Autumn Road Digest

In a hilly BAA Half-Marathon run in wintry cold, 45 seconds separated winner Abel Kipchumba (center) from pursuers Patrick Tiernan (left) and Yemane Haileselassie. (KEVIN MORRIS)

As the year races toward its conclusion, fall competition on asphalt has produced some noteworthy results.

Frankfurt Marathon — Getachew & Misoi

Frankfurt, Germany, October 29 — Slicing more than 3:00 off her PR, Ethiopian Bezunesh Getachew became the latest woman to crack 2:20, beating Winfridah Moseti by more than a minute with her 2:19:27. Behind her, Kenyans Moseti (2:20:55), Sharon Chelimo (2:22:07) and Vola Kibiwot (2:22:57) all ran lifetime bests.

Getachew made her first big move at halfway in wet and windy conditions, shaking all but Moseti. Another surge at 25K gave her a safe lead that she held to the finish. “I never thought that I could produce a performance like that. I’ve never been so happy,” she said.

Kenya’s Brimin Misoi literally ran away with the men’s competition in a valiant effort to break the course record of 2:03:42 set by Wilson Kipsang in ’11. However, strong headwinds over the last 5K plus slippery surfaces slowed him to a PR 2:04:53. That still put him nearly 2:00 ahead of Ethiopian Mulugeta Asefa (2:06:47), with Guye Adola, also of Ethiopia, 3rd in 2:07:44.

“From 35K it was tough,” noted Misoi.

BAA Half — Kipchumba Chills Field

Boston, Massachusetts, November 13 — Despite temperatures hovering around freezing at the start, Abel Kipchumba managed the hills of Boston the best, winning the BAA Half-Marathon in 61:32 after taking the lead at 5K. Australia’s Pat Tiernan, the ’16 NCAA XC winner for Villanova, ran 2nd in 61:56, and Eritrea’s Yemane Haileselassie was 3rd in 62:17.

“Today was difficult because it was very cold. And as we know, Boston has a lot of hills. But I managed to win the race, so I am happy,” said the Kenyan victor, who had dropped out of the Berlin Marathon with breathing issues.

Ethiopia scored the top 3 on the women’s side, with Fotyen Tesfay winning in 68:56 in a race characterized by a modest early pace (just 17:18 at 5K). Senberi Teferi (69:00) and Tsigie Gebreselama (69:06). Keira D’Amato finished 4th in 69:12.

Tesfay said of her move at 15K, “The pack was so big, but I managed to move ahead of them as I got close to the finish to take the win. This is my first time running a half-marathon in Boston and the coldest race I have ever run.”

Kiplimo Record — Of Sorts

Nijmegen, Netherlands, November 19 — Jacob Kiplimo made the best of a rough ’23 season by winning the NN Zevenheuvelenloop, equaling the fastest time ever run in a 15K. The Ugandan’s 41:05, while impressive, is still far behind the 40:27 he split when he ran the half-marathon WR in ’21.

After a conservative start, Kiplimo powered up the hill into the lead at 5K (14:24). From that point, the course was a net downhill, and his margin only grew as he covered the next 5K in 13:25 and the final 5K segment in 13:16 (final 3K 7:41). Fellow Ugandan Rogers Kibet finished a far-back 2nd in 42:44.

The women’s race featured a not-quite-as-big winning margin, with steepler Beatrice Chepkoech cruising 47:21 to finish well ahead of Israel’s Lonah Salpeter (47:55) and Kenyan Stella Chesang (48:01).

Ngetich Makes Good On Promise

Lille, France, November 19 — Back in September, Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich enjoyed a short-lived celebration for breaking the women-only 10K best with her 29:24 in Brașov, Romania. Later she found out that course was 25m short. “If my World Record will not be ratified, I still have time to set another,” she vowed.

Racing on a wet and breezy day, the 23-year-old Ngetich came through, going well under the women-only record of 30:01 with her 29:26. Fellow Kenyans Emmaculate Anyango (30:01) and Christine Njoki (30:41) followed. The mixed-race best is 29:14 by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw in ’22.

An accompanying 5K saw Ethiopian Kassie Wubrist edge teammate Asmarech Anlay as both clocked 14:41. In the men’s 10K, Ethiopia’s Gemechu Dida (27:17) outsprinted Kenyan Bravin Kipkogei (27:19). The men’s 5K saw 19-year-old Kenyan Raynold Kipkorir clock 13:21 to handily beat Norway’s Narve Gilje Nordås (13:26).

Manchester Road Race — Beadlescomb’s Kick

Manchester, Connecticut, November 23 — When you’ve got 13:08.82 speed on the track, you may just have an edge if a road race comes down to the kick. In the 87th running of the Thanksgiving Day classic, Morgan Beadlescomb stayed comfortably in the pack led by Isai Rodriguez for the first 4M of the 4.748M course. By the time they got to the final turn and had little more than 700m left, the Michigan State alum had only Rodriguez and defending champ Connor Mantz to worry about.

“Coming to the road as a track guy, you kind of like your chances with 600 to go,” Beadlescomb told Race Results Weekly. He dropped Rodriguez first, and outsprinted Mantz on the final 200 uphill.

“Morgan just had another gear,” said Mantz. Beadlescomb’s 21:12 was 8 seconds off Mantz’s course record. The defender finished in 21:15, with Rodriguez at 21:16.

Weini Kelati made sure the women’s race wouldn’t come down to the finish. At 2M she had a 21-second lead which she stretched out further before crossing the line in 23:21 to win her third straight. Annie Rodenfels ran 2nd in 23:59, ahead of Emily Durgin (24:06) and Sara Hall (24:23).

“I like to go out hard, and I can keep up that way,” said Kelati. “I just used the opportunity to sit behind the guys and it worked.”

Shanghai — Kipchumba Wins Another

Shanghai, China, November 26 — Kenya’s Philimon Kipchumba finished fastest in a tight lead pack to hit 2:05:35, the fastest time ever run in China. That course record was worth an extra $20K on top of the $55K prize for winning. It was the 25-year-old’s third win of the year.

In Kipchumba’s wake ran Alphonce Felix of Tanzania (2:05:39) and Solomon Yego of Kenya (2:05:42), with countryman Kenneth Keter in 4th at 2:05:53.

Said Kipchumba, “It’s my first time in Shanghai. The course is very good and the weather for today is perfect. I am so grateful to win the race and to break the course record.”

On the women’s side it was Ethiopian Siranesh Yirga (2:21:28) who took the win over Kenyan veteran Selly Chepyego (2:21:55). Three others also broke 2:24: Eunice Chumba of Bahrain (2:22:20), and Kenyans Sandra Tuei (2:22:22) and Emily Chepkemoi (2:23:40). For Yirga, who just started marathoning last year, it was her fourth win in five races.