Chumba extends Kenya's winning streak in Eindhoven with course record

Dickson Chumba (KEN) winning at 2012 De Lage Landen marathon Eindhoven/Photo: Marathon Eindhoven Studio CLICK

Dickson Chumba extended Kenya's winning streak at the De Lage Langen Marathon Eindhoven to 14 races since 1999 when he sped to a course record and personal best of of 2:05:46 on Sunday.

He improved the standard at the IAAF Silver Label Road Race by two seconds, inheriting the title of being the fastest man over the classic distance in the Dutch city from his compatriot Jafred Kipchumba, who ran 2:05:48 in 2011.

Chumba was out on his own from just after 28 kilometres and eventually crossed the line 25 seconds in front of his compatriot Franklin Chepkwony, who was second in 2:06:11.

Into the bargain, Chumba sliced almost two minutes off his previous best of 2:07:23, set when finishing seventh at the Frankfurt Marathon last year.

He has now won two of the six marathons in his career and also finished second on three other occasions.

The race started off at a frantic pace with a large group going through the opening 5km in 14:39 with 18 runners, including the pacemakers, passing the 10km marker in 29:33.

The following five kilometres saw the tempo ease just slightly as the leaders went through 15km in 44:51, before speeding up again as 20km was reached in 59.45.

No less than 14 men were still together at the halfway point in 1:02:57, 14 seconds quicker than a year ago.

Pace Injection

A gentle injection of increase in speed from pacemakers Solomon Kiptoo and Paul Lonyangata, saw five runners one-by-one fall off the back of the leading pack in the next three kilometres but nine men still went through 25km together in 1:14:10.

Feeling good, Kenya's Dickson Chumba decided it was time to test the his rivals just after 28km.

By 30km, which he went through in 1:28:34 - 26 seconds inside Kipchumba's schedule from 12 months ago - Chumba held a four-second advantage over a three-man group of Ethiopia's pre-race favourite Tadesse Tola and the Kenyan pair of Julius Arile and Franklin Chepkwony while six seconds further back were another two Kenyans, Erick Ndiema and Francis Bowen.

Chumba kept forging ahead and clocked 1:43:31 at 35km, 2:04:50 pace. Shortly afterwards Chepkwony decided that was also the point to throw down the gauntlet in the battle for second place and left Tola and Arile behind, the latter soon to drop out.

The leader started to slow from 39km but was still running close to 2:05 at 40km, which he reached in 1:58:39.

Fading fast

However, he was clearly tiring over the final two kilometres before crossing the line in 2:05:46, although Chumba held his nerve and never let Chepkwony to reduce the gap to anything more than around 120 metres.

“I was very, very tired over the last two kilometres,” admitted Chumba. “I didn't really know what was happening behind me.”

“I decided to make my break just before 29 kilometres because my body felt very good and the pace at that time felt so slow. I was quite surprised at first because I thought somebody might come with me but I soon felt confident that I could win.

“I knew I was running fast but I was never quite sure how fast until I turned the last corner and saw the clock at the finishing line.

“The man on the motor bike (race director Peer Pulles) was showing me cards with times, telling me how fast I was going, but it didn't register. I could see what he was doing but it didn't go into my mind,” said the softly spoken Chumba, who hails from Kapsabet and who is a training partner of 2012 Paris Marathon winner Stanley Biwott.

With Franklin Chepkwony taking second in 2:06:11, Kenya then made it a clean sweep of the men's podium with 19-year-old Erick Ndiema taking third place in 2:06:17, the teenager's third marathon under 2:07 in less than 12 months.

Ethiopia's Aberume Mekuria won the women's race in 2:27:20, dueling with Dutch star Miranda Boonstra until 36km before pulling away from her local rival. Boonstra finished second in 2:28:18.

Selected Results

Men:

  1. Dickson Chumba (Kenya) 2:05:46
  2. Franklin Chepkwony (Kenya) 2:06:11
  3. Erick Ndiema (Kenya) 2:06:17
  4. Tadesse Tola (Ethiopia) 2:08:01
  5. Francis Bowen (Kenya) 2:08:21
  6. Solomon Kiptoo (Kenya) 2:08:30
  7. Stephen Tum (Kenya) 2:08:39
  8. Weldon Kirui (Kenya) 2:09:06
  9. Julius Chepkwony (Kenya) 2:09:09
  10. Gezahagn Girma (Ethiopia) 2:10:52

Women:

  1. Aberume Mekuria (Ethiopia) 2:27:20
  2. Miranda Boonstra (Netherlands) 2:28:18
  3. Dinkenesh Mekasha (Ethiopia) 2:30:31

Click for Full Results (in Dutch and English)

(Organisers for AthleticsAfrica.Com)

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