Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cherono vs Komen on tap in Turin

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

Benson Cherono, the 2006 winner of the Milano Marathon with his PB of 2:07:58, and John Komen, winner of the Venice Marathon last year, are the top names of the Turin Marathon Gran Premio La Stampa on Sunday 14th November.

The 24th edition of the Turin Marathon, a IAAF Silver Label Road Roace, will mark a major date change from past editions. A regular spring fixture, Sunday’s race will be the first edition to be run in the autumn.

Men’s race

Cherono also won in Los Angeles in 2006 with 2:08:40 and also boasts a third place showing from Boston in 2005, a fifth place in New York in 2004 and a third place in Venice in 2009.

Komen took an impressive win last year in Venice setting a race record of 2:08:13 on the difficult course. There Komen ran a spectacular second-half by changing gear in the final 12 kilometres and running a negative split in the more challenging second half. Komen also won the Reims Marathon in 2008 in 2:08:06 and was ninth in the Paris Marathon in 2009. He knows Turin as he finished fourth in the Marathon in 2008 and the Turin Half Marathon in 2009 in 1:01:57. This year Komen finished tenth in the Boston Marathon in 2:11:48.

The Italian challenge will be led by Italian top-runners Ruggero Pertile and Danilo Goffi. Pertile will run his second Marathon this year just three-and-a-half months after his solid fourth place at the European Championships in Barcelona in a race where he fought for the podium until the final kilometres.

Pertile, who finished second at the last edition of the Turin Marathon in 2009 in 2:09:53, has just returned from Kenya where he trained with a group of top Kenyan runners including Samuel Wanjiru, James Kwambai and Wilson Kipsang. In his final test before Turin the runner from Padua finished third at the Arezzo International Half Marathon in 1:03:32.

Goffi, a European silver medallist in Budapest 1998, will be looking to bounce back from his unlucky Venice Marathon race where he was forced to drop out at the 31 km. Goffi won the Turin Marathon in 2005 and finished second in 2002.

Women’s race wide open

The women’s race is expected to be wide-open. The favourites are Russian twin sisters Olesya and Yelena Nurgalieva who have career bests of 2:27:47 and 2:29:49, respectively. They emerged at the 2004 Frankfurt Marathon where Olesya beat Yelena by one second in 2:29:48. Olesya then improved her PB again in the same German city in 2008 by two minutes.

Ethiopia will be represented by Fate Tola Geleto who clocked a PB of 2:28:58 this year in Rome.

The Turin Marathon will set off from the Piazza Castello central square in the heart of the Piedmont city. The course will run across the neighbouring towns of Moncalieri, Nichelino, Orbassano, Rivalta, Rivoli and Collegno before returning to Piazza Castello. The programme also features a 6 Km Stratorino mass race and the 1 Km Junior Marathon for children.