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.”