© Copyright – 2024 – Athletics Illustrated

“Let me tell you a story,
Of a deck of cards,
in all its glory.
Well, some will say,
what’s the big deal?
To them, my humble reply,
come, conquer, and heal.

— Of Milan, Indian poet Rajat Bagchi wrote, the first stanza of Soujorn Through Tarotspace.

And conquer is what Kenyan Antony Kimtai and Ethiopian Anchinalu Dessie did during Milan’s Stramilano Half Marathon on Sunday.

The sun was out, temperatures ideal and the stately backdrop of the Milan Cathedral, also known as the Duomo — a massive Gothic cathedral — created a perfect setting to start this popular half-marathon.

The men’s race

Twenty-five-year-old Kenyan Antony Kimtai won the Stramilano Half Marathon, clocking one hour and 31 seconds.

The race started with a pack of six Kenyans, each seeking victory. But it would be Kimtai who would drop the hammer during the final stages of the race to take his first win. Finishing second was compatriots Vincent Towett in 1:00.41 and coming in third, just two seconds back was Simon Waithira.

The pack split 5K in a very aggressive 13:45, which would put them on sub-59 pace — Stramilano has a downhill start. By 10K, they had they had rolled through the hills and split 29:10 — a more realistic pace and on for 61 minutes or so. By 15K they were back at it clocking 43:00 — the race was on. Simon Mwangi, Towett, Korir Kiptarus, Bernard Wambua, and Kimtai were still in contact as a group.

Kimtai needed to kick hard over the final half kilometre to dust his competitors. His personal best was run last month at the Napoli City Half Marathon in 59:45.

The top six were all Kenyan. The first Italian was Fransesco Guerra taking 10th in 1:03:19.

The 22-year-old Guerra ran to a new personal best. His performances from 1500m through to 10,000m and now the half-marathon are consistent. According to the World Athletics points scoring table, his 1500m best at 3:43.76 is good for 1057 points, which is exactly the same points value of his Stramilano Half Marathon performance.

His 5000m best is 13:35.93 or 1081 points, while his 10,000m best is 28:39.04 or 1072 points both from the summer of 2023.

The women’s race

During the women’s race, a pair of 21-year-olds in Ethiopian Anchinalu Dessie and Kenya’s Morine Gesare Michira led early.

Like the men, they passed through 5K quickly. They clocked a 15:27 which was on pace for a sub-66-minute performance.

At 10K they were at 32:35 and on pace for 68 minutes.

Dessie pulled ahead over the final 5K to finish in 1:07:55. It was a new personal best and her first-ever win. Michira took second with a time of 1:18:13. Croatia’s Parlov Kostro finished third in 1:11:14. The first Italian was Elisa Palmero in fourth. It was the 24-year-old’s half marathon debut.

Top-10 results

POSNAMENATTIME
1KIMTAI ANTONY KEN01:00:31
2TOWETT VINCENT KIMUTAI KEN01:00:41
3WAITHIRA SIMON MWANGIKEN01:00:43
4WAMBUA BERNARD MUSAU KEN01:01:04
5KORIR FELIX KIPTARUS KEN01:01:19
6BOR LEONARD KIPNGENO KEN01:02:46
7IRABARUTA OLIVIER GBI01:02:55
8BIZOZA THERENCEBDI01:03:06
9NZIKWINKUNDA ONESPHOREBDI01:03:17
10GUERRA FRANCESCOITA01:03:19

TOP RESULTS WOMEN HALF MARATHON

POSNAMENATTIME
1GENANEH ANCHINALU DESSIEETH01:07:55 
2MICHIRA MORINE GESAREKEN01:08:13
3PARLOV KOSTRO MATEA CRO01:11:14
4PALMERO ELISAITA01:11:40 
5ENYEW GOJJAM TSEGAYE ETH01:13:25
6SELVA GIOVANNAITA01:14:09
7COLIVA BENEDETTAITA01:14:52
8IAVARONE ELISABETTAITA01:15:55
9GENERALI FRANCESCAITA01:17:03
10SOMMI GIULIAITA01:18:13

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