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Kenyan pacemaker Cheruiyot sets new Malaga Marathon record

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Kenyan Martin Cheruiyot sets new Malaga Marathon record - Sports Leo

Kenya’s Martin Cheruiyot set a new race record at the Malaga Marathon, a World Athletics bronze label race, on Sunday.

Cheruiyot, a designated pacemaker whose duty was to take the field through 30 kilometres, forged on win in 2:10:08.

Paced by Cheruiyot, the lead pack in the men’s race went through the opening 10km in 30:50 with Ezekiel Tarus (KEN) running closest and pre-races favourites Moses Mbugua (KEN) and Eliud Kibet (KEN) in close attendance.

The pacesetter heated up the pace in the following kilometres to cover the 15km in 45:54 but the surprise came just before the halfway point when Cheruiyot, a 2:14:32 performer, opened a sizeable gap on the main pack and reached the halfway point alone in 1:04:44, well on schedule to run inside the current mark of 2:11:07.

While his fellow Kenyans Kibet, Mbugua, Tarus, Silas Sang and Pharis Kimani also dipped under 1:05 for the half, Cheruiyot decided to abandon his pacemaker’s role and break away in a quest for a sub-2:10 run. He was timed at 1:32:01 at the 30th kilometre with a full minute advantage over Kibet, Mbugua, Tarus, Sang and Kimani.

By 38km Cheruiyot’s advantage had decreased to 29 seconds (1:56:49 vs 1:57:18) but his pace seemed enough to keep his lead until the tape. Once it became clear that Cheruiyot would be the eventual victor with a new race record, attention turned to find out whether the winning mark would be under the 2:10 barrier.

He came up just eight seconds shy, but his 2:10:08 was still 59 seconds faster than the previous mark. In the fight for the minor places Kibet, who last year fell exhausted barely 40 metres before the finish line, romped home in a lifetime best of 2:10:41, 11 seconds ahead of last year’s runner-up Mbugua who also clocked a career-best.

“I did my job running at the agreed pace, but the main pack failed to follow in my footsteps so I talked to the race director by the 23rd kilometre to announce him my intention was to go for the win and I managed so,” Cheruiyot said.

Men’s results

1. Martin Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:10:08

2. Eliud Kibet (KEN) 2:10:41

3. Moses Mbugua (KEN) 2:10:52

4. Pharis Kimani (KEN) 2:11:45

5. Silas Kipngetich (KEN) 2:12:52

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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