World-record holder Zersenay Tadese easily captures men’s title.
Starting off just behind the lead pack through the first half of the race, American Shalane Flanagan knew she was in a good spot on Sunday morning at the 22nd edition of the Lisbon Half Marathon. By 12K she was in a pack of three and took the lead for the first time. Aselefech Medessa, who won the Dubai Marathon earlier this year, pushed the pace alongside Flanagan, but would later drop out just a few kilometers short of the finish. Flanagan was completely free of the field with 3K to go and held on for victory in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 52 seconds.
“I was never really sure of victory until I crossed the finish line,” said Flanagan, who won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in January. “I wasn’t exactly sure what shape I was in so it was great to come here and run well. It’s great preparation for London 2012. This is a big win for me in what was a very competitive field. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to come here and win against all these fantastic athletes.”
Kenyan Diana Chepkemoi finished second in 1:09:08, while her countrywoman Margaret Muriuki place third in 1:09:21.
In the men’s race, world-record holder Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea won easily in 59:34, over a minute ahead of Kenyan John Mwangangi, who crossed in 1:00:44. Lucas Rotich was third in 1:01:00.
Tadese is no stranger to Lisbon. In 2010, he set the existing world-record there, running 58:23. Last year, he ran the second fastest half marathon in history, breaking the tape in 58:30.
1. Shalane Flanagan (USA), 1:08:52
2. Diana Chepkemoi (KEB), 1:09:08
3. Margaret Muriuki (KEN) ,1:09:21
4. Penninah Arusei (KEN), 1:10:24
5. Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT), 1:10:37
1. Zersenay Tadese (ERI), 59:34
2. John Mwangangi (KEN), 1:00:44
3. Lucas Rotich (ARG), 1:01:00
4. Rui Silva (POR), 1:02:40
5. Gilbert Masai (KEN), 1:02:40