Kiprono and Jepkosgei preserve Kenyan rule on the capital’s streets
BOAZ KIPRONO and Eddah Jepkosgei maintained Kenya’s dominance in the Edinburgh Marathon after claiming comprehensive victories in the race yesterday.
Kiprono bade his time in what gradually became a two-way contest with Moroccan challenger Abdelhadi El Mouaziz after an early leading group of five had been whittled away, with the duo each taking their turn to edge ahead before regressing once more.
Eventually it was Kiprono who retained more in reserve, overhauling his rival with four miles left and then surging out of reach, crossing the line in 2:19:55, with compatriot Japhet Koech third and reigning champion Peter Wanjiru adrift in fifth.
“I kept alert to where he was and I wasn’t going to push if he was just too strong for me,” Kiprono said. “I was happy to sit back but then I felt no-one was going to try and catch him at about 18 miles so I told myself to push. I thought maybe I could get him and then get a good time. But I left it too late to really get the time I wanted.”
Jepkosgei dominated the women’s race from the start to pick up her first-ever marathon win in 2:39:53, ending up more than three minutes clear of Scottish veterans Hayley Haining and Katie White who completed the podium.
“It’s my first major win abroad,” Jepkosgei said. “After 10k, the weather changed and I had to deal with that. And then at 30k, I was left to run on my own but I kept my pace going and that went well.”
Haining, at 44, showed little rust in her first outing at this distance since the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The veterinary lecturer has no plans to pursue the titles and medals available on the Masters circuit. Each outing now will merely be for personal gain.
“I’ve been full of beans,” she said. “I wasn’t sure exactly how I was but I’ve done a couple of half-marathons and they’ve went well so I felt I would enjoy it and go OK. It was a good reminder of what the end of a marathon feels like, when there’s not much left. And it’s nice to have a race where I’m not going for qualifying times or anything.
“I’ll keep running and fit any plans around the rest of my life without pushing for anything in particular.”
Darrell Hastie and Tracy Millmore were the male and female winners of the adjoining Edinburgh half-marathon.