Monday, March 22, 2010

Favorites Gebrselassie, Kastor Fall In Dramatic Fashion In NYC Half


Both the men's and women's races in the NYC Half Marathon had unexpected developments mid-race involving the big-name stars of the race.

Gebrselassie Stops

Despite showing no previous indications of suffering, Ethiopian marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie pulled off the road in mile 8, briefly putting his hand to his chest and not showing any sign of injury. At the time, Gebrselassie was running with co-race leader Peter Kamais of Kenya, a 33-year-old 10km road specialist who has run 27:09 on the roads.
Within a minute of stopping, Gebrselassie began running again at a fast pace, but he did not factor in the race after that point.
Kamais would not be challenged again and went on to win the race by a large margin in an impressive time of 59:53 considering the hilly Central Park portion of the race.
American Mo Trafeh, who broke 43:00 in his Gate River Run 15km 7 days ago, ran 1:00:40 to get 3rd.
After the race, Gebrselassie blamed asthma for his dropout.

Women's Race: Kastor's Big Lead Evaporates
Deena Kastor looked to be on her way to a dominating performance with bold frontrunning in the early miles. Kastor, running alone, built up a lead estimated to be near 200m before British marathoner Mara Yamauchi charged hard in the final miles to catch and pass the American with about 2 miles to go. Kastor tried to hold on to Yamauchi but failed, as the 2009 London Marathon runner-up based in Japan and Albuquerque won the race in 69:25. Kastor ran 69:43.
Kastor talked after the race about wanting to set a hard pace. She certainly did that, passing through 10km in a very fast 32:30 split before tiring in the closing miles.
Kastor and Yamauchi should meet again in April's Virgin London Marathon.