Hillary Kiptum Maiyo Kimaiyo (KEN) prevailed in the ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon 2017. The Kenyan repeated his last year's win reaching the finish line in 1:02:55. A new women's course record was set by Fatiha Benchatki (MAR) who prevailed in 1:12:23. 6000 athletes from over 20 countries took part in the race.
African runners opened the race very strongly clocking 28:48 on the 10 km checkpoint. Maiyo Kimaiyo was accompanied by Mengistu Zelalem Gezahegne (ETH) and his fellow Kenyan Bernard Muinde Matheka, although he started to lose some distance in the middle of the race. Tomasz Grycko, young Polish champion on 10.000m distance, tried to keep pace on the first kilometers but he was already half a minute back after 10 km.
The decisive attack came after 14 km when Maiyo Kimaiyo was able to leave behind his biggest rival – Gezahegne. He was 9 seconds ahead after 16 km and increased his lead down to the finish line. His final result – 1:02:55 – was a bit slower than last year, when he clocked 1:02:41. However, a strong wind was not making it easy for the athletes to keep their pace. Gezahegne came second in 1:03:21 with Bernard Muinde Matheka taking the last podium spot (1:04:23). Grycko recorded his personal best finishing in 1:05:20 in fourth place.
- I wanted to run my own pace so I didn't chase the leaders who ran the first 10 kilometers extremely fast. Yet, the wind was our foe today and it was not easy for me to run completely alone after 3 km. But I have a new PB now and that's something I should be happy about – said Tomasz Grycko in the post-race interview.
The women's competition saw a strong domination from Fatiha Benchatki (MAR) and Christine Moraa Oigo (KEN) who built a commanding lead on the first part of the course and then ran together up to 16 km. But it was Benchatki who saved more energy for the last minutes and came first to the finish line in 1:12:23. Christine Moraa Oigo lost 26 seconds and finished second with Runa Skrove Falch (NOR) taking third place.
6.000 runners took part in the ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon 2017, which was certified with IAAF Road Race Bronze Label and European Athletics' Five Star Quality Road Race certificate. The race is also a part of the Polish Half Marathon Crown.
Full results: http://wyniki.datasport.pl/results2076/