Matthew Kim Kisorio and Kim Smith Run Fastest Half-Marathons Ever On Us Soil In Philadephia

*Photo Album From 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon Here

By Duncan Larkin 
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved


PHILADELPHIA (18-Sep) -- With a large smile and his hands pointed skyward, Mathew Kisorio entered the history books here today at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon. The 22-year-old Kenyan became the third-fastest man ever in the 21.1-kilometer event. Kisorio’s winning time, 58:46, also set a new USA all-comer’s record, eclipsing Haile Gebrselassie’s mark (58:55) that was set at the 2006 edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon.

“I am very happy indeed,” an elated Kisorio said after breaking the tape. “I have just run my personal best on a fantastic course.”

Kisorio’s victory was a hard-fought with him running alongside 58-minute half-marathoner Sammy Kitwara, all the way to the finish line.

Race-day conditions were near perfect with temperatures at the start in the 50s (13C) and a slight breeze blowing from the northeast. After breaking loose from a 20-man pack in the opening 5-K, which was a fast 14:00, Kitwara and Kisorio ran stride-for-stride down the streets of Center City, Philadelphia, leaving the chase pack a good quarter of a mile behind. The two runners, who call each other “best friends,” looked like mirror images of each other for the remainder of the race.


Matthew Kisorio

Occasionally, Kisorio, the defending champion, would stare down at his watch or look behind him, while Kitwara gazed straight ahead. Kisorio later recalled that he was looking at his watch in order to see if he had a chance to break an hour, thereby achieving a personal best. “I looked at my watch at 10-K,” he said. “At that point, I knew I was going to do it. I said, ‘Hey, this is great. I’m going to run 58 minutes.’”

While a jazz band played “When the Saints Go Marching In” nearby, the two runners crossed the 15-K mark in 41:53. With a mile to go, the pair passed a group of pom-pom waving high school cheerleaders. Kisorio drifted over to them and gave them a thumb’s up. At that point, with the Philadelphia Art Museum visible in the distance, the race’s dynamic began to change.

Kisorio, who previously held a 60:03 personal record, dropped the hammer. Kitwara was able to counter and the two ran together again. It wasn’t until the race’s final hill with the finish line in plain sight when Kisorio once again surged. That time, however, Kitwara had nothing left and let him go.

“My training in Kenya had been good for this,” Kisorio said afterwards. “I was confident that I was going to do well.”

Kitwara, who crossed the finish line a second later in 58:47, admitted the final hill did him in. “That hill was very hard,” he said.

Third place went to Kenya’s James Mwangi who finished a full three minutes behind Kisorio and Kitwara in a still-fast 1:00:42.

The top American male was Villanova University grad Bobby Curtis who placed ninth in 1:01:52. Curtis is gearing up for his debut at the ING New York City Marathon in November. “I’m pleased with my race today,” Curtis said. “I’m in the middle of heavy marathon training, so it was a respectable time.”


Kim Smith

In the women’s race, Kim Smith of New Zealand shattered her own USA all-comer’s record, clocking 1:07:10. Her victory was similar to Kisorio’s with Smith, a New Zealand-record holder and former Providence College standout, going neck-and-neck with another competitor (Ethiopia’s Werknesh Kidane) until the last mile. Both Smith and Kidane established themselves in the lead after a hot third mile clocked at 4:57. They crossed the 15-K mark in 47:37 and with a mile to go, it was Smith who dropped the hammer.

Smith later said that the 29-year-old Kidane was “stuck to me like glue.” But that she was able to shake her as the final hill approached thanks to leg speed she’s developed from completing 400m repeats in training—workouts that coach Ray Treacy prescribes. “He [Treacy] has me working on my speed all year round,” Smith said. “It definitely helped having that in the final hill.”

Kidane ended up placing second behind Smith in 1:07:28. Third place went to Ethiopia’s Bizunesh Deba in 1:09:53.

The top American female was 23-year-old Maegan Krifchin, a coach at Ithaca College, who placed fifth in a career best 1:11:04 (Editor's note: Krifchin has moved up nicely in distance as she set the Syracuse 1,500 school record in 2010 at 4:22.65).

Leading Results –

Men:

OvrPl SexPl DivPl Bib First Name Last Name City State Chip Time
1 1 1 1 Matthew Kisorio 58:46:00
2 2 2 2 Sammy Kitwara 58:48:00
3 3 3 9 James Mwangi 01:00:42
4 4 4 5 Peter Kamais 01:01:06
5 5 5 13 Julias Koskei 01:01:21
6 6 6 17 Shawn Forrest 01:01:34
7 7 7 7 Abderrahim Goumri 01:01:41
9 9 8 15 Bobby Curtis Philadelphia PA 01:01:52
10 10 9 6 Markos Geneti 01:02:01
11 11 10 67 Samual Ndereba 01:02:08
12 12 11 14 Ridouane Harroufi 01:02:45
13 13 12 26 Chris Barnicle Newtonville MA 01:02:43
14 14 13 8 Jason Hartmann Boulder CO 01:03:38
15 15 14 18 Weldon Kirui 01:03:44
17 17 15 10 Shadrack Biwott 01:03:56
18 18 16 29 Boaz Cheboiywo 01:04:09
19 19 17 11 McDonald Ondara 01:04:31
20 20 18 21 Matthew Eaton Bowling Green KY 01:04:36
21 21 19 25 C Fred Joslyn Syracuse NY 01:04:37
22 22 20 12 Adam Goucher Portland OR 01:04:52
23 23 21 20 Paul Hefferon Rochester Hills MI 01:04:53
24 24 22 16 Tyler McCandless Boulder CO 01:04:59
25 25 23 45 David Berdan Owings Mill MD 01:05:53
26 26 24 23 Gian Paul Caccia New York NY 01:06:03
28 28 25 32 Kenneth Foster Colorado Springs CO 01:06:09

Women:

OvrPl SexPl DivPl Bib First Name Last Name City State Chip Time
39 1 1 101 Kim Smith 01:07:11
45 2 2 103 Werknesh Kidane 01:07:26
75 3 3 102 Bizunesh Deba 01:09:53
80 4 4 110 Jane Kibii 01:10:23
89 5 5 131 Maegan Krifchin Ithaca NY 01:11:04
99 6 6 109 Diane Nukuri 01:12:08
103 7 7 140 Yolanda Caballeri 01:12:35
104 8 8 113 Claire Hallissey 01:12:39
105 9 9 105 Misiker Mekonnin 01:12:57
106 10 10 114 Dot McMahan Rochester Hills MI 01:12:57
107 11 11 112 Adriana Nelson Boulder CO 01:12:59
109 12 12 115 Melissa White Rochester Hills MI 01:13:10
116 13 13 127 Wendy Thomas Windsor CO 01:13:46
122 14 14 121 Teresa McWalters Cambridge MA 01:14:21
129 16 15 104 Mizuho Nasukawa 01:14:35
130 17 16 124 Amanda Rice Bethesda MD 01:14:36
135 18 17 116 Mattie Suver Lake Tapps WA 01:14:54
139 19 18 136 Gladys Asiba 01:15:05
141 20 19 107 Benita Willis 01:15:07
152 22 20 120 Katarina Janosikova 01:15:45
154 23 21 118 Catha Mullen Woodside CA 01:15:47
155 24 22 122 Sarah Cummings New York NY 01:16:06
162 25 23 130 Nicole Camp Willowick OH 01:16:35
176 26 24 137 Paige Higgins CO 01:17:29
181 28 25 119 Jen Houck Bloomington MN 01:17:41



ENDS

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