Kiprono and Jep­kos­gei pre­serve Kenyan rule on the cap­i­tal’s streets

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FINAL SAY - MARK WOODS

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.

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