Joan Chelimo is now focusing on a 15-kilometre race in France after winning the 37th edition of the Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday.
Chelimo and fellow Kenyan Gilbert Masai shone on Sunday with Masai running a fine 59:57 and was well ahead of Vincent Kipchumba and Reuben Limaa, who finished in 60:32 and 61:43 respectively.
Chelimo was the last name added to the elite field, but she was first at the finish line with a time of 68:45.
It was a personal best for the 28 year-old and her first sub 70 minutes’ half marathon.
Fellow-Kenyans Edith Chelimo was second with 68:57 while Dutch defending champion Elizeba Cherono took third in 70:43. 34,004 runners from 106 nations entered Germany’s biggest and fastest half marathon race.
Joan will now shift to France for the Le Puy ev Velay 15km race on May 1.In fine but partly windy weather conditions the men’s race started relatively slow.
After a first few kilometres with split times of around 3:00 minutes the pace was picked up in the men’s race on Sunday.
A group of six runners then passed the 10km point in 28:52.
It was Masai who started an early and decisive move together with pacemaker Vincent Kipchumba.
Running the 12th kilometre in 2:38 he took the lead.
“Unfortunately the pacemaker could not keep the pace so I was running alone at front,” said Masai, who had hoped to break his personal best of 59:31. “But it was getting tough without competition. Now I will prepare for the Hamburg Marathon in three weeks. It is my aim to improve my PB to 2:07 to 2:08.”