© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated

World record holder in the 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre distances, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia today ran to a new course record at the Paris Marathon by finishing the hilly course in 2:05:03, a nine second improvement over the previous record, which was held by Kenyan Stanley Biwott, who ran 2:05:12 in 2012. Two other “2:05s” have happened on the Paris course, from Kenyans Peter Some with his 2:05:38 in 2013 and Vincent Kipruto with his 2:05:47 from 2009.

“I had no experience before the marathon today and it was very difficult,” said Bekele. “But I ran the time I was hoping for.”

Bekele ran the course in an even effort, where he was on pace for most of the 42.195 kilometre course for a 2:04-high finish time. His 10 kilometre split was approximately 29:35. He broke his competitors late and made his largest gap after the magic 32 kilometre mark.

Bekele’s splits were approximately: half-way 1:02:09, 25k 1:14:00, 30k 1:28:39 and 35k 1:35:46, all indicating sub-2:05:00.

Second place finisher was Limenih Getachew who finished 1:45 behind and another 1:11 back of Getachew was third place finish Luka Kanda. They finished in 2:06:48 and 2:07:59, respectively.

The top three women were Flomena Cheyech of Kenya, who won the race in 2:22:41, while Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese finished over three minutes back in 2:26:18 and yet another three minutes back for third was countrywoman, Ahmed Zemzem in 2:29:34.

Bekele has run the 10,000 metres in 26:17:53 and the 5,000 metres in 12:37.35, both world records, both pretty much identical performances. His only attempt at the half-marathon saw him defeat reigning Olympic double gold medallist, Mo Farah. They finished what appeared to be a somewhat tactical half-marathon in 60:09 and 60:10, respectively in Newcastle, England at the Bupa Great North Run in September 2013.