Kenyans dominate Stockholm marathon

Kenyans Isabellah Andersson and Willy Korir won their respective Stockholm marathons on Saturday.

Kenyans dominate Stockholm marathon

Over 18,000 runners competed in the Stockholm marathon on Saturday in the baking heat of the Swedish capital. The heat took its toll on many of the competitors and it was left to the African runners to underline their dominance in the event.

Isabellah Andersson won her race in a personal best time of 2 hours, 34 minutes and 14 seconds. Andersson has little marathon pedigree, having competed in only one previous competitive race, the Växjö marathon in 2006, which she also won.

In second place was Lena Gavelin in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 43 seconds. Lillian Magnusson came in third in 2 hours, 45 minutes and 15 seconds.

Willy Korir led a trio of Kenyans over the finishing line in the men’s event in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 3 seconds. Korir had dominated the race since overtaking Zimbabwean Phillip Bandwe, competing to become the first man to win the Stockholm marathon three times, on the 30 kilometre mark.

In second place came Bernard Mutai in 2 hours 17 minutes and 57 seconds. The Kenyan dominance was confirmed when third place was claimed by Paul Kipkemoi Tangus in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 26 seconds.

Isabellah Andersson came to Sweden four years ago to learn about orienteering. She met and married Swedish orienteer Lars Andersson and decided to try her hand at running. Talking to Dagens Nyheter after the race she explained that although she has not competed at the elite level she has a long history of running and was generous in her advice to aspiring champions:

“If you are serious about your training then you can manage this.”


Sweden’s Mikaela Larsson wins Stockholm marathon

Sweden's Mikaela Larsson has won the Stockholm Marathon for the first time, completing the course in an impressive two hours and 40 minutes despite the searing 27C temperature.

Sweden's Mikaela Larsson wins Stockholm marathon
Mikaela Larsson (c) celebrates her victory, alongside second placed Beji Bekelu (l) from Ethiopia and third place Caroline Almkvist (r) from Sweden.
“Today I felt the spectators helped me pull out something extra over and over again. It was absolutely fantastic,” Larsson told Sweden’s SVT broadcaster. “I’m tired but terribly happy. I hadn’t expected this beforehand.”  
At the 30km mark, Larsson spurted ahead of her Ethiopian rival Beju Bekelu, building a lead of three minutes and 27 seconds by the finishing line. 
In the run-up to the start, many had feared that the 27C temperatures would mean runner collapsing from heat exhaustion, but the arrival of clouds just before the start made the contest slightly cooler than expected. 
Kenyan Lawi Kiptui won the men’s competition with a dramatic finish which saw him overtake and power ahead of his Ethiopian rival Bazu Worku. 
“It was an extremely hot race,” Kiptui told SVT. “I focused on nothing but winning.” 
The sports commentator and statistician Lennart Julin told the TV4 channel that Kiptui’s final spurt had been “one of the most extraordinary victories in the history of the Stockholm Marathon”.