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2007 New York Half Marathon Women's Recap: Hilda Kibet Outsprints Ndereba, and Surprise Rillstone
By LetsRun.com
Aug 5, 2007
New York, NY
*Photo Gallery
*LetsRun.com Post Race Videos
(Interviews with Geb, Abdi, Kibet, Ndereba, Fasil Bizuneh)

For the second straight year, the women's race came down to a sprint finish. Last year, Catherine The Great (Catherine Ndereba) came out on top, but this year Ndereba was the bridesmaid as her countrywoman Hilda Kibet sprinted to the biggest victory of her career.

A pack of 6 (Ndereba, Kibet, New Zealand's Nina Rilltstone, Japan's Yuri Kano, Japan's Megumi Oshima, and Mexico's Madia Perez) went through 5k (17:04) and 10k (34:05) together.

Ndereba tried to break open the race and strung out the pack around 15k. New Zealand's Rillstone fell off the back a litle, but by 20k had regained her form and three women (Rillstone, Ndereba and Kibet) were left to battle for the crown.

This time Ndereba could not pull of her magic for the second year in a row as Kibet pulled away down the finishing stretch to get the win by 1 second over Ndereba and Rillstone.

"When it comes to the sprint... the tiredness is gone as you're fighting for the win," said Kibet of the kick she needed to get the narrow win.

Biggest Win of Career for Kibet
Kibet said she was confident during the race in her abilities and called it the biggest win of her career. "This is the best race for me," she said at the post race press conference.

Kibet is Kenyan by birth but like her training partner, World XC champion Lornah Kiplagat, is hoping to switch her allegiance to the Netherlands in time for next year's Olympics.

Ndereba may have lost out in the sprint to defend her crown this year, but her performance on Sunday shows she is heading in the right direction heading into the World Championship Marathon in Osaka at the end of the month. In her last performance at the Sapporo Half Marathon in July she finished a disappointing 10th place in 1:11:51. Sunday's run showed a hamstring problem that hampered her earlier in the summer may be behind her.

Ndereba said she got a bit confused coming into the finish as to which side of the road she was supposed to finish one but fortunately Kibet was so strong any confusion Ndereba had did not appear to be the difference in the race. Ndereba said she plans to run the Falmouth Road Race next week which was a total surprise to her coach (see his reaction in this post race video to the left).

Nina Rillstone of New Zealand was the biggest surprise on Sunday as she put up a fierce battle with the much more highly credentialed Ndereba and Kibet. She was rewarded with a pr and a Kiwi national record (1:10:35). Next up for her is the World Champs marathon against Ndereba.


*Photo Gallery
*LetsRun.com Post Race Videos
(Interviews with Geb, Abdi, Kibet, Ndereba, Fasil Bizuneh)
*Men's Recap

Results/Top 10
1) Hilda Kibet Kenya 1:10:32
2) Catherine Ndereba Kenya 1:10:33
3) Nina Rillstone New Zealand 1:10:35
4) Yuri Kano Japan 1:11:05
5) Madai Perez Mexico 1:11:21
6) Megumi Oshima Japan 1:11:35
7) Akemi Ozaki Japan 1:13:37
8) Zoila Gomez USA  1:13:49
9) Azziza Aliyu Ethiopia 1:13:58
10) Alemtsheay Misganaw Ethiopia 1:14:04

5k 6 runners 17:04
10k  6 runners 34:05
15k: Ndereba 50:39, Kibet 50:39, Perez 50:40, Kano 50:42, Rillstone 50:43, Oshima 50:48
20k: Rillstone 1:07:07, Ndereba 1:07:08, Kibet 1:07:08

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