By Norman Katende
BUPA Great North 10km run
Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 29:39
Matthew Hynes (ENG) 29:47
Marius Ionescu (ROM) 29:51
John Beatie (ENG) 29:52
Derek Hawkins (ENG) 29:58
WORLD and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich had his pace tested but hung on to win the Great North 10K race in Gateshead on Sunday, after seeing off late challenges from Matthew Hynes of England and Romania’s Marius Ionescu.
In an interesting evening race, which is a prequel to the Bupa Great Run that is due September in Manchester, Kiprotich who is used to running 42km races was stretched by the fast pace in the 10km race, but he dug deep to cross the finishing line in 29 minutes 39 seconds.
He had managed to keep with the challengers despite a fast pace, and only made a move to go past them as he approached the last 1.5km
Kiprotich increased the pace to stretch them and by the time he decided to kick on with about 300m to go, there was little his challengers could do as he crossed the finish line 9 seconds ahead Hynes.
The race was aimed at giving Kiprotich an opportunity to reignite his winning ways after mixed fortunes in the 2013 New York Marathon and 2014 London Marathon (12th).
The result is promising ahead of the Bupa Great Run that is expected to attract some of the world’s top runners including Kenenisa Bekele and double Olympic and World championships gold medallist Mo Farah.