Record-breaking temperatures around 30 degrees prevented the kinds of times organizers hoped a new course would deliver for the Stockholm Marathon's 40th running, with Mikaela Larsson (Sweden) and Lawi Kiptui (Kenya) proving the toughest in the heat with wins in 2:40:28 and 2:13:30.
Beji Bekelu (Ethiopia) held on to 2nd in 2:43:55, but Andersson was run down by another Swedish runner, Caroline Almkvist, who started slower and caught her late in the race for 3rd, 2:44:49 to 2:44:59. 5th last year, Japan's Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC) struggled with the heat from the early going and was never a factor.
Unfazed by Worku's choice of tactics, Kiptui waited until the hilliest section of the course near 30 km to make a move of his own. Ratcheting up his pace over the rolling terrain, Kiptui split 15:14 and 15:07 for the next two 5 km segments and finished hard for the win in 2:13:30 just seconds off his PB and a solid 1:07:52/1:05:38 negative split.
For the rest of the field it was a game of sheer survival. Six of the seven Ethiopian men dropped out. Dominic Kimwetich Kangor and Stephen Kiplimo were left far behind by Kiptui's incredible finish but made it a Kenyan sweep of the podium in 2:16:22 and 2:17:01 for 2nd and 3rd. In 12th at halfway, Kawauchi gutted out a 4th-place finish despite continually slowing down, crossing the line in 2:22:57. Almost 9 minutes slower than his 6th-place performance in Stockholm last year, it was the second-slowest of his 82 marathons to date. "That was hot," he said post-race. "I'm definitely not going to run the Tokyo Olympic trials after this. I liked the new course, though. If we'd had the kind of weather we had last year it would have gone a lot better."
40th Stockholm MarathonStockholm, Sweden, 6/2/18
click here for complete results
1. Mikaela Larsson (Sweden) - 2:40:28
2. Beji Bekelu (Ethiopia) - 2:43:55
3. Caroline Almkvist (Sweden) - 2:44:49
4. Isabellah Andersson (Sweden) - 2:44:59
5. Ellen Persson (Sweden) - 2:45:07
6. Hanna Vandenbussche (Belgium) - 2:46:06
7. Ida-Maria Nicklasson (Sweden) - 2:47:20
8. Kojit Tilahun Biruk (Ethiopia) - 2:48:54
44. Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/YWC) - 3:16:41
DNF - Kumeshi Sichala (Ethiopia)
DNF - Zsofia Erdelyi (Hungary)
1. Lawi Kiptui (Kenya) - 2:13:30
2. Dominic Kimwetich Kangor (Kenya) - 2:16:22
3. Stephen Kiplimo (Kenya) - 2:17:01
4. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:22:57
5. Abebe Hunde (Ethiopia) - 2:27:34
6. Mustafa Mohamed (Sweden) - 2:27:39
7. Felix Kipkemboi Keny (Kenya) - 2:28:08
8. John Musee Muthui (Kenya) - 2:29:14
DNF - Bazu Worku (Ethiopia)
DNF - Alebachew Wale (Ethiopia)
DNF - Samuel Getachew (Ethiopia)
DNF - Belay Assefa (Ethiopia)
DNF - Workneh Tiruneh (Ethiopia)
DNF - Urgessa Kedir (Ethiopia)
text and photos © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved