Kenya’s Anthony Maritim won the 40th edition of the Zurich Marató de Barcelona that was held on Sunday (11) in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Maritim who battled with fellow Kenyans for the honors when the opened at a steady 3:02 per kilometre rhythm set by a triumvirate of pacemakers who went through the early checkpoints in 15:11 (five kilometres), 30:23 (10 kilometres), and 45:40 (15 kilometres). The first surprise came when the reigning champion, Kenya’s Jonah Chesum, began to lose ground with 40 minutes on the clock to lose any chance of defending his title.
By the halfway point, reached in 1:04:21, no fewer than 15 men still remained in the leading pack, among them, Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede and Tariku Kinfu plus Maritim who seemed to run effortlessly waiting to make their move over the second half.
The Kenyan trio of Maritim, Silas Too and Hillary Kipsambu plus the Ethiopians Kebede, Kinfu and Abeg Tsedat Ayana.
The 31 year-old went on to cut the tape in a personal best of 2:08.08 while Too crossed the line in 2:08.25 with Kipsambu completing a clean podium sweep for Kenya in 2:08.52.
“Today was my sixth ever marathon effort and my first time competing in Spain and I can’t ask for more with a win, said Maritim”.
Ethiopian trio of Kinfu, Kebede and Ayana crossed the line together in 2:09.25 while Chesum had to settle for seventh place in 2:17.39.
The race course record of 2:07.30 that was set in 2010 by Kenyan Jackson Kipkoech Kotut still stands to date.
1. Anthony Maritim (KEN) 2:08:08
2. Silas Too (KEN) 2:08:25
3. Hillay Kipchumba (KEN) 2:08:52
4. Tariku Kinfu (ETH) 2:09:25
5. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 2:09:25.