NJOROGE OVERCOMES HEAT TO WIN TIBERIAS MARATHON
By David Monti with David Eiger
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
A patient approach proved to be a good one today for Kenya's Simon
Njoroge, who won his first Tiberias International Marathon on a warm
day at the Sea of Galilee.
Njoroge, 29, held back when two-time Tiberias champion Leonard Mucheru shot ahead at a furious pace in the first half. Mucheru clipped through 10 kilometers in 29 minutes-flat, a sub-2:03 marathon pace, despite 25°C (77°F) temperatures. Mucheru only slowed slightly in the next 10 km (29:28), and reached the half-way point in 61:42, an Israeli all-comers record for a half-marathon. He enjoyed a 46 second lead at that point over his nearest rival, compatriot Edwin Kutto.
The heat began to take its toll on Mucheru in the second half. Slowing badly, he lost the lead to Kutto in the 37th kilometer, and would fade to 11th position by the finish line in 2:18:55. Kutto was unable to hold the lead, and was first passed by Lawrence Saina then by Njoroge who went on to get the win in 2:11:00. Saina got second (2:11:16), and another Kenyan, John Kipkorir Mutai, finished third in a personal best 2:11:23. Kutto finished fourth.
The less-competitive women's race was won easily by Kenya's Emily Samoei in 2:36:41. In an excellent age-group performance, second place went to 49 year-old Israeli Laurice Mendelovitz in 2:58:50.
The race also served as the Israeli championship for the marathon distance. Zohar Zmiro won the men's title in 2:28:55, and Mendelovitz was the women's home-country champion.