Komon falls short of besting his on race record; Aziza Aliyu takes women's title
NEW YORK - (May 11, 2013) - Cloudy skies and rain showers just before the start could not deter the 5,851 runners who finished the ninth-annual UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 11 in Central Park.
From the moment the starting horn sounded, Kenya’s Leonard Patrick Komon (right, middle, NYRR) made it clear that he was the man to beat. The 2011 Healthy Kidney 10K winner and course-record holder sprinted to the front of the pack and blazed through the first mile in 4:18; he followed that with another 4:18 for the second mile.
Through the hilly middle miles, Komon fought to keep ahead of record pace. He ran 4:33 for the third mile, and his five-kilometer split of 13:40 put him well in position to break his own Central Park record.
As Komon chased the record and the $30,000 Zayed Bonus that would accompany it, he built an ever-increasing lead over Moses Kipsiro of Uganda. Several seconds back of Kipsiro, a pack of three men—Kenyans Edwin Soi and Stephen Sambu, along with Abera Kuma of Ethiopia—battled for third place.
Over the second half of the race, the fast early pace and the course’s rolling hills took their toll on Komon, and but he never relented, leading from gun to tape to win in a time of 27:58. Although he missed the course-record bonus, he did win $25,000 for first place, the largest winner’s purse for any non-marathon race in the United States.
Behind the leader, Sambu surged and closed the gap to Kipsiro. The two ran shoulder-to-shoulder through the last mile, and Kipsiro prevailed in a fierce sprint duel down the final stretch on the 72nd Street Transverse. Both men were timed in 28:02, with eight-hundredths of a second between them.
The race was a comeback for American distance star and 2004 Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi, 38, who suffered from a calf injury throughout the 2013 spring season. Keflezighi finished 9th clocking 28:57.
Komon became the second male repeat winner in the event’s nine-year history, after Australian Olympian Craig Mottram, who won in 2005 and 2006. Afterward, Komon remarked, “Throughout the race, I was feeling so good, but at eight kilometers I started to feel tired.” He added, “I am happy to start the year with a good race, and next year I’ll be prepared.” If Komon was “unprepared” this year, a third victory looks very possible.
On the women’s side, local resident Aziza Aliyu of the West Side Runners won the race for the third time, running 34:34 to lead an Ethiopian podium sweep. She was followed by Hirut Beyene Guangui in 34:50, with Tigist Tufe Demisse third in 35:26.
The Zayed bonus was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the race’s honoree and the first president of the United Arab Emirates, who was treated for kidney disease in the United States and benefited from the expertise, knowledge, and professionalism of U.S. medical institutions and doctors. The race, sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in honor of the late UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is run to promote education for and awareness of kidney health through its support of the National Kidney Foundation.
9th UAE Healthy Kidney 10K
New York, NY, Saturday, May 11, 2013
1) Leonard Patrick Komon 25 KEN 27:58 $25,000
2) Moses Kipsiro 26 UGA 28:02 $12,500
3) Stephen Sambu 24 KEN 28:02 $6000
4) Abera Kuma 22 ETH 28:18 $3000
5) Collis Birmingham 28 AUS 28:29 $2000
6) Edwin Soi 27 KEN 28:37 $1000
7) Leonard Korir 26 KEN 28:44 $800
8) Ayele Feisa 25 USA 28:53 $500
9) Meb Keflezighi 38 USA 28:57
10) Ben St Lawrence 31 AUS 29:00
1) Aziza Aliyu 27 ETH 34:34
2) Hirut Beyene GUangui 21 ETH 34:50
3) Tigist Tufe Demisse 26 USA35:26
4) Muliye Gurmu 29 ETH 36:43
5) Kate Pallardy 27 USA 36:46
6) Fiona Bayly 45 USA 37:56
7) Ana Maria De Vries 27 USA 38:04
8) Jenna Rivers 28 USA 38:35
9) Kristel Adler 31 USA 40:31
10) Erin Linehan 27 USA 41:15
For full results and more, visit: http://www.nyrr.org/