Our Run2gether athletes outdid themselves today at the half marathons in Wels and Milan (Stramilano).
Both Caroline CHERONO and Dennis Kipkorir RUTOH celebrated their Austrian debut at the 25th running of the Wels Marathon. Whereas Caroline has belonged to our club for three years though has raced only in Italy, Dennis is not only new to the squad but is also in Europe for the very first time.
On Saturday they both had time for a relaxing stroll through Vienna.
But they both picked up the pace the next day at the half Marathon!
In spite of chilly conditions right around freezing, our two runners put the heat on their competition right from the gun. Dennis gapped the lead pack in the first 100 meters and never looked back. After the first of three loops he was ahead of the second Kenyan in the race by almost 2 minutes. Any fears that he had perhaps gone out too fast on account of his lack of experience in international competition were laid to rest once he passed through the second loop in complete control and ultimately won a commanding start-to-finish victory. Even more surprising was the fact that, in spite of running alone for the entire race and facing some tough winds, Dennis finished in an outstanding time of 1:03:14 and set a new course record!
Yet Caroline was not to be overshadowed by Dennis. She, too, overpowered the competition and set a new course record of 1:12:13, previously held by another Run2gether athlete, Mary Wangari Wanjohi.
Once again, the competition in Milan was really stiff. Yet in spite of losing several top runners last winter (including two-time Stramilano winner Thomas Lokomwa), our team put in an outstanding performance. Trailing only one super-fast Kenyan who set a fantastic course record, our very own Paul Kariuki MWANGI and Amos Kibiwot KURGAT came in second and third, each setting personal bests. Their times of 61:31 and 61:56 also broke the major 62-minute hurdle. Great Job!
In the women’s race, Viola JELAGAT was unfortunately not in top shape and had to settle for second place in a “disappointing” time of 71:03. Most people would die for numbers like that, but if you know Viola’s potential, then you also know that anything over 70 minutes is bound to be a let-down for her. Congratulations, nonetheless, on your hard-fought performance. In addition, we’re especially happy to announce the new personal record and superb time of 71:35 for Run2gether’s Mary Wangari WANJOHI. She missed out on a podium by a mere one second and came in fourth. Excellent, Mary!