Kenya’s Laban Moiben and Ethiopia’s Netsanet Achamo Abeyo won the respective men’s and women’s classic distance in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on Sunday morning.
The African contingent continued its domination over the 42.195km race for elite competitors here with Abeyo shattering the women’s course record with a personal best time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 12 seconds as she led an Ethiopian clean sweep of the podium positions.
But what made Abeyo’s record effort more incredible was the fact that she was running alone — without a pacesetter or competitor — for almost half the race distance after she had broken away from the pack. The run obliterated the record (2:26:56) set last year by compatriot Koren Yal.
If the victory margin was a glaring four minutes in the women’s race, there was no margin for error in the men’s race as two African runners scrambled in a fierce sprint over the home stretch.
Kenyan Moiben found enough reserves of power in his lanky frame to breast the tape ahead of Ethiopia’s Raji Assefa, an equally robust runner. Both finished with an official time of 2:10:48 but, contrary to expectations, they were not able to beat the course record of 2:09:54 that had been set last year by Ethiopian Girma Assefa.