Stephen Kiprotich Validates His Olympic Title With A World Title; Lelisa Desisa Proves He’s A Star With Silver

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Kiprotich Credits Haile Gebrselassie For Helping Inspire Win, Desisa Nabs Silver Despite Vomiting Before The Race

August 17, 2013

The men’s marathon was decided right near 41 kilometers.

At that point, the race was down to two, 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, who had already won two marathons this year with big kicks.

Desisa first had won the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon out-kicking four others to win in 2:04:45. Then, three months later he was in Boston, out-kicking two others to win the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Here Desisa did not get to show his finishing speed as after the 2:06 mark, Kiprotich accelerated and opened a small lead on Desisa. Kiprotich took the lead as the duo were leaving the main road and entering the Olympic park with a series of soft turns.

Desisa had been sitting on Kiprotich for a while and was trying to stay in Kiprotich’s slip stream, but Kiprotich decided to make it even harder to be tracked. Before they hit the soft turns, Kiprotich started zig-zagging on his own. Instead of running the tangent, Desisa zig-zagged behind him. Very strange indeed, but certainly great theatre. This is what championship racing is all about.

However, Kiprotich was too good and soon Desisa was dropped and Kiprotich would extend his lead to the finish over the final kilometer, winning 2:09:51 to Desisa’s 2:10:12. 2:04:49 man Tadese Tola of Ethiopia, who had been with them until the 2:03 mark, got the bronze and this year’s London champ Tsegay Kebede was fourth as Ethiopia went 2-3-4. Kenntaro Nakamoto of Japan, sixth in the Olympics, was 5th here and then two Brazilians, Solonei Da Silva and Paulo Robert Paula, who had run together the entire way, finished hand in hand in sixth and seventh.

Quick Takes: Desisa Is Officially a Marathon Star – He Vomited BEFORE the Race
After the race, Desisa revealed he had not felt well this morning (the race started at 3:30 pm) and vomited after breakfast. He said, “I wasn’t feeling well this morning and vomited after breakfast. During the race my mouth was dry. With 2 kilometers to go, I thought I could compete with Kiprotich, and normally I am a good finisher since I am originally a 10,000m runner, but I wasn’t able to change gears, maybe because what happened this morning. Before the race we were aiming for an Ethiopian sweep and we worked a lot as a team. We ended up with silver and bronze, which is not that bad after all.”

Well never know what would have happened if Desisas was 100% healthy but we can say he is a marathon star.

8 months ago he had never run a marathon.

Now he’s run:
2:04:45 1st in Dubai in debut
2:10:22 1st in Boston
2:10:12 2nd at World Champs

What’s their not to like about the guy? He’s only 23 and has shown he can run well on a flat fast course (Dubai), a hilly course (Boston), and a Championship course in warmer weather (Moscow).

It’ll be interesting to see now if he tried and get a big payday by running a fourth marathon this year. The smarter choice would be to defend in Dubai or hold out and run London next spring.

As for the strange zig-zagging, Desisa did not explain why he zig-zagged behind Kiprotich instead of taking the tangent, but re-watching the replay it might have been a combination of the fatigue of the marathon and the upcoming series of soft-turns. The runners were about to go through a zig-zag on the course and when Kiprotich started zig-zagging on his own before that, Desisas just followed him.

The Cool Story of Kiprotich and Haile Gebrselassie
Kiprotich surprised just about everyone by winning the Olympics. He showed that was no fluke as he got the win here versus a very strong Ethiopian team.

Afterwards, Kiprotich was asked which title, Worlds or the Olympics, was the best for him. He got a chuckle out of everyone with his witty response, “The current one is the best. Last year the Olympics is the best and now this one is the best.”

(As an aside, we really like Kiprotich’s personality. Not sure if that comes out in the video below, but he’s a good ambassador for the sport).

Kiprotich was asked if he had a hero who inspired him in the sport and he mentioned Haile Gebrselassie.

In 2007, Kiprotich and Haile raced at the Heerenberg Montferland Run in the Netherlands.  Here are the results from

Pl.Athlete / TeamCnt.BirthResultScore
1.Haile GEBRSELASSIEETH7342:361155SB
2.Ali Mabruk EL ZAIDILBA7842:421149PB
3.Wilson Kipsang KIPROTICHKEN8243:301102PB
4.Wesley LANGATKEN8643:551078PB
5.Khalid BOUMELILIMAR7844:231051PB
6.Mesefin ADIMASUETH8544:371037PB
7.Khalid EL AMRIMAR7744:411034PB
8.Nouredinne ATHAMNAALG8445:51968SB
9.Sander SCHUTGENSNED7546:14956SB
10.Hans JANSSENSBEL8046:14956
11.Stephen KIPROTICHUGA8946:15955

Who would have thought that a guy in 11th place, beaten by 3:39 would 5 years later be the Olympic champion? Kiprotich, a student of the sport (he remembered he was 11th place in the race in talking about it a the press conference), took advantage of the opportunity of being with Haile at the race and asked him, “What do I need to do so I run good?” Haile, according to Kiprotich, had a simple answer, “You need to train well for five years.”

What happened 5 year later? Kiprotich won the Olympics.

Prior to the Olympics, Kiprotich and Haile both crossed paths at the February 2012 Tokyo Marathon where Kiprotich was third in 2:07:50 and Gebrselassie fourth in 2:08:17. Stephen asked Kiprotich if he remember him. Haile said he did, proving to Kiprotich, “I knew he was a sharp headed man.”

Kiprotich Talks About Gebrselassie Influence

For more for Kiprotich at the press conference click here.

The Americans react.

The self coached Jeff Eggleston led the Americans in 13th place. Scott Simmons coached Daniel Tapia was 27th and the Brad Hudson coached Carlos Trujillo was 37th.

Jeff Eggleston Self Coached With No Training Partners
Eggleston had a very good day. The goal was a top 15 or a top 20 finish and he finished 13th running very even splits: 1:06:51 and 1:07:32. (The top 3 guys were the only ones to negative split today). Eggleston, who lives in the running mecca of Boulder, Colorado, trains by himself and is self-coached. Those of you looking for the “secret” keep looking as he said there isn’t one. Eggleston said today was all about going off the feedback his body was giving him and he has learned how to do that from training by himself.

Daniel Tapia Done With Law School Heading to Colorado Springs
Tapia only found out a month ago he was running here when Mo Trafeh pulled out. The Scott Simmons coached athlete went to altitude and ramped up his training to compete here. Tapia now done with law school, had also been studying for the law bar exam which he took. He now will be moving to Colorado Springs to train with Simmons group.

Carlos Trujillo 37th Place
The former Oregon Duck lives in Boise, Idaho and is coached remotely by Brad Hudson.

Race splits here.

Details11080Stephen KIPROTICHUGAUGA2:09:51
Details2417Lelisa DESISAETHETH2:10:12
Details3430Tadese TOLAETHETH2:10:23
Details4425Tsegay KEBEDEETHETH2:10:47
Details5680Kentaro NAKAMOTOJPNJPN2:10:50
Details6214Solonei DA SILVABRABRA2:11:40SB
Details7222Paulo Roberto PAULABRABRA2:11:40SB
Details8431Yemane TSEGAYETHETH2:11:43SB
Details9723Peter Kimeli SOMEKENKEN2:11:47
Details101079Jackson KIPROPUGAUGA2:12:12
Details11364Beraki BEYENEERIERI2:13:40SB
Details12713Bernard Kiprop KIPYEGOKENKEN2:14:01
Details131124Jeff EGGLESTONUSAUSA2:14:23SB
Details14662Masakazu FUJIWARAJPNJPN2:14:29
Details15383Javier GUERRAESPESP2:14:33
Details16370Samuel TSEGAYERIERI2:14:41SB
Details17676Kazuhiro MAEDAJPNJPN2:15:25
Details18675Yuki KAWAUCHIJPNJPN2:15:35
Details191078Abraham KIPLIMOUGAUGA2:16:25
Details20261Rob WATSONCANCAN2:16:28SB
Details21599Paul POLLOCKIRLIRL2:16:42SB
Details221029Mustafa MOHAMEDSWESWE2:17:09SB
Details23134Martin DENTAUSAUS2:17:11SB
Details24971Aleksey SOKOLOVRUSRUS2:17:12
Details25714Michael Kipkorir KIPYEGOKENKEN2:17:47
Details26903Marius IONESCUROUROU2:18:31
Details271171Daniel TAPIAUSAUSA2:18:32SB
Details28461Benjamin MALATYFRAFRA2:19:21
Details291204Jordan CHIPANGAMAZAMZAM2:19:47
Details30350Miguel Ángel ALMACHIECUECU2:19:48SB
Details31369Kiflom SIUMERIERI2:20:01
Details321043Chia-Che CHANGTPETPE2:20:02SB
Details33564Jeremías SALOJGUAGUA2:20:40SB
Details341036Faustine MUSSATANTAN2:20:51
Details351010Christian KREIENBÜHLSUISUI2:21:17
Details36797Ser-Od BAT-OCHIRMGLMGL2:21:55
Details371175Carlos TRUJILLOUSAUSA2:23:13SB
Details38149Tilahun ALIYEVAZEAZE2:23:32
Details391035Mohamed Ikoki MSANDEKITANTAN2:24:20SB
Details40601Zohar ZEMIROISRISR2:25:23
Details411011Michael OTTSUISUI2:26:02
Details421097Vasyl MATVIYCHUKUKRUKR2:26:21SB
Details43919Sibusiso NZIMARSARSA2:26:32
Details44739Jihun SUNGKORKOR2:26:43
Details45290Shujin YINCHNCHN2:27:19
Details46785Roman PRODIUSMDAMDA2:29:08
Details47922Hendrick RAMAALARSARSA2:30:23
Details48783Sergiu CIOBANUMDAMDA2:34:17SB
Details49731Youngjin KIMKORKOR2:35:53
Details50136Shawn FORRESTAUSAUS2:39:09SB
Details51694Mihail KRASSILOVKAZKAZ2:44:31SB
Details715Bernard Kiprop KOECHKENKENDNF
Details768Mohamed BILALMARMARDNF
Details795José Antonio URIBEMEXMEXDNF
Details227Aadam Ismaeel KHAMISBRNBRNDNF
Details1067Wissem HOSNITUNTUNDNF

*More Worlds Coverage Here

Stephen Kiprotich Wins the World  Marathon Title

Stephen Kiprotich Wins the World Marathon Title

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