As expected Kenyans ran off with the major honours at today’s (Sunday) 2012 Perkins Great Eastern Run half marathon in Peterborough.
The popular half-marathon round the streets of Peterborough ended with Kenyans completing a predicted one-two in both the men’s and women’s races.
First man home was Luka Rotich in 62mins 25secs, which was just outside the Great Eastern Run best of 62.16 set two years ago, and was the second fastest half-marathon ever seen in Peterborough.
Not far behind came his Run Fast team-mate Benson Olenakeri in 63.01 and these two Kenyan crackers were almost two minutes ahead of Paul Martelletti in 65.46.
Rotich (24), who pocketed a first prize of £1,000, and Olenakeri (30), who won £500, made their intentions clear from the start. With barely a mile gone they’d already opened up a 200-metre lead on a chasing pack led by Martelletti and the gap just got wider and wider.
At the eight-mile marker the younger of the two Kenyans stepped on the accelerator and Olenakeri couldn’t respond. From then on there was just one man in it.
First female to cross the finishing line on the Embankment was Emilly Biwott (27) in 72.29 and Agnes Chebet (18) was runner-up in 72.54. They were 18th and 21st respectively with Amy Whitehead from Notts AC the third female to finish in 24th position in 73.09.
And that was a fine effort by Whitehead seeing as she completed the course covered in blood after taking a tumble at the 10-mile mark.
After spending 25 minutes in the St John Ambulance tent having her cuts and bruises treated, she said: “It was nobody else’s fault. I clipped the kerb trying to sneak inside a group of men and down I went. I must have lost about 20 metres and that was disappointing because I really wanted to break 73 minutes today and would almost certainly have done so without the fall.
“Could I catch the Kenyans? Not really. I did try and I had them in my sights for a long while but after the fall they were gone.”
Biwott, who spoke very little English, said: “We run together for eight miles, then I leave Agnes behind. I liked the race. Very nice. Thank-you.”
Rotich spoke even less English. He managed: “I like course, very quick but too windy.”
Martelletti had plenty to say.
The Victoria Park Harriers man was first UK man home and as the race also incorporated the British Half-Marathon Championships, he became a British champion just a few weeks after gaining British citizenship.
He explained: “I’m from Wellington in New Zealand and came to Britain to work six and a half years ago. I only became a British citizen within the last few weeks so to become a British champion so soon is great.
“It’s my first time here and I loved the course and the people who cheered me all the way round. There were a few twists and turns but you get that everywhere.It was mostly long and straight and obviously very quick.
“I knew it would be a two-horse race between the Kenyans. I was a clear third at just after halfway but had no chance of catching them - not when I work full-time.”
Martelletti, who is a software designer living in London, picked up a £250 cheque for finishing third overall and another £1,000 for being the first UK runner home.
The British Half-Marathon Championship title for ladies went to Whitehead.
Spalding’s John Pike, representing Newham and Essex Beagles, was the first local runner home in 16th place with a time of 71.32. Paul Halford of Werrington Joggers was next in 26th place in 73.26.
Wheelchair winner for the second year running was Phil Hogg from Heanor in Derbyshire in 54.25.
Winner of the 5k Fun Run was Dominic Oliver from Great Yarmouth in 16.41 followed by James McCrae of Nene Valley Harriers in 17.40 and Daniel Richardson of Werrington Joggers in 18.01.