January 12, 2013
The first major running event of the new year, the PWN Egmond Half Marathon, was won today by the Ethiopian Guteni Schone in 1.11.55. This means that the male/female race, which sees the women starting 9.17 minutes before the men, was won by a woman for the first time since 2001. Ethiopias success was completed by Ayele Abshero’s win (in 1.02.52). He also came first in Egmond in 2011. Adriënne Herzog managed to finish third on the podium, making her the best Dutch woman with a time of 1.12.58. Abdi Nageeye took the place of best Dutch man (1.03.48, fifth overall).
The battle for positions of honour was this year fought in a sunny Egmond aan Zee. The weather conditions were ideal, but no one could run fast because of the rising water. The loose sand made the first half of the race difficult for the top runners. A leading group of five women initially appeared best able to battle the elements. On the return route through the dunes, the African women Guteni Schone and Flomena Chepchirchir raised the pace. It was Adriënne Herzog who together with Caroline Kilel fought for third and fourth place. Chepchirchir was overtaken by the first men on the Bloedweg, just before the runners came back into Egmond. Schone had already secured her position by then. With a 30 second lead, she was the first to cross the finishing line to loud applause from the large crowds that had gathered. Just as last year, Flomena Chepchirchir took second place in 1.12.32. There was also a Dutch athlete on the podium. Herzog connected well with the international field and was rewarded with third place. I hoped to make it to the podium today, and I succeeded! she commented proudly after the race. Her time of 1.12.58 makes her the third fastest woman ever in Egmond.
The mens race also remained undecided until the dunes on the way back. Gideon Kipketer tried to pull away from the leader group a few times on the beach. However Ayele Abshero, Ezrah Sang and Abdi Nageeye each responded to the Kenyans short sprints. Nageeye used up a lot of energy to keep coming back, leaving him the first to drop out around the 15 km point. The remaining men then started to watch one another too much which slowed the pace and allowed the women to maintain their lead. It was finally Abshero whose legs performed best in the closing phase of the race. Thanks to a great increase in pace, he managed to leave the competition behind. The Ethiopian athlete had not expected to win today. He ran the half marathon as part of his marathon preparations and so was surprised to win the race for the second time: Im very happy with this result. Four seconds later, the boulevard at the finish line saw Kipketer come in second place (1.02.56). Third place went to Ezrah Sang (1.03.02). Finally, the Dutch man Abdi Nageeye deservedly took fifth pace (1.03.48), not having raced for four months due to a foot injury. It felt good to build up some race pace again towards the marathon that I will probably run in Enschede, said Nageeye at the end of the race.
The 42nd PWN Egmond Half Marathon attracted a record number of 17,739 runners. The weather conditions were very favourable, although the high water level meant a narrow stretch of loose sand. This forced runners in the last group to start in particular to run through the water a lot. These challenging conditions today once again confirmed that Egmond is one of the toughest half marathons in the Netherlands. Reaching the finish line was a real victory for many of the runners.
Top 5 men
1. Ayele Abshero (ETH) 1.02.52
2. Gideon Kipketer (KEN) 1.02.56
3. Ezrah Sang (KEN) 1.03.02
4. Leonard Korir (KEN) 1.03.45
5. Abdi Nageeye (NED) 1.03.48
Top 5 women
1. Guteni Schone (ETH) 1.11.55
2. Flomena Chepchirchir (KEN) 1.12.32
3. Adriënne Herzog (NED) 1.12.58
4. Caroline Kilel (KEN) 1.13.06
5. Valentine Kibet (KEN) 1.13.52
For the full results, see www.pwnegmondhalvemarathon.nl.