Tujuba Beyu of Ethiopia and Italy's Anna Incerti captured victories at the 37th edition of the Roma Ostia Half Marathon on Sunday (27).
Beyu broke the one-hour mark, reaching the finish in 59:58 while Incerti stopped the clock in 1:09:06, a personal best.
The men’s race went out at a quick tempo, with the 10 kilometre marker reached in 28:19. Over the final kilometre, Beyu took command winning from Kenyans Joel Kimurer (1:00:05) and Abraham Chebii (1:00:07).
“We kept a steady pace immediately, alternating in the lead since we wanted to achieve a new record,” Beyu said. “I felt good from the start, and even though the temperature was quite frigid, I was in optimal shape. I am thrilled to have won the Roma Ostia, Rome is a fantastic city.”
The women’s race featured a spectacular duel between Incerti and Portugal’s Jessica Augusto. Running together from the start, the Italian’s experience as a marathon prevailed over the Portuguese’s exceptional speed. The pair tookd turns with the lead for the first 18 kilometres with August making the first move. But Incerti fought back to take her second Roma Ostia victory. Augusto hung on for second finishing four seconds back in 1:09:10. Kenyan Monica Wangari was third clocking 1:11:37.
“The new course was extremely fast,” Incerti said. “Jessica is an excellent athlete and I was quite afraid of her final sprint. My coach and I closely studied her athletic ability and feared this aspect the most. At the 18th kilometre I dared to challenge her, and when I felt confident I took off to win the race. I am extremely happy on how the 2011 season has started, with two personal bests, I could not ask for anything more.”
11,000 started the race with 9475 reaching the finish line. The renewed course rendered the race even faster which was confirmed by the incredible competition records achieved by the winners.