Bett, Jep­kos­gei rule English race

Kenyans Kipro­tich and Ed­dah con­vinc­ing win­ners at the Bournemouth Marathon

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - WILLIAM NJUGUNA AND IAAF/

Kenyans Stan­ley Kipro­tich Bett and Ed­dah Jep­kos­gei (pic­tured) were con­vinc­ing win­ners at the Bournemouth Marathon, an IAAF Bronze La­bel Road Race, on Sun­day.

In the men’s race, a group of four broke clear early on the pic­turesque course along Eng­land’s south coast, in­clud­ing Kenyans Bett and Julius Ki­pla­gat Korir, along with Moroc­can Ab­del­hadi El Mouaziz.

The lead pack of four, which also in­cluded Japhet Koech of Kenya, were still to­gether as they ran over Bournemouth Pier and through the fin­ish area in Lower Gar­dens with nine miles re­main­ing.

But it was Bett who surged clear in the clos­ing stages, en route to his 2:17:59 vic­tory. El Mouaziz re­mained strong to claim sec­ond in 2:20:45, with Korir third in 2:25:44.

“The route was good and I felt good the whole way around,” said the 30-year-old Bett, who con­tested the dis­tance for the first time this year.

“There was some strong wind on the shore but I just ran my own race. I en­joyed the Bournemouth sun­shine too so I’m very happy.”

The women’s race was won in 2:40:38 by Ed­dah Jep­kos­gei of Kenya, who held off a strong challenge from com­pa­triot Hil­dah Che­boi.

“I liked the route,” said Jep­kos­gei, who won the Ed­in­burgh Marathon in May in 2:39:53. “I was with a group un­til about 7-k and then I went on my own.” Che­boi clocked 2:45:39.

Emma Prideaux of Great Bri­tain was a dis­tant third, clock­ing 3:01:15.

It was the sec­ond suc­ces­sive Kenyan dou­ble vic­tory at this event. Boaz Kiprono and Joan Ki­gen cruised to vic­to­ries one year ago.

A record-break­ing 13,000 run­ners gath­ered on the Dorset coast­line to run in the fourth edi­tion of the two­day Bournemouth Marathon Fes­ti­val, which in­cluded a 5km, 10km, half marathon and ju­nior races in ad­di­tion to the full marathon.

Else­where Vi­o­lah Jepchumba kept her stel­lar 2016 mo­men­tum alive with a dom­i­nat­ing vic­tory at the Cardiff Half Marathon, an IAAF Bronze La­bel Road Race on Sun­day.

Run­ning alone al­most from the gun, the 25-year-old Kenyan clocked 1:08:14 for her fifth vic­tory in as many road races this year, fin­ish­ing well un­der the pre­vi­ous course record of 1:10:10 set by Susan Par­tridge in 2012.

Jepchumba cruised on to her fourth half marathon vic­tory of 2016, beat­ing Flom­ena Cheyech Daniel, the Com­mon­wealth marathon cham­pion, by nearly two min­utes. Cheyech clocked 1:10:05 with Le­nah Jerotich, the 2015 Cardiff win­ner, com­plet­ing the Kenyan podium sweep in third, run­ning 1:11:23.

There was a Kenyan podium sweep and course record in the men’s race too. Shadrack Korir won in in 1:00:54 im­prov­ing on his pre­vi­ous best of 1:02:40. Cyprian Ko­tut was sec­ond in 1:01:04, with Charles Mune­ria third in 1:01:36 in his de­but over the dis­tance.

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