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Kipkorir Defends Incheon Songdo International Half Marathon Title


Overcoming humid conditions and competition over two minutes faster than his best, 2016 Incheon Songdo International Half Marathon winner Paul Kipkorir (Kenya) negative splitted his way to his second-straight Incheon title, winning in 1:02:32.

Conditions just before the start were good, cool and breezy with light clouds. Even so, the early pace was unexpectedly slow given a field that included sub-60 men Edwin Rotich (Kenya) and Adunga Bikila (Ethiopia), Kipkorir, 2015 winner Isaac Kiplagat (Kenya) and five men with 62-minute bests including 19-year-old Japanese runner Tomoki Ota (Waseda Univ.). Running 3:01-02 per km kilometer for 5 km, a push from Kipkorir at the turnaround near 9 km was enough to shake off Ota and a few others but still took the lead pack through 10 km dead on 30:00.

Over the second half the humidity rose rapidly as the cloud cover shifted to mist, and one by one the contenders in the lead pack dropped off. In the final kilometers it came to a race between Kipkorir and Seifu Abdiwak (Ethiopia), but Kipkorir had the experience to seal it and open a winning margin of 26 seconds over Abdiwak.

Timothy Kattam (Kenya) took 3rd in 1:03:24, a PB by nearly two minutes as those around him suffered. Ota, who ran 1:02:48 at last November's Ageo City Marathon in his debut at the distance, faded badly as the conditions worsened, ultimately taking 13th in 1:07:16, his worst time in three half marathons to date. 2017 New Caledonia Marathon winner Yoshiki Koizumi (Raffine) experienced breathing difficulties and was never a factor, finishing far back in the pack among the amateur-level South Korean men. With no international women's field in the race the top woman among the seven South Koreans to start was Sook-Jeong Kim in 1:18:08.


Incheon Songdo Half Marathon

Songdo, Incheon, South Korea, 9/24/17

Men
1. Paul Kipkorir (Kenya) - 1:02:32
2. Seifu Abdiwak (Ethiopia) - 1:02:58
3. Timothy Kattam (Kenya) - 1:03:24 - PB
4. Mohammed Ziani (Morocco) - 1:03:31
5. Isaac Korir (Bahrain) - 1:04:04
6. Adunga Bikila (Ethiopia) - 1:04:24
7. Reuben Narry (Kenya) - 1:04:29 - PB
8. Namakoe Nkhasi (Lesotho) - 1:04:42
9. Taher Belkorchi (Morocoo) - 1:04:52
10. Mulue Andom Barhe (Eritrea) - 1:05:28
-----
13. Tomoki Oda (Japan/Waseda Univ.) - 1:07:16
22. Yoshiki Koizumi (Japan/Raffine) - 1:10:53

Women
1. Sook-Jeong Kim (South Korea) - 1:18:08

text and photos © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Metts said…
Was registered for the 10K but decided not to run it or even show up this morning. Ran later in the day. If I had known you were going to be there I would have gone just to meet you. Maybe some other time in Tokyo.
Brett Larner said…
My first time in mainland Korea. A nice weekend.

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