Geoffrey Mutai Crushes Deriba Merga, Breaks Course Record, and Wins Renault Car at 2011 Bogota Half Marathon

By Media Maratón de Bogotá
July 31, 2011

The favorites prevailed today in the 12th edition of the Media Maratón de Bogotá as 2011 Boston Marathon Champion Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya took the men’s race in a course record 1:02:20, and 2011’s fastest woman over 10K on the road, Joyce Chepkirui, took the women’s title in 1:13:34.
The Media Maratón de Bogotá is the only IAAF Gold Label Road Race in South America.
Men’s Race
Pre-race publicity favored a prolonged battle between defending champion Deriba Merga of Ethiopia and Mutai.  And the race did start out that way, with Merga and Mutai powering away from the rest of the field to have a substantial lead by 5K.  They continued to run shoulder to shoulder past 7K, but shortly after that Merga dropped behind Mutai briefly, and then quickly fell away.
Mutai passed 10K in 29:07 with Merga already 20 seconds behind. Mutai was on a blistering 1:01:30 pace in Bogotá’s Oxygen deficient 2600m (8530 ft) altitude, though he was 11 seconds slower than Merga’s even more blistering opening the year before.  In third place was Macharia, leading a small group that included Ridouane Harroufi of Morocco, Stephen Mokaka of South Africa and Colombia’s Diego Colorado.
Mutai passed 15K in 44:10 running all alone, and at that stage was now 18 seconds behind Merga’s 2010 course record.  But Mutai held his form well to breast the tape in 1:02:20, 11 seconds quicker than the 1:02:31 record from last year.   And Mutai achieved the mark on a somewhat revised course consider tougher than last year’s by many of the runners, Merga included!
Merga held on to second place in 1:04:49 from the fast closing 2011 Rotterdam Marathon champion Wilson Chebet 1:04:57 with Colorado fourth in 1:05:11 and 4-time champion Macharia fifth in 1:05:26.
Mutai margin of victory was an amazing 2 minutes and 27 seconds! Asked if he knew he was on record pace and if this was his goal, Mutai replied that he was running only for the victory and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had captured the record.
Women’s Race
Kenyan Joyce Chepkirui took the lead from the very start, and powered through the first kilometer in an eye-popping 3 minutes flat, with just fellow Kenyan Peninah Arusei (a Bronze medalist over the half marathon in the 2010 IAAF Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, China last year) and Ethiopian Mare Dibaba for company.
The company didn’t last long, as by 2K Chepkirui was alone and rapidly building a massive lead. She passed through 5K in 16:28, by which time she had an almost 30 second lead over Ethiopians Dibaba and 2010 Bogotá Champion Sherwage Alene.
By 10K the lead was almost one minute, with Dibaba in second and 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Champion Emily Chebet now in third.
The rapid early pace took a toll on Chepkirui, and her lead started to shrink, slowly at first and then more rapidly in the final kilometers. But she held on to win her first road race in South America with a time of 1:13:34.  Dibaba crossed just 19 seconds later with 1:13:54 followed by Chebet in third with 1:15:41, Alene fourth in 1:16:26 and Peruvian Gladys Tejeda in fifth with 1:18:25.
Chepkirui commented that she found the altitude and the warm (16-20C), humid race-day weather to be more tiring than she had expected, but was happy that she held on to win.
The Media Maratón de Bogotá attracted 14,295 entrants thus year with another 29,903 registered in the accompanying 10K, for a grand race day total of 44,198.
1.         Geoffrey Mutai KEN 1:02:20 CR* Car - Renault Logan
2.         Deriba Merga ETH 1:04:49 12,000,000 Pesos
3.         Wilson Chebet KEN 1:04:57 8,000,000
4.         Diego Colorado COL 1:05:11 5,500,000
5.         Isaac Macharia KEN 1:05:26 4,000,000
6.         Constantino Leon PER 1:06:04 3,000,000
7.         Jason Gutierrez COL 1:06:43 2,000,000
8.         Stephen Mokaka RSA 1:07:17 1,500,000
9.         Ridouane Harroufi MOR 1:07:21 800,000
10.      Paulino Cachanya PER 1:07:24 500,000
11.      Wirimai Juwawo ZIM 1:07:59
12.      William Naranjo COL 1:08:00
13.      Javier Guarin COL 1:08:53
14.      Raul Pacheco PER 1:09:11
15.      Fabian Daza COL 1:09:16
DNF Abderrahim Bouramdnae   MOR
DNS Marilson Dos Santos BRA
* Mutai won an additional 3,100,000 Pesos for the Course Record
1.         Joyce Chepkirui KEN 1:13:34 Car – Renault Logan
2.         Mare Dibaba ETH 1:13:54 12,000,000 pesos
3.         Emily Chebet. KEN. 1:15:41 8,000,000
4.         Shewage Alene ETH 1:16:26 5,500,000
5.         Gladys Tejeda PER 1:16:33 4,000,000
6.         Peninah Arusei KEN 1:18:16 3,000,000
7.         Jemena Misayauri PER 1:18:25 2,000,000
8.         Erika Abril Suarez COL 1:18:37 1,500,000
9.         Bertha Sanchez COL 1:19:34 800,000
10.      Leidy Tobon COL 1:19:43 500,000
DNS Atsede Baysa ETH
DNS Yulia Gromova RUS



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