Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kenyan Luke Kebet Runs 2:11:24 in Singapore Heat!

I ran the Singapore Marathon a few years ago- they said it was 86 degrees when the gun went off at 6:30 am, no doubt not much different than this year, with conditions reportedly 31 degree C (87 F) and 77% humidity
Looking at the website, I see they wisely moved the start to 5:30 am, but the Singapore heat and humidity is still brutal even at that early hour.

Ten of the top 11 finishers were from Kenya, with Luke Kebet leading the way in a stunning 2:11:24, outsprinting 2nd place finisher Johnstone Chepkwony (2:11:33).

Not taking anything away from these guys, but the year I ran this course there was a wide sweeping left curve sometime after 20 miles, followed by a simple 180 degree turnaround and run back into the finish. At the turn we were instructed to run around a cone left to right and head back to the finish on the right hand side of the road, so imagine my surprise on the way out to see the 4 leaders coming back towards me actually off the road and running the sidewalk on my left! Clearly they cut several hundred yards, but who was I to turn them in with $15,000 at stake for the winner? I assumed they needed the money a lot more than I did.

This year, Kibet took home 35K, not to mention a probable course record bonus. I just hope he ran the full 26.2.

Sidenote: When I reached the cone at the turnaround and tried to follow the path of those Kenyans, I was instructed to "stay right!" I still somehow managed to run 2:59 and place 6th overall in the masters claiming 500 Sinapore dollars!

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