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Chebet sets record in Amsterdam

Wilson Chebet 2013

Mister Amsterdam fulfilled his favourite role today during the 38th TCS Amsterdam Marathon. Loud cheers were heard when Wilson Chebet entered the Olympic Stadium, and improved the course record with five seconds, with a time of 2.05.36. This signifies his third win in a row, which, in itself, is a spectacular achievement. Kenya also took first place amongst the ladies. Valentine Kipketer received the flowers after 2.23.02, which was a personal record for her.

An extremely large group of approximately twenty athletes gave an energetic start, in an attempt to beat the course record of 2.05.41. This tempo was maintained up to the 15 km mark, but headwind next to Amstel, headed towards Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, threw a spanner in the works, which caused the tempo to decline. Most of the athletes of African descent, with several pacemakers in and around them, were still able to keep up. Only after 34 km did a magnificent battle start between Bernard Koech and Wilson Chebet. Koech was able to run off easily and Chebet kept a close eye on his opponent. Koech, with a pb of 2.04.53, experienced a cramp and had to allow his opponent to pass. The 28-year old hero from Amsterdam started his sprint towards the finish line after 38 km and was, once again, faster in Amsterdam. ‘It is a special experience to run here, because everyone calls me by name’, says the enthusiastic Kenyan winner.

The podium was completed by Berhanu Girma and Bernard Koech. The Ethiopian Girma improved his record with an incredible two minutes, to 2.06.06, and was able to call himself the surprising second place winner. Koech finished with a personal time of 2.06.29 (third place).
Valentine Kipketer won with an excellent time of 2.23.02. The young athlete also won the Mumbai marathon earlier this year, with a time of 2.24.33. This is therefore her second marathon win this year. The fanatical athletic star hoped for a time of 2.22.00, but she was, nevertheless, happy with this title. Second place went to Serena Burla from the United States, with a personal record of 2.28.01 and a remarkable personal story as well. This athlete won her battle against cancer and ran the 42.195 with golden shoelaces in representation of the VUmc charity marathon for Cancer Center Amsterdam. Third place went to the 2010 winner, Alice Timbilil. The 30-year old Kenyan finished with a time of 2.28.36.

The Dutch athletes experienced several setbacks. Koen Raymaekers had to abandon the race after an hour due to calf complaints, and Rens Dekkers did not reach the finish line either. Ronald Schröer held the best Dutch papers today and finished with a time of 2.16.28. This is indeed the team limit for the EK in Zurich, but he was not entirely happy. ‘I fought long and hard until 34 km, and ran some great kilometres at the 2.14 rate. I then experienced a cramp and was unable to maintain the tempo.’ Hugo van den Broek only just missed the team limit for the EK: 2.18.02, whilst 2.18.00 is required. The third Dutchman was Sebastien Schletterer (2.27.15).

Miranda Boonstra was unable to live up to her dream of finishing under 2.26.00. She crossed the finish line tired with a time of 2.31.49. She did not have a real explanation for her disappointing performance. ‘It was simply too hard, especially after 35 km.’ Linda McFarland (2.46.34) and Miriam van Reijen (2.47.42) finished behind her.

Record number of participants
Today the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, which holds the IAAF Gold Label, received more participants than ever before in the Olympisch Stadion. An incredible 41,600 runners entered the race in the various components (marathon, Mizuno Half Marathon, TCS 8 km and the children’s run). This number is 4,500 more than the year before. The event thus grew considerably broadwise. With nearly 15,000 registered marathon runners, the TCS Amsterdam Marathon is the largest marathon in the Netherlands, and is one of the largest marathons in Europe. With 17,000 entries from abroad, it appears that the TCS Amsterdam Marathon is favoured considerably on an international level. The ambience in and around the Olympisch Stadion was overwhelming, with an incredible 82 nationalities in attendance.