Running Headquarters  Global Running News
Injuries and Treatment  Injuries
Nutrition Information  Nutrition
Running Training Information  Training
Running Information Forums  Forums

   Running Information      USA Running      Running South Africa      Running New Zealand      Running UK      Running Ireland      Running Ireland      Español Consecutivo      Deutsch Laufzeit      Copenhagen Marathon      Suomen Juoksu      Sverige Löpning      Tel Aviv Marathon      Running Australia      Running Kenya      Running Europe      Running Malta      Running Namibia

Lel takes London 2007

London 2007 – Kenya’s Martin Lel learnt from his mistakes of 2006 when he allowed fellow countryman Felix Limo to ‘steal’ a victory from him by way of a sprint finish. On this occasion, Lel was able to right the wrongs of 2006 by out-sprinting debutant Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco, to win in a time of 2:07:41.

Chunxiu Zhou 2007

Chunxiu Zhou 2007

On the Women’s side China’s Chunxiu Zhou lived up to her billing of pre-race favourite by achieving a commanding victory of Ethiopia’s Gete Wami (winner of Berlin in 2006) with a time of 2:20:38 compared to Wami’s 2:21:45.

The winning magin belies the actual closeness of the race right up until as late as 23 miles () into the race when the Asian athlete finally made her break for victory. Not having seen much of Zhou before, he running form until the break was anything but convincing. In contrast, the Netherland’s Lorna Kiplagat looked full of running and after her previous month’s victory at the World Cross Country Champs held in Mombassa, Kenya, you certainly would not have been blamed for trying to put a late bet in with the bookmakers for her to win.

How quickly things can change, for when the Asian athlete moved up a gear the conservative early shuffle disappeared and was replaced by an ‘in full flight’ gazelle. Wami was unable to respond and the surge was followed up by another ferocious mile and considering the conditions the Chinese athlete is sure to be a threat for which ever championship she may choose, be it Osaka 2007 or the Olympics in Beijing 2008.

Kiplagat faded from a secure 3rd place over the last kilometer and had to be content with 5th place in a time of 2:24:46. The ever consistent Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania took 3rd place in 2:23:55 while Kenya’s Susan Kosgei came back to nab 4th place in 2:24:13. Another favoured athlete, Australia’s Benita Johnson dropped early from the pack (before the halfway split) but was able to hang in to take 7th place in 2:29:47, she would also suffer due to the conditions on the day. However, none suffered as much as Ethiopia’s Berhane Adere out of the elite. The Chicago 2006 winner was with the top runners at halfway and would come home in a sorry state but still clinging to a top 10 finish in 2:39:11. Painful to say the least.

The men provided their equal share of drama when Gebrselassie stepped off the course shortly after 30km after being well positioned within the lead pack. Reasons given were attributed to breathing problems similar to symptoms related to a stitch.

However, despite the loss of the high calibre profile of Geb, the race itself was sublime with 8 athletes still locked together after 30k.

The audacity of youth showed in the form of the USA’s debutant Ryan Hall who took the lead going towards 35km. With Big City Marathon winners by the likes of Limo, Lel, Gharib, Tergat, Ramaala and Gomes in attention who would have thought the young American would have been the one to push the pace. Inexperienced maybe but a moment to savour for Hall.

Shortly after Hall had gone to the front and not long before 40km, there was a surge in pace with Limo, Gharib and Lel upping the tempo further. This change in pace would put and end to Hall’s sojourn in front and by 40km the young American had dropped off the pace by 14 seconds and would hang in to take 7th place with a new American record for the fastest debut with a time of 2:08:24.

With the front 6 bearing down towards the finish and with 800m to go, it was still anyone’s race. Tergat was the first to budge and slid off the back to come home in 6th with a time of 2:08:06. Former New York winner in 2004, Ramaala was the next to drop and would finish 5th in 2:07:56 just 2 seconds behind Grahib who had also given up the fight as the threesome containing Lel, Limo and Goumri streaked to the turn towards the final straight.

Lel upped the tempo further and Limo was the first to lag, he would finish 3rd in 2:07:47.

Now there were 2 and would the former track athlete from Morocco be able to spring a surprise and use his track speed to edge the marathoner.

Just as Goumri looked to be planning his final assault for victory, Lel changed gears yet again and left the shorter athlete in his dust. The former winner of 2005 made up for his disappointment of 2006 and won going away comfortably over the last 40m to win in a time of 2:07:41 to 2:07:44.

A glorious end to magnificent race at the front end of London 2007.

1 Martin Lel (Ken) 2hours 07mins 41secs
2 Abderrahim Goumri (Mor) 2:07:44
3 Felix Limo (Ken) 2:07:47
4 Jaouad Gharib (Mor) 2:07:54
5 Hendrick Ramaala (Rsa) 2:07:56
6 Paul Tergat (Ken) 2:08:06
7 Ryan Hall (USA) 2:08:24
8 Marilson Gomes (Bra) 2:08:37
9 Dan Robinson (Gbr) 2:14:14
10 Andi Jones (Gbr) 2:17:49
11 Benson Cherono (Ken) 2:18:55
12 Orjan Lunde (Nor) 2:20:21
13 Richie Gardiner (Gbr) 2:20:26
14 Joe Driscoll (USA) 2:20:49
15 John McFarlane (Gbr) 2:22:18
16 Gareth Raven (Gbr) 2:23:27
17 Neil Renault (Gbr) 2:23:44
18 Mark Miles (Gbr) 2:24:20
19 Darran E Bilton (Gbr) 2:25:10
20 Michael J Carroll (Gbr) 2:25:19

1 Chunxiu Zhou (Chn) 2hrs 20mins 38secs
2 Gete Wami (Eth) 2:21:45
3 Constantina Tomescu-Dita (Rom) 2:23:55
4 Salina Kosgei (Ken) 2:24:13
5 Lornah Kiplagat (Ned) 2:24:46
6 Mara Yamauchi (Gbr) 2:25:41
7 Benita Johnson (Aus) 2:29:47
8 Liz Yelling (Gbr) 2:30:44
9 Inga Abitova (Rus) 2:34:25
10 Berhane Adere (Eth) 2:39:11
11 Helen Donta (Gre) 2:40:42
12 Milka Mihaylova (Gbr) 2:44:35
13 Torres Mercado Yolanda (USA) 2:44:58
14 Nicola K Clay (Gbr) 2:46:25
15 Elke Schmidt (Gbr) 2:47:09
16 Liz Hawker (Gbr) 2:47:55
17 Jo R Kelsey (Gbr) 2:47:59
18 Karen Natoli (Gbr) 2:48:23
19 Gill Laithwaite (Gbr) 2:48:32
20 Laura J Cowley (Gbr) 2:48:46,

Speak Your Mind