Rutto and Lagat Lead Kenyan Dominance at the 29th Acea Rome Marathon

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Asbel Rutto and Ivyne Lagat led a Kenyan victory at the 29th Acea Rome Run the Marathon, recognized as a World Athletics Elite Label Race.

Rutto triumphed with a time of 2:06:24, setting a new record for the course previously held by Fikre Bekele of Ethiopia at 2:06:48 in 2022, and marking a personal best improvement of over three minutes.

Brian Kipsang was the runner-up at 2:07:48, followed by Sila Kiptoo in third with 2:08:08. Reuben Narry secured the fourth spot with a time of 2:09:09, while Isaac Cheluko and Samwel Kiptoo also finished under the 2:10 mark, recording times of 2:09:24 and 2:09:58, respectively. This led to Kenyan runners dominating the men’s top ten, with nine placements.

Paul Tiongik, Asbel Rutto, Titus Kemboi, and Dickson Simba passed the 10 km mark at 29:49. Tiongik and Rutto led at 15 km with a time of 44:40, ahead of Simba by four seconds.

Halfway through, Rutto was in the lead at 1:02:36, ahead of Tiongik by seven seconds, with Simba trailing by 42 seconds in third.

At the 25 km and 30 km marks, Rutto extended his lead, and despite a slower pace in the last 7 km, won his first career marathon, previously placing fifth and second in other races. His second-half time was 1:03:47.

Rutto expressed emotional victory sentiments, highlighting the challenges of the course and the support from the crowd. “I feel emotional to win in a course record in such a beautiful city. I struggled a bit to run over the cobblestones, but I was confident about my physical condition and I was focused on my goal. It was warm in the final 10 km but my motivation was very high. I am not surprised about my split time at the half marathon. I thank the crowd for the support along the course."

In the women’s race, Ivyne Lagat won with a time of 2:24:35, besting her previous personal record by 16 minutes.

Lydia Naliaka Simyu finished second with a new personal best of 2:25:09, improving from her previous best set in Cape Town in 2021. Emebet Niguse of Ethiopia was third with 2:26.41, and the course record set by Alemu Megertu in 2019 remained unbroken.

The leading group in the women’s race consisted of seven runners, thinning down to four by the 15 km mark. Lagat and Simyu then pulled ahead, with Lagat ultimately securing a solid win and expressing satisfaction with her significant personal best improvement.

Ivyne Lagat: “I am very happy with my performance. I improved my marathon PB by more than 16 minutes. I could not ask for more. I struggled in the final 5 km but I held on until the end because I wanted to win the race”.

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