Kiplimo Lagat regains Seville Marathon title with course record
Kenya’s Cosmas Kiplimo Lagat regained the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla title he won on his marathon debut in 2014, improving his own course record at the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race to 2:08:14 in the Spanish city on Sunday (21).
Kiplimo Lagat took 19 seconds of his own course record set two years ago. In 2014, he was signed up as a pacemaker before heading off on his own for a surprise win, but this time he was accorded the number one bib.
In almost ideal weather for fast times, with the thermometer reading 12-13 degrees Celsius and a very slight breeze, right from the start it became clear that Kiplimo Lagat’s 2014 course record of 2:08:33 was under threat.
Paced by a triumvirate of pacemakers, led by Uganda’s Thomas Ayeko and Kenya’s Emmanuel Bett, the opening 10km was covered in 29:57.
A group of nine went through the halfway point in 1:03:36, still suggesting that not only was a course record was on the cards but a tilt at the Spanish all-comers best of 2:06:13, set by Kenya’s John Mwangangi in Valencia last November, might also just be feasible if one of the group had enough in the tank to run a good negative split.
Over the next nine kilometres, the pace of the leaders still stayed on course for a time close to 2:07 although, one-by-one, the group at the front started to disintegrate.
By 30km, passed in 1:30:34, only a trio of Kiplimo Lagat along with his compatriots Shedreck Kiptoo Kimaiyo and Geoffrey Koech – who were later to finish 11th and drop out just after 35km respectively – remained together at the front.
Just before 34km, Kiplimo Lagat decided to shake off his rivals and quickly established a big lead, never to be headed.
He passed 40km in 2:01:30, 2:23 clear of his nearest rival and compatriot Hassan Omanga, and a time well under 2:08 was still possible but without any challengers and clearly flagging over the final two kilometres, the Kenyan had to settle for just a course record and a personal best.
“It’s my second win here, I’m delighted. I ran conservatively during the first half and decided to push the pace afterwards. The circuit is very flat and suitable to get fast times. In addition, the crowd supported me all the way. I hope to return next year to get a hat trick of victories,” reflected Kiplimo Lagat.
Behind him, Spain’s experienced international Carles Castillejo came through strongly over the final seven kilometres, having been 10th at 35km and fourth at 40km, to finish second in 2:11:29 to claim the Spanish national title and guarantee a place on Spain’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games team.
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