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Kamais and Yamauchi Triumph at NYC Half-Marathon

2010-03-22 09:47:00 IAAF

21 March 2010, New York, USA - Peter Kamais of Kenya and Mara Yamauchi of Great Britain won the 2010 NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday morning on a day made for fast, competitive distance running.
 
Kamais, 33, ran 59:53 to score a surprise victory against a field that included multiple World record-holder and 2007 NYC Half champion Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who dropped out. Yamauchi, 36, passed Olympic medallist and U.S. Marathon and Half Marathon record-holder Deena Kastor in the 12th mile to take the victory in an event-record time of 1:09:25.
 
Gebrselassie, the heavy favorite, led the field through a 14:33 opening 5Km, accompanied by Kamais, Moses Kigen Kipkosgei of Kenya, Mohamed Trafeh of the United States, and Bekana Daba of Ethiopia.
 
Gebrselassie and Kamais gradually pulled away and ran together over the undulating park terrain. But the legendary Gebrselassie, who set the event record of 59:24 here in 2007, didn’t look entirely comfortable, and after exiting the park in the eighth mile he stepped to the side of the road, holding his chest. Kamais surged into the lead.
 
“After 10K I knew that I’d win this race. I was feeling comfortable,” said Kamais, who ran 27:09 to win the Brabants Dagblad 10K in Tilburg, The Netherlands, last year. He continued unopposed through Times Square, west on 42nd Street to the flat West Side Highway, and south to the finish in Lower Manhattan.
 
Gebrselassie briefly rejoined the race before dropping out in the ninth mile; he had been suffering from a cold in the days leading up to the race. The race for second place was a nail-biter, with Kigen prevailing over Trafeh by one second, 1:00:38 to 1:00:39, in a sprint finish.
 
Yamauchi ran a smart, patient race, dropping off the torrid 5:05-per-mile pace set by Kastor early on and then gradually reeling in the American over the final miles.
 
“My race went from bad to good today,” said Yamauchi, who is based in Japan but has been training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “When Deena took off, I thought well, that’s too bad. Then, when I saw Deena again, I thought, maybe this isn’t so bad. But I didn’t think it was going to go well until that last long stretch at the end, and I’m really pleased with the time.”
 
Yamauchi’s winning 1:09:25 put her 18 seconds ahead of Kastor, who tied Catherine Ndereba’s 2006 event-record time of 1:09:43. Madai Perez of Mexico finished a close third in 1:09:45. Yamauchi and Kastor will meet again next month at the Virgin London Marathon; Perez will run the Boston Marathon on April 19.
 
This was the fifth edition of the NYC Half-Marathon and the first springtime running; the race took place in the summer from 2006 through 2009. A record 11,494 people finished the race.

New York Road Runners (organizers) for the IAAF

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