In an electrifying showdown at the Shanghai Marathon, Philimon Kiptoo Kipchumba, a 25-year-old athlete from Kenya, emerged victorious, clinching the title and smashing the Chinese all-comers’ record with a remarkable time of 2:05:35 on Sunday (26).
Kipchumba’s astounding achievement included surpassing his personal best by almost two minutes, a record he had set at 2:07:28 during the 2022 Munich Marathon. This feat not only shattered the course record of 2:07:14 set by compatriot Paul Lonyangata eight years ago but also eclipsed the Chinese all-comers’ record established by Kenya’s Moses Mosop in 2015 at 2:06:19.
This win marked Kipchumba’s third marathon victory this year, continuing his unbeaten streak after claiming top honors in Hong Kong in February and Xiamen in April. Reflecting on his triumph, Kipchumba expressed gratitude for the ideal weather and an excellent course, stating, “It’s my first time in Shanghai. The course is fantastic, and the weather today was perfect. Winning the race and breaking both the course and China’s records is an incredible feeling.”
The race kicked off with a competitive start as a pack of approximately 15 runners set a swift pace, hitting key milestones—10km in 29:50, 15km in 44:48, and 20km in 59:55. As the race progressed, only four runners, including Kipchumba, managed to maintain the pace after the 25km mark.
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The leading quartet, comprising Kipchumba, Solomon Kirwa Yego, Kenneth Keter of Kenya, and Tanzania’s Alphonce Simbu, surged ahead after the 30km mark, significantly ahead of the course record pace after the pacer exited the race.
Yego, a 36-year-old with a stellar marathon record, initiated the push after 38km, followed closely by Simbu. However, Kipchumba showcased his strength and strategy, timing his final sprint perfectly in the last 500m, ultimately claiming victory in 2:05:35.
Simbu secured second place, trailing Kipchumba by a mere four seconds with a personal best time of 2:05:39, while Yego claimed third place, finishing in 2:05:42.
The women’s race also saw a highly competitive field, including five sub-2:21 runners led by Ethiopia’s Tadu Teshome with a personal best of 2:17:36. Despite a slower start compared to the course record, Teshome initially led a group of 10 runners before the pack began to thin out.
Siranesh Yirga of Ethiopia made a significant surge near the 35km mark, distancing herself from the competition. Yirga maintained her pace and crossed the finish line in 2:21:28, securing her fourth marathon title in five races, displaying her prowess since entering the classic distance in 2022.
Kenya’s Selly Chepyego, a seasoned marathoner at 38, secured second place with a time of 2:21:55, marking the fourth fastest time of her career. Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba claimed third in 2:22:20, rounding off the top positions in the women’s marathon.
The Shanghai Marathon witnessed exceptional performances, setting new records and showcasing the incredible talent and determination of these athletes on the global stage.