Monday, October 11, 2010

Hartmann Top American in Chicago, KIMbia 1-2 in BAA Half

With the Chicago Marathon featuring a dramatic finish up front, Jason Hartmann had his own finish worth talking about, as he took 8th place in 2:11:06, the top American in the race.  Hartmann, a Michigan-native, was coming off a 2:12:09 winning effort at last year’s Twin Cities Marathon, and decided to forgo that race — the US Championship for the distance this year — in order to run with a world-class field and chase a fast time.  He successfully did both.

Hartmann settled into the chase pack early, coming through the 5k in 15:27. From there, the 29-year-old kept chipping away as other athletes fell off pace, finally climbing into the top-20 by the 20k and the top-10 at 30k.  Crossing the line 8th, Hartmann capped a massive improvement over his last finish in Chicago: 2006, his marathon debut, a race in which he managed a 2:15:50 for 20th place.  His 2010 performance was a massive betterment of his personal best both on this course and at this distance, shaving a solid 1:03 off his Twin Cities time and existing PB, and launching himself into the Top 40 American performers of all-time.   With his 2:11:06, he climbed more than 30 spots on the all-time list of US performers — just twelve seconds outside of the Top 30.

Meanwhile, Boston played host to KIMbia’s Kenyan contingent as they contended for a win in the BAA Half Marathon. John Korir and Allan Kiprono established themselves early, each looking to make a statement with this race. Korir can list on his resumé wins at virtually every significant non-marathon road-race in America, but had a quiet 2009. A win in Boston could affirm his 10k win at Bellin in June and re-establish him on the professional scene, while Kiprono, a newcomer who only started racing in America in 2010, looked for a breakout, name-making performance.

The fast early miles whittled the front pack to four and put the leaders near course record pace. By 15k, Kiprono and Korir had shed countrymen Julius Kogo and Linus Maiyo and would be battling each other for the victory over the final few miles.  That battle would last even to the finish tape, as both men were given the same time:  1:02:21. The edge went to the wily vet, though, as Korir got the win and his best half-marathon time since 2004.  With Kiprono 2nd, it was an all-KIMbia show up-front; with each athlete at 62:21, KIMbia’s Tom Nyariki would hold onto his course record of 1:02:20 (2007)  for another year.

Chicago results here. Full BAA recap here.

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