Australia's most scenic and beautiful marathon, on its famous Queensland Gold Coast, was won by Kenyan male athlete Silah Limo in a new national record.
The little known runner made history by smashing the long-standing Australian all-comers record by posting a time of two hours, nine minutes and 14 seconds.
The winner of the women's event was Asami Kato who came home in a strong time of 2:28:51, per GoldCoastMarathon.com.
The event's official Twitter account announced the men's result:
|1||Silah Kipkemboi Lima||Kenya||02:09:14|
|4||Stephen Kipkemei Tum||Kenya||02:12:10|
|8||Cyrus Gichobi Njui||Japan||02:17:48|
|3||Tsehay Desalegn Adhana||Ethiopia||02:31:41|
|4||Yebrgual Melese Arage||Ethiopia||02:32:49|
|6||Goitetom Haftu Tesema||Ethiopia||02:40:19|
|10||Alexandra Williams||New Zealand||02:45:21|
It was a fantastic day's work for Limo, who not only scooped the $15,000 winner's prize but also received an extra $20,000 for his record-breaking achievement.
Limo won the event in what was his very first official marathon. The athlete was ecstatic at his achievement and believes he can run even faster.
He said, per GoldCoastMarathon.com:
I feel so happy because I have run my best in my first race on the Gold Coast. I was aiming to run 2:10. That was my hope today. I tried to push and push.
I felt that is great for my first time [running a marathon] but if there were pace makers, I think I can go 2:06.”
Women's winner Kato was also jubilant with her victory after finishing almost two minutes clear of the rest of the field.
She said, per GoldCoastMarathon.com:
“This was my first time for this race and I am very happy because it was a PB for me."
Gold Coast Bulletin tweeted about Kato's win, recording her crossing the finish line to claim her victory:
Journalist Jen King also tweeted about Kato's new record which smashed a previously 32-year-old standard set by Robert de Castella, which was achieved at the 1982 Commonwealth Games:
The 22-year-old Limo beat American Jeffrey Eggleston into second place, who finished in a time of 02:10:52. The race was billed as a straight fight between Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi and Kenya’s Nicholas Manza, but the shootout never materialised.
Kawauchi finished the race in third place but Manza failed to cross the Southport Broadwater Parklands finish line.
Former record-holder De Castella was present at the race as one of the organisers of the event and he spoke candidly after Limo's fantastic run.
He said about his record falling, per GoldCoastMarathon.com:
I’m probably disappointed that it has taken so long. It was time. It is significant for the Gold Coast, because now it is officially the fastest course in Australia. We always knew the course here was quick but now we have the time to prove it.
But we should still be aiming to run 2:08 or 2:07 especially with the calibre of the African fields we are getting here. There is still work to do, but this is a great step. The record was 32 years old and was well overdue to be smashed.
Limo's achievements are mind-blowing considering that the young racer has never competed at this level before and that this is his first major marathon event. The expectation for him to break the record again in 12 months time is now present and he will surely do this in 2015.
Kato's run was fast and dominant, and she was a deserving winner of the women's event. To beat her team-mate Rika Shintaku into second place was no mean feat considering her reputation as a solid performer.