Uganda’s long distance runner Jacob Kiplimo produced a dominant performance at the 2023 United Airlines New York City Half on Sunday to win the men’s event with a winning time of 1:01:31.
Kiplimo’s country-mate, Joshua Cheptegei scooped silver with a time of 1:02:09 whilst Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi capped the podium after finishing third with a time of 1:02:09.
Britain’s Chris Thompson was a surprise early leader of the men’s race, opening up a significant gap on the rest of the field in the first 5km, covered in 15:00. He just about held on to the lead until 10km (30:10), by which point the large chase pack was just a few strides behind.
Once Thompson had inevitably been reeled in, Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi led what was now a lead pack of about 15 runners. The group soon became strung out with Talbi leading at 15km (44:35), just ahead of Kiplimo and Cheptegei.
Just a minute or two later, Kiplimo – contesting his first race since winning the world cross-country title in Bathurst last month – finally took charge and started to pull away from Cheptegei and Talbi.
Over the course of the final five kilometres, Kiplimo opened up a gap of 38 seconds on two-time world 10,000m champion Cheptegei, winning in 1:01:31. Cheptegei was second in 1:02:09, finishing nine seconds ahead of Talbi.
“I’m very excited to win this race, my first half marathon of 2023,” said Kiplimo. “Even though it was cold, I did my best. For the past few months I have been preparing for cross-country, and that helped me a lot for this race.”
In the women’s event, two-time world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri came atop under tight conditions.
Obiri was locked in a duel with Ethiopia’s 2015 world silver medallist Senbere Teferi for much of the race, but broke away from the defending champion just before 15km to win in an event record of 1:07:21. Kiplimo, meanwhile, waited until just after 15km to make his move, and once he dropped Joshua Cheptegei he didn’t look back, going on to win in 1:01:31.
Obiri and Teferi made an early break from the rest of the field. By the time they reached 5km (15:50), they already had a 22-second margin over Diane van Es of the Netherlands, who led a small chase pack.
Teferi was tucked in right behind Obiri for a large part of the race with the Kenyan leading the duo through 10km (31:29). But as they started to approach the 15km marker, Teferi’s challenge began to fade. Obiri forged on ahead and crossed the line in 1:07:21 to take 14 seconds off the event record Teferi set last year.
Teferi had to settle for second place on this occasion, clocking 1:07:55. European cross-country champion Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal came through for third place (1:09:53).
“I’m so grateful to have won this race,” said Obiri, the 2019 world cross-country champion. “There was a lot of wind, but I tried to push the pace after 15km.
“My mind was just on winning and not the time, because it is a hard course. I still wanted to run sub-70, so I’m happy to have done that and to have won today.”
1 Hellen Obiri (KEN) 1:07:21
2 Senbere Teferi (ETH) 1:07:55
3 Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal (NOR) 1:09:53
4 Diane van Es (NED) 1:10:43
5 Desiree Linden (USA) 1:12:21
6 Dakotah Lindwurm (USA) 1:12:25
1 Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 1:01:31
2 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 1:02:09
3 Zouhair Talbi (MAR) 1:02:18
4 Ben True (USA) 1:02:57
5 Edward Cheserek (KEN) 1:02:58
6 Andrew Butchart (GBR) 1:02:58
*Credit: World Athletics.
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