From the IAAF brief report with an Ed. note:
Boston photo of Rupp by Kevin Morris/Photo Run
Galen Rupp of the U.S. and Bornes Jepkirui Kitur of Kenya ran to victory at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday, May 6.
Breaking away from Sisay Lemma in the final four kilometres, Rupp cruised to a 2:06:07 victory, chopping more than three minutes from his previous best of 2:09:20 set at last year’s Chicago Marathon. (Photo right: An Olympic silver medalist, Rupp is now 2-for-2 in his last completed marathons.)
“Sisay is a really great marathon runner, it was no easy feat and I’m really pleased I managed to defeat him and win,” said Rupp, who bounced back quickly from disappointment at the Boston Marathon three weeks where asthma and hypothermia forced him to drop out after 30 kilometres. “I tried to keep a check on my pace, to get into it and stay positive.”
(Ed. note: Unlike the maelstrom at Boston, the weather in Prague for the race start was 56˚ and only rising to 63˚ later in the day. The sun was out and the wind was down. Lemma may not be well known in these parts, but in Jan. he had run 2:04:08 and wasn’t easy to shake. Before the final split Rupp ran 14:49 from 25K to 30K and Lemma was still there. If you count Ryan Hall’s 2:04:58 jaunt at the 2011 Boston Marathon..and we will…this puts Rupp as No. 3 US all-time with Khalid Khannouchi also out front with his 2:05:38 from London.)
Lemma was second in 2:07:03 followed by Stephen Kwelio Chemlany who clocked 2:09:42 for third.
By contrast few could have predicted the results in the women’s race. Kitur wasn’t even considered in the favourite’s group before the race, but she managed to hold off all challenges en route to a clear victory in 2:24:19.
“I had a really good race, the only slight issue I found were the cobblestones,” she said. “I managed to shave more than four minutes off my personal best and am really delighted to have won.” The 30-year-old set her previous personal best of 2:28:48 in Mumbai in January where she finished second.
The second and third podium spots went to Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Amane Gobena who clocked 2:27:43 and 2:25:13 respectively.
The event’s 24th edition featured 9778 runners. IAAF President Sebastian Coe started the race.
—Organizers and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF