Kipkemoi and Jepkesho take Rotterdam Marathon titles

Victories by Kenneth Kipkemoi and Visilline Jepkesho at the Rotterdam Marathon on 8 April established the first such double-victory by Personae-managed athletes at an IAAF Gold Label race event.

Already an accomplished and world-ranked performer on the track and in road distances through 25 km since 2011, Kenneth Kipkemoi chose the 2018 NN Rotterdam Marathon for his debut at the historical 42.195 km distance.  With personal bests of 26:52.65 for 10000m (2012), 59:01 for the half marathon (2014), and 1:12:32 for 25 km (2014), Kipkemoi had already demonstrated world-class potential as a marathon racer, and he proved just that on 8 April.  Always near the front of the race, Kipkemoi was with the 7-man lead group at 30 km, which subsequently was reduced to 4 contenders at the 35 km mark.  Waiting to assume the lead until the very last kilometer, Kipkemoi managed to hold off his three pursuers and win in 2:05:44, taking him to no. 9 on the 2018 marathon chart.  In one of the tightest ever top-4 finishes in major marathon history, Kipkemoi was followed by Abera Kuma (2:05:50), Kelkile Gezahegn (2:05:56), and Laban Korir (2:05:58).

In the women’s race in Rotterdam, Visilline Jepkesho assumed the lead shortly after 5 km, building over a minute’s margin on the competition by the halfway mark (1:10:09).  While slowing down over the second half, Jepkesho was never challenged during the race, winning in a time of 2:23:47, well ahead of runner-up Birukayit Eshetu (2:26:56).  Jepkesho’s time moves her to 23rd on the 2018 marathon chart (she ranked 15th over the distance in 2017 with her 2:21:37 PB in Paris). 

Other Personae athlete highlights from early-April road events include: Stella Barsosio in the Paris Marathon (5th in 2:23:43 PB / 2018 world no. 22); Martin Kosgei in the Paris Marathon (6th in 2:08:31); Samuel Kalalei in the Rotterdam Marathon (7th in 2:10:44 PB); Daniel Kibet in the Rotterdam Marathon (9th in 2:11:13); Joash Mutai in the Rotterdam Marathon (10th in 2:12:56); Gesa Krause in the Berlin Half Marathon (5th in 1:12:16 PB / 2018 Europe no. 17); and Homiyu Tesfaye in the Berlin Half Marathon (8th in 1:02:13 / 2018 Europe no. 5).

 

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