John Mwangangi

Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese won the race in 59.34. The presence of the Eritrean was always expected to make the race competitive and the Kenyan in the end had no chance.

From the start Tadese led the pack, with Mwangangi who was runner-up in last year’s race keeping up with him.

After the race, Tadese who is also the five time IAAF World Half Marathon champion said: “I couldn’t run as fast as last year because I had flu, and that affected me. I hope I can do better next year.”

After Tadese and Mwangangi, another Kenyan, Lucas Rotich, finished in the last podium position in 1:40 ahead of Portuguese Rui Silva, who achieved a new Personal Best of 1:02:40.

The high temperature proved to be harder than expected and several athletes did not finish the race.

In the women’s race, Kenyans also had to settle for second best as Susan Flanagan from the US crossed the finish line 16 seconds ahead of Kenyan Diana Chepkemoi, who lowered her personal best to 1:09:08.

Two more Kenyans Margaret Muriuki and Peninah Arusei came in third and fourth.

Latvia’s Jelena Prokopcuka finished fifth ahead of Kenyan Rita Jeptoo and Portuguese Ana Dulce Felix, who crossed the line in 1:11:18. Last year she was second in 1:08:33.

“This was a great race,” said Flanagan. “I’m very pleased for this opportunity, hoping this can give me more confidence for the Summer in London, in the Olympic Marathon.”

Felix wasn’t disappointed. “Last year at this time I was preparing for the Vienna Marathon, in another level of shape. This year, our work is focused on the Olympic marathon so I ran slower than 2011.”

Overall, it was a well organised race with more than 38,000 runners crossing the bridge over the Tagus River.

IAAF

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