A group of 15 runners, including three pacemakers who were trying to shield the other leaders from the wind, passed the half way mark in 1:04:13. With winds projected to reach up to 60 kilometres per hour, any result faster than 2:10 would have been regarded as an extraordinary achievement.
But somehow the wind calmed down as the men reached the final 12 kilometres. And after the lead group of 12 runners plus one pacemaker passed 30km in 1:31:38, the race was thrown wide open.
Suddenly just seven runners remained in the lead group, and then a few kilometres later Korir, Bushendich and Suleiman Simotwo broke away, turning the race for victory into an all-Kenyan affair. Deribe Robi of Ethiopia, one of the pre-race favourites, had lost contact while Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui, who was the fastest on the start list with a best of 2:05:21, dropped out at this late stage of the race.
Bushendich and Korir ran shoulder to shoulder until they could see the finish line before Korir edged ahead to win in 2:08:40, taking 88 seconds off his PB. “It was cold and windy, but it was a great day for me,” said the 23-year-old.
Bushendich followed him across the line two seconds later, while Ezekiel Omulla completed an all-Kenyan podium by taking third in 2:09:10. Simotwo, who dropped back at 36km, eventually finished fifth in 2:10:36.
Organisers for the IAAF
1 Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:40
2 Ishmael Bushendich (KEN) 2:08:42
3 Ezekiel Omullo (KEN) 2:09:10
4 Alfonce Kigen (KEN) 2:10:24
5 Suleiman Simotwo (KEN) 2:10:36
6 Regasa Mindaye (ETH) 2:10:51
1 Nancy Kiprop (KEN) 2:24:20
2 Rebecca Chesir (KEN) 2:24:25
3 Roza Dereje (ETH) 2:25:17
4 Shuko Genemo (ETH) 2:26:06
5 Angela Tanui (KEN) 2:26:31
6 Helalia Johannes (NAM) 2:29:25