Beijing: Forty-one-year-old Kenyan veteran Mariko Kipchumba clocked 2 hours 11 minutes to win the 2015 Beijing Marathon on Sunday, becoming the first non-Ethiopian athlete to win the event since 2011.
Berhanu Tolcha from Ethiopia came in second place in 2:11:37, followed by Wirimai Juwawo of Zimbabwe, who finished the 42.195-km course in 2:14:25, reported Xinhua news agency. In women’s competition, Ethiopian runner Betelhem Cherenet bagged home the title in 2:27:31. Favorite Abebech Bekele from Ethiopia and Sin Yong Sun from DPR Korea won the second and third place respectively. The 2015 Bejijing Marathon, which entered its 35th edition this year, attracted some 30,000 runners. It took nearly half an hour for all of them to cross the start line.
As usual, African runners took an early lead. Men’s leading group including six runners, all from Africa, dashed out in 20 minutes. The group extended their lead after 20 km, with Tolcha running in front. Other athletes speeded up after 30 km, and Tolcha began to fall behind. Kipchumba overtook the lead from Tolcha in the final 10 km and held onto the lead till the finish line. The Beijing Marathon, which was first held in 1981, is a Gold Label Road Race certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and recorded by the Association of International Marathons and Road Races. The best record for men’s competition is 2:07:16, created by Ethiopian Tadese Tola Woldegeberel in 2013.