07 October 2019, 11am
Cardiff Half Marathon
Sun 6 October 2019
Langat came up with a brilliant sprint finish to pip fellow Kenyan, and 2016 champion, Shadrack Kimining by a mere two seconds. Langat won the race in 59:30, a mere 12 seconds outside his previous best, while long-time race leader Kimming at least had a 10 second PB to reward his efforts in second place in 59:32.
Those two times would have earned them the silver and bronze medals at the 2016 World Championships staged over virtually the same course in Cardiff, when current world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor won the title in 59:10 with Mo Farah back in third place in 59:59.
“I was feeling comfortable behind Shadrack and I pushed on in the final 500 metres. I kept the pace up right to the finish because I was feeling so strong,” said Langat.
“I always feel strong when I am running happy and that is down to the fantastic training group I have in Kenya. This is a wonderful course and I am sure that someone could run faster than 58 minutes on it in the future.”
Kamworor cut the world record down to 58:01 in winning the Copenhagen Half-Marathon, another one of the ‘Super Halfs Series’ events, last month.
Kimining tried to push up the steep incline coming off Roath Park Lake up to Cathays Cemetery, where Kamworor broke the field in 2016, but Langat refused to be shrugged off. He stayed on the shoulder of his rival before making his move coming down the finishing straight.
“I am happy to have run a PB and I think this is one of the fastest courses on which I have ever run. It is a bit like the event in Ras Al Khaimah,” said Kimining.
There was another dramatic finish in the women’s race as Kenya’s Lucy Cheruiyot and Ethiopia’s Azmera Abreha ran side-by-side down the finishing straight, with another Kenyan, Paskalia Kipkoech, not far behind.
In the end, the extra strength of Cheruiyot carried her to victory, although both she and Abreha were given the same times, 68:20. Kipkoech was a further five seconds behind in 68:25.