Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bairu, Boaz Rock Philadelphia Half

Going up against very stiff competition, Simon Bairu and Boaz Cheboiywo took 5th and 10th, respectively, in the 2010 Rock ‘N Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon. Tim Nelson, Bairu’s teammate with the Oregon Track Club, placed 11th. The OTC pair was looking for what Nelson called a “competitive workout” as part of their build-up to November 7th’s ING NYC Marathon, but the teammates parted early, as a pair of Kenyan athletes started surging from the very beginning of the race, breaking the contenders into chase packs. Track standout Matthew Kisorio soon established himself, running the last half of the race — and winning — largely unchallenged.

Bairu, for his part, went with the front pack for as long as possible, competing for 3rd position with Boaz, Peter Some (Kenya) and Shawn Forrest (Australia) for the middle miles of the race. While Some got Simon in the end, and marathon star Abderrahim Goumri came up from the 2nd chase pack to nab 3rd, Bairu still finished an impressive 5th in 1:02:08 — a new PB made all the more impressive by the fact that Bairu felt less than sharp, pointing to the fact that he had done virtually no work at half-marathon pace. Boaz held on for 10th in 1:03:01, while Nelson, charging hard, almost caught the Eastern Michigan alum and fellow KIMbian, finishing in 11th place at 1:03:03.

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