Edwin Kiptoo on his way to winning the Dam tot Damloop (© AFP / Getty Images)
Edwin Kiptoo and Alice Aprot of Kenyan were the winners at the 32nd Dam tot Damloop, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race from Amsterdam to Zaandam, Netherlands, on Sunday (18).
In a repeat of his finish last year, Kiptoo was alone at the finish line of the traditional 10-mile race, clocking 45:25, the fastest time in the world this year. But in contrast to his race one year ago, when he grabbed the lead from the gun and ran the length of the race virtually alone, this year he had Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei as a worthy opponent.
Cheptegei, 20, who finished a notable sixth in the 10,000m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ran even with Kiptoo and even controlled the pace for a stretch at the 10-kilometre point. But a kilometre later, Kiptoo took command to register a 13-second victory over Cheptegei who clocked 45:38. Abrar Osman from Eritrea was third clocking 46:12.
In the women's contest, Aprot, who was fourth in the Olympic 10,000m last month in 29:53.51, took command early in the longest race of her career. If she struggled with the extra mileage, it didn't show.
The 22-year-old won comfortably in 51:59, more than half a minute clear of Tejitu Daba of Bahrain who clocked 52:34. Further back, Kenyan Luci Karimi, the winner of this year's Prague Marathon, was third in 53:03.
Traditionally the elite women start six minutes and four seconds before the elite men, the difference in the course records between the genders -- Ingrid Kristiansen's 50:31 from 1987 and Leonard Patrick Komon's 44:27 run from 2011. That sometimes sets up a hotly-contested battle between the men’s and women’s leaders in the waning stages.
Kiptoo won that battle once again as well, making up the difference about two kilometres from the finish before pulling away.
The leading Dutch runners were Elizeba Cherono, who was fifth in the women's race in 53:26, and Abdi Nageeye, 11th in the men's contest in 48:17.
Conditions at race time were cloudy and warm, with temperatures rising to nearly 20 F, with light winds and 85% humidity.
With 45,000 participants starting the race, the Dam tot Damloop is the largest 10-mile race in the world. Another 13,000 runners competed in a five-mile race on Saturday night while 4000 participated in children's events Sunday morning.
Eric Roeske, organisers and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF