Ethiopia’s Degitu Azmeraw smashed the women’s course record at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon with 2:19:26, the second-fastest debut in history for the distance, while Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba won a close men’s contest in 2:05:09 at the IAAF Gold Label road race today.
On a morning with perfect windless conditions and temperatures between 10-12C, the pace in the women’s race was swift from the outset. Azmeraw was one of six athletes in the lead pack and passed through 5km in 16:26 and 10km in 32:49. The six women were still together through the half-way point, reached in 1:10:00 exactly, and 30km, covered in 1:39:40.
It was only after then that the real racing began and the group was whittled down to five at 35km (1:56:14) with Azmeraw, Tigist Girma, Azmera Gebru, Besu Sado and Mimi Belete still in contention.
The quintet eventually dispersed over the final few kilometres with Azmeraw – who had clocked 1:06:07 for the half marathon this year – forging ahead to win in 2:19:26, taking almost two minutes from Meseret Hailu Debele’s 2:21:09 course record set in 2012. Former world record-holder Paula Radcliffe is the only woman to record a faster marathon debut, having clocked 2:18:56 in 2002.
“I wanted to see what it was like to run a marathon,” said Azmeraw. “I was expecting a time of about 2:20 so this result is definitely a success.”
Girma was second in 2:19:52, taking almost seven minutes off the PB she set when winning in Ottawa earlier this year. Gebru finished third, replicating her position from last year, but was rewarded with a PB of 2:20:48, while Sado – a former 1500 m specialist making her marathon debut – was fourth in 2:21:03, also inside the previous course record.
Read more at: IAAF