NANCHANG - Kenyan Stephen Kiplimo and Ethiopian Melkam Gizaw broke the men’s and women’s course records respectively at the 2019 Nanchang International Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Kiplimo, who competed on Chinese soil for the first time, built a sole lead in the last 10 kilometres to cross the line in 2:09:54, smashing the 2:13:26 course record set by Kenyan compatriot countryman Douglas Kimeli in 2018.
It was the first time Kiplimo broke the 2:10 barrier, eclipsing his previous best of 2:11:28 set last February from his victory at the Castellon Marathon.
The race witnessed a fast pace in the early stages with a lead group of eight reaching 10km in 30:41 and 15km in 46:21. After passing the 25km in 1:17:13, the group started to shrink.
By 30km (1:32:26), four runners remained in contention: Kiplimo, fellow Kenyan Cosmas Kyeva, Tadesse Temechachu of Ethiopia and Chinese Peng Jianhua, who only started to run the 42.195km race this season.