Kenyan runners dominated the Plusnet York Marathon yesterday filling the top three places. Leading them home was Boniface Kongin who clocked a respectable 2:14, exactly two minutes ahead of his compatriot Cosmas Kigen with Matthew Kiprolich taking third place.
Kogin was in the leading group from the start. By the halfway mark there was still a group of five at the front, going through in 67:11. Between 30 to 40km Congin put the pressure on and from that point he increased his lead.
First British athlete was Paul Martilletti (Tower Hamlets) who finished fourth in 2:18.45, just one place but a big margin over first Yorkshire runner Jason Cherriman (Leeds City). Cherriman’s time, 2:22.51, beat his previous best by a massive margin of almost six minutes.
David Webb (Telford), the former Leeds City marathon star who has run for Britain in the World Championships, completed the top six, his 2:24.24 reflecting his lower commitment to training at the present time.
First over 40 was Leeds City’s Jonathon Walton who was 13th overall in 2:43.20, a time which beat his previous best set in this year’s London Marathon.
However, the fastest time of the day was set by wheelchair winner Bret Cossley (Leeds City) with 2:11.10.
Beating off the foreign opposition, Shona Fletcher (Richmond and Zetland) ran her best race to come home a superb 16th overall, just one place but a comfortable 1.40 ahead of Ethiopian Bayrush Shiferaw.
The Ethiopian looked a certain winner from the start and was a huge margin ahead (5.27) at the halfway stage. Between 30 and 40km Fletcher began hauling her in but was still 1.30 behind at 40km, turning that deficit into a 1.40 lead as the Ethiopian struggled badly. Fletcher’s pace judgment was exemplary and she did the second half faster than the first.
For Fletcher it is a remarkable improvement in her fifth marathon, starting with 3:15.16 in 2012. In the York race last year she was fourth woman in 2:56.16.
It was no surprise that Fletcher ran so well, beating her previous best with her time of 2:43.20. She had given notice of her talent when she clocked 2:45.03 in this year’s London race.