment in the sun, and when it came, he
had plenty of time to savour it. He had finished one
second behind his colleague Dadi Yami in Dubai, and that
one second seemed to convince everyone that Yami was the
big favourite here. He certainly played that role
throughout the first half of the race, ignoring the
pacemakers and going to the front himself. But Dawit,
who had sat quietly through press conferences while Yami
was lionised by press and TV alike, surged silently to
his colleague’s shoulder at 30k, and then proceeded to
run 29.07 for the next 10k, and leave Yami in the dust.
Yami nonetheless underlined his good run in Dubai
(2.05.41) by finishing second, in 2.07.01, and Kenyan
Augustine Ronoh(sic) was third, in 2.07.23.
played a waiting game. While her young colleague
Valentine Kipketer raced through the half in 1.10.24,
with Netsanet Abeyo right behind, Kiyara was adrift by
herself in seventh place in 1.11.43. But a few
kilometres later, as the field fell apart in front of
her, she picked up the pieces, moving into third by 30k.
still a minute behind, she said afterwards, that was the
point she thought she might win.
others started much too quickly,” she said, “so I
decided to run my own pace. I didn’t think I had a
chance to win until I started seeing the leaders after
30k. But I wasn’t sure, it was only when I passed the
Ethiopian at 40k that I thought I was going to win”.
Abeyo held on to finish second in 2.24.12, just under
the old record, and her colleague Etalamehu Kidane was
third in 2.5.49.
has suffered from internal rivalries and lost sponsors
in recent years, falling off from a pre-eminent place in
both German and international marathons, but with a new
young team, and a couple of course records to their
credit, this looks like a turning point.