WTW: Leonard Korir Runs 2:07, Unknown Canadian Runs 2:09, Plus Fast Times in Toronto and Delhi

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The Week That Was in Running, October 14 – 20, 2019

By LetsRun.com
October 22, 2019

Past editions of the Week That Was can be found here. Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.

If you missed our coverage of the two big NCAA cross country meets last week, catch up now:

Pre-Nats: Conner Mantz & Erica Birk Lead BYU To Big Day At 2019 Pre-Nats BYU took home both individual titles and the men’s team title but #8 Washington upset them to win the women’s team race.

Wisco: Edwin Kurgat & Alicia Monson Stamp Themselves As NCAA Title Contenders As NAU Men & Arkansas Women Roll At 2019 Nuttycombe Invite We break down the biggest regular-season NCAA meet of the season for you. As good as NAU and Arkansas were, the men from the ACC were bad as their top 4 teams all bombed. Plus it looks like the American men’s losing streak at NCAAs will continue.

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Also Shalane Flanagan retired yesterday, which was covered here: LRC Shalane Flanagan Retires: Is She The US GOAT? + Top 5 Moments in Her Career

Stat of the Week I / Big Upsets At the Candian Olympic Marathon Trials

Embed from Getty Images

6:57 – amount of time Trevor Hofbauer took off his pb last week to win the Canadian Olympic Trials in 2:09:51 — the #2 time in Canadian history.

7:05 – amount of time Dayna Pidhoresky took off her pb last week to win the Canadian Olympic Trials in 2:29:03.

Thumbs up to Canada for holding its first Olympic marathon trials since 1984 last week (only the winner was guaranteed a spot in Tokyo). The trials were held as part of the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. As the above stats indicate, there were two huge upset winners. While the two wins both featured huge pbs, they came in contrasting fashion. Pidhoresky, who only sports a 71:46 half marathon pb, went out extremely aggressively in 72:56 and ran a huge positive split (76:07 second half) but still held on as the first Canadian. In the men’s race, Hofbauer won with a negative split as he ran his first half in 65:00 and his second in 64:51. Pretty impressive considering his half marathon pb is just 64:30.

Leading Canadian Results in Toronto (overall place in parentheses)
1. Trevor Hofbauer 2:09:51 PB (7th)
2. Tristan Woodfine 2:13:16 PB  (11th)
3. Cam Levins 2:15:01 (12th)
4. Reid Coolsaet 2:15:23 (14th)
5. Thomas Toth 2:16:28 (15th)
6. Rory Linkletter 2:16:42 PB (16th)
7. Evan Esselink 2:18:38 (20th)
8. Aaron Cooper 2:19:01 (21st)
9. Chris Belestrini 2:19:42 PB (22nd)
10. Kevin Coffey 2:20:22 (24th)
1. Dayna Pidhoresky 2:29:03 PB (10th)
2. Emily Setlack 2:29:48 PB (11th)
3. Kinsey Middleton 2:34:36 (13th)
4. Kate Bazeley 2:36:35 PB (14th)
5. Robyn Mildren  2:36:47 PB (15th)
6. Tarah Korir 2:42:05 (17th)
7. Kate Gustafson 2:48:56 (25th)

*Who?!? and How!? Dreams Become Reality: Trevor Hofbauer goes from 2:16 to 2:09:25 to win Canadian Champs 

Could The Toronto Men’s Winner Have Won Chicago?

In terms of the overall races in Toronto, Canadian all-comers records were set in both the men’s and women’s races. In the women’s race, Kenya’s Magdelyne Masai Robertson (wife of New Zealand’s Jake Robertson) ran a big negative split 2:22:16 (71:40-70:36) to beat Gelete Burka‘s 2:22:17 all-comers record from the 2018 Ottawa Marathon by one second. 2:22:16 was a nearly four-minute PB for the 26-year old (previous pb of 2:26:04).

In the men’s race, the top four finishers in Toronto all DESTROYED the Candian all-comers record held by Kenya’s Philemon “Baby Police” Rono of 2:06:52 from 2017 Toronto. In the end, the victory went to Rono himself as he came from 18 seconds back to win his third Toronto title in 2:05:00 thanks to a huge negative split of 63:07-61:53, as 2015 Dubai and 2016 Boston Marathon champ Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia was second in 2:05:09. Uganda’s Felix Chemonges set a 2:05:12 national record in third as Kenya’s Benson Kipruto was fourth in 2:05:13.

When we saw those results, we wondered if Rono would have won Chicago had he been in it. Remember, Lawrence Cherono‘s winning time in Chicago was only 2:05:45 and he did that with a big positive split (62:14-63:31) and the conditions for the two races were similar with temps in the low to mid 40s in Chicago and high 40s to low 50s in Toronto (although it was windier in Chicago).

Marathoning is so deep in 2019 that it’s not impossible to think Rono could have won Chicago.


An American Runs 2:07 in Amsterdam — In His Marathon Debut

The 44th TCS Amsterdam Marathon was also held last week and the men’s race there, just like Toronto, featured four men under 2:05:30 with Vincent Kipchumba of Kenya getting the win in 2:05:09. Kipchumba didn’t break 2:10 in his first five career marathons, but he has now run 2:06:56 (win in Vienna) and 2:05:09 this year.

Korir after his 2:07

However, for US fans, the big news came when the 11th placer, Leonard Korir, crossed the finish line in 2:07:56. That makes Korir, a 27:20 performer on the track and the third-fastest American ever at the half-marathon distance (59:52), the fastest debut marathoner in US history and the fifth-fastest American marathoner ever.

Korir’s run was very good for an American, and particularly impressive since he ran the 10,000 at Worlds just two weeks ago (Korir was 13th). Korir stayed with the leaders through 25k after hitting halfway in 63:02.

If Korir opts for the marathon trials in February, he instantly becomes one of the favorites for the team. let’s not forget that Korir was only the third American at USAs and Worlds in the 10,000. While we certainly don’t expect Lopez Lomong to move up to the marathon anytime soon, it would be far from a shock if Shadrack Kipchirchir ran the Marathon Trials and if he debuts at the Trials, he’d have a real good shot at making the team given his 27:07 10,000 pb. That being said, we don’t think Kipchirchir will do it as a) he’s never even run a half marathon and b) as a result of a, he hasn’t qualified for the US Olympic Marathon Trials (though the qualifying window runs through January 19).

MB: So what the hell is supposed to happen at the men’s marathon trials? 1 spot locked and 2 up for grabs? (Rupp not the lock)


In the women’s race in Amsterdam, 20-year-old Degitu Azimeraw of Ethiopia had a sparkling debut of 2:19:26 as the top four women all broke Meseret Hailu’s old course record of 2:21:09 from 2012. A 2:19:26 debut is stellar — per Jon Mulkeen, it’s the second-fastest ever (Paula Radcliffe‘s 2:18:56 at 2002 London is #1) — but not completely out of nowhere as Azimeraw had earlier this year ran 66:04 for 4th at the RAK Half.

Fail to Medal Worlds, Win At Least $27,000 At Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

One of the world’s richest half marathons — the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, which features $89,000 in prize money for both genders (plus additional prize money for Indian runners) — was last week and the results impressed once again. Two weeks after finishing 5th at Worlds in the 10,000, 20-year-old Ethiopian Andamlak Belihu picked up the biggest win of his career as he netted $27,000 thanks to his 59:10 pb (previous pb of 59:51). Belihu’s compatriot Solomon Berihu, also 20, who ran 13:02 and 27:02 earlier this year in Hengelo, did well in his 13.1 debut to place second in 59:17.

In the women’s race, 21-year-old Tsehay Gemechu, who lowered her 5000 pb from 14:59 to 14:29 to place 4th at Worlds on October 5, stayed hot and had a great debut as she won $37,000 with a course record of 66:00, just one second up on Yelamzerf Yehualaw, the 20-year-old African Games champ in the half marathon who PR’d by more than three minutes (previous pb of 69:13).

Stat of the Week II

27:54 – new road pb and Norwegian record for 19-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who made his road 10k debut last week at the Hytteplanmila 10k in Hole, Norway, which he won by 45 seconds over 2014 world half marathon silver medallist Samuel Tsegay of Eritrea.

Quotes of the Week (That weren’t quote of the day)

#1 What the heck does this mean?

“Brigid was tested six times before Chicago Marathon and before that, eight times ahead of London Marathon. She will never dodge a test. There are three times the anti-doping officials did not test her and they made a big deal out of it yet she was sick or had left the training venue when they arrived. Let them test her to the last minute. We are ready for the tests.” 

Eric Kimaiyo, coach of Brigid Kosgei, talking in Kenya about drug testing according to The Daily Nation.

More: MB: Did world record holder Brigid Kosgei miss three tests?

#2 The Oregonian tells Nike to clean up its act

“[Nike CEO Mark] Parker should treat the anti-doping agency’s findings much like he treated those surveys – as a clear message that Nike needs to clean up its act.”

-Concluding sentence of an editorial by The Oregonian, Nike’s hometown newspaper, after the Alberto Salazar doping suspension broke.

More: Editorial: Defiant and defensive, Nike only sabotages itself

#3 Alberto Salazar in 2006, talking about what he thought of the theory that massage therapist Chris Whetstine sabotaged Justin Gatlin by rubbing testosterone on him

“You can’t help but laugh. It’s just preposterous on so many fronts. I guess anything’s possible, but it just doesn’t make sense. There’s no way in the world.”

More: ESPN: Inside the masseur-with-a-grudge conspiracy theory

Messageboard Threads We Found Interesting

Recommended Reads

To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.

Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

To see the quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.

Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum

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