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Kimosop, Jemutai in superb double at Belfast Half Marathon

By Brian Hill

Published 21/09/2015

Dan Tanui (left) finished second behind Gideon Kimosop (right)
Dan Tanui (left) finished second behind Gideon Kimosop (right)

Omagh coach Ciaran Collins was in celebratory mood at Ormeau Park, his Kenyan athletes producing classy record-breaking performances to dominate the third Asics Belfast Half Marathon, Gideon Kimosop and Mercy Jemutai winning the men’s and women’s races respectively.

The 3,500 participants took full advantage of the flat course and perfect weather conditions to produce numerous personal best times in an event that incorporated the NI Championships.

Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Erin Devenney, Maria Creaney, Janice Crowe, Gerard Devenney and Brian Merron. Pic: Press Eye.
Jessica Minnis, Christina McConnell, Sonia Houston and Anna Minnis. Pic: Press Eye.
Michael Gillan and Kristopher Wilson. Pic: Press Eye.
Sawyer the dog looks on during the race. Pic: Press Eye.
Margaret Keenan, Josie O'Hara and Anne O'Hara. Pic: Press Eye.
Tom Calvert. Pic: Press Eye.
Yvonne McIlree, Neil Reynolds, Alan Rinchey, Karen Young and David Freebairn. Pic: Press Eye.
Runners gather before the start of the half marathon. Pic: Press Eye.
Caoimhe Hegarty, Tracey McEvoy, Caroline McCaffrey, Bryony May and Irene Clements from Enniskillen Running Club. Pic: Press Eye.
Luke Wilson and Mark Alexander. Pic: Press Eye.
Runners pound their way along the marathon route. Pic: Press Eye.
Runners pound their way along the marathon route. Pic: Press Eye.
Dan Tanui (left) comes in second behind Gideon Kimosop (right).
Dan Tanui and Gideon Kimosop with the outriders. Pic: Press Eye.
Runners pounding their way along the marathon route. Pic: Press Eye.
Runners pounding their way along the marathon route. Pic: Press Eye.
Runners pounding their way along the marathon route. Pic: Press Eye.
Jamie Mudge. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Philip Carson. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
James Hewitt. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Natasha Huq. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Juan Botella. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Karen Topping. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Marie Curie teepee at the half marathon. Pic: Press Eye.
Pauline Carey. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Katrina Swann. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Lisa Ferry. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Ryan Miskelly. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Brendan Quinn. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Geoff Crawford and Jim Simmons. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Jennifer Hamilton and Gerald Quinn. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Vlad Len. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Bobby Nicholson. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Gordon Whyte. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Shane Taggart. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Colm McMullan. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Lyndsey Tyro. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson starts the Belfast Half Marathon. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners warm up ahead of the Belfast Half Marathon. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Colin Simpson. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Dee Quinn. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners warm up ahead of the Belfast Half Marathon. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners warm up ahead of the Belfast Half Marathon. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Helen Reid. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Maurice Fitzmaurice. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Joanne Foster. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Carol McAdam. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Michael Bennett takes. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Maurice Fitzmaurice. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Renato Couto. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Renato Couto. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
George McKee. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Paddy Doherty. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Clare Rimmer. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Edel McGuckin. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye .
Simon Jenkinson. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Runners make their way down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.
Paddy Doherty. Pic: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.
Joanne Taggart. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Runners heading down Royal Avenue. Pic: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Stewart Barbour. Pic: Press Eye.
Mallusk Running Club. Pic: Press Eye.
Irene Clements from Enniskillen Running Club. Pic: Press Eye.

Pre-race favourite Kimosop, who was second in this year’s Belfast Marathon, wasted little time setting a fast pace.

After two miles he was in a group comprising fellow Kenyan Dan Tanui plus Newry’s Paddy Hamilton and Brendan Teer from East Down.

With 150 metres remaining the two Africans embarked on a ferocious sprint with Kimosop just getting the verdict on the line from Tanui by the proverbial hair’s breadth.

Both runners were given the same time of 64 mins 24 secs which took two and a half minutes off Stephen Scullion’s winning time from two years ago.

Hamilton was an isolated third in 69.12 with Teer fourth in 70.38. The top six were completed by North Belfast’s Mark McKinstry (71.56) and Declan Power of Clonliffe (72.23).

Kimosop said: “That was fantastic. This was a PB for me which is good as I am running the Cardiff Half Marathon soon followed by the Dublin Marathon.”

In the ladies event Kenyan pair Jemutai and Roisina Gibionia took command from the start.

Jemutai, who has a classy PB time of 71 minutes, crossed the line to take a decisive victory in 73 mins 36 secs which placed her an impressive 9th overall. Gibionia was second in 73.57. 

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