Not that anyone is doubting Hellen Obiri’s eventual success in her marathon debut, but winning The Great North Run gives more credence to that near-universal confidence. Obiri has already run 1:04:22 for the half — her time was over two minutes off that mark, here — but it was who she beat in Newcastle, the great Peres Jepchirchir, that further validated the now-assumption that she’ll be just fine when she doubles up in distance.
Nothing quite says, “you are ready to tackle the New York City Marathon!” like out-kicking the defending New York, Boston, and Olympic champion. Jepchirchir does not lose very often, especially in the marathon. Her only loss ever came in 2013 when she ran 2:47 — this was long before Peres Jepchirchir was Peres Jepchirchir! And also in the race was Almaz Ayana, the 2016 Olympic Champion and world record holder at 10,000m. She will be making her debut at the Amsterdam Marathon alongside Genzebe Dibaba.
In the also loaded men’s race, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo won, since he is the world record holder and all at 57:31. But he did so handily over the Olympic 10,000m Champion, Selemon Barega — 59:33 to 1:00:39. This is a rare case where the 21-year-old Kiplimo is considered the veteran as he has now run six half marathons in his career, while this wasBarega’s debut, at an ancient 22 years old.
Now, what do we think of adding a half marathon to the NCAA outdoor meet?
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