Team Run-Fast enjoyed international successes this weekend as, between the ten athletes competing at various races, two course records were broken and six new personal best times were achieved.
A group of four Run-Fast athletes travelled to Poland to compete in the ninth edition of the PZU Warsaw Half Marathon.
Tasked with pacing the men’s race through to the 10k mark, Peter Wanjiru took the lead group up to this point in an impressive 28:42 with team-mates Milton Rotich and Victor Kipchirchir hot on his heels. It was at this point that Victor made a decisive break from the other athletes and by 14km he’d established a one minute gap, a lead he maintained confidently to the finish line. His time of 60:48 was not only a course record but also the fastest half marathon time ever recorded on Polish soil.
Having completed his pacing duties at 10k, Peter Wanjiru continued as part of the race to take 3rd position in 62:01, just edging out 4th place Rotich who took 4th in 62:15.
In the women’s race, Polline Wanjiku stole the show. Following on from a string of fantastic races in 2013 Polline’s performance made it quite clear that there is more to come from this ever improving young athlete. As well as coming very close to a 10k personal best time en route, she took 1st position more than two minutes ahead of the second lady, set a new course record and a new personal best time of 69:06 – her first ever sub-70 clocking.
Here in the UK, another team of four travelled down to the inaugural Folkestone Spitfire 5 on a glorious spring day on the South Coast.
The five mile course started by Folkestone harbour and ran out and back along the pancake flat promenade. Soon after the start it was clear it would be an all Run-Fast affair as Colin Leak set the pace, closely followed by Tom “Kiprop” Payn and Peter Huck. At the half-way mark the three Run-Fast athletes were still tightly bunched and it was only with around one and a half miles to go that Peter lost contact, leaving Colin and Kiprop to battle it out for the win.
With just 400m to go Kiprop made the decisive move to pull away from Colin, taking the win in a new personal best time of 24:12. Colin finished closely behind with a time of 24:15 and Peter easily held on to 3rd place with 24:37. In the women’s race Linah Jerop finished more than ten minutes ahead of the 2nd placed woman in 26.52. More impressive was the fact she was the 4th overall finisher beating all but the Run-Fast men!
Not too far away at the Paddock Wood Half Marathon, Nicholas Kirui kept up the Team’s (and his own) winning streak. Taking an early lead against a field containing some strong UK athletes, Nicholas took 1st position comfortably in 65:28 – almost a full two minutes ahead of the second finisher. This is Nicholas’s third successive win this season and his final race in the lead up to Brighton Marathon, where he will pace the elite men’s field.
Over in Southern California Edwin Kipyego lined up with some of the world’s finest middle distance athletes at the Carlsbad 5000. Taking his place on a start line boasting Olympic and World champions, Edwin’s invitation to this race is a sure sign of how far this young athlete has come in the past couple of years. By the second mile the lead group contained only four men: Edwin, Dejen Gebremeskel, Bernard Lagat and Augustine Choge. Gebremeskel and Lagat pushed ahead at the halfway mark but Edwin held his own against fellow Kenyan Choge, just missing out on a podium spot with a fourth position placing in a new personal best time of 13:26. Edwin’s next race will be at the Cherry Blossom 10 in Washington.