Kenyans storm to victory and PBs tumble as 8,000 rise to challenge
THE winner of the Ikano Robin Hood Half Marathon says he hopes to return to defend the title in 2013.
Luka Rotich led a Kenyan clean sweep of the podium by completing the new 13.1-mile course in one hour, one minute and 38 seconds.
He said: "It feels good and I'm happy to have won. It's my personal best time.
"I broke away at the 12k mark and got a big lead. I want to come back here next year."
Runner-up was 30-year-old Andrew Lesuuda in one hour, two minutes and 21 seconds, with fellow Kenyan John Kales, 27, finishing third in one hour, three minutes and 22 seconds.
One of the first Notts athletes to finish was Leigh Stubbs, 30, of Arnold.
The Redhill Road Runners member, who finished in one hour, 10 minutes and 16 seconds, said: "I did the full marathon last year, so this was a lot easier.
"It was windy out there but I've set a new personal best by around one minute and 40 seconds. The course was very fast."
The women's race was also won by a Kenyan, 19-year-old Agnes Chebet, who finished in one hour, 13 minutes and 33 seconds.
She said: "I'm really happy. The course and the crowd were really good, and I hope to come back here again."
Phil Hogg, 42, of Heanor, won the wheelchair race in 55 minutes and nine seconds.
He said: "I've done this race 16 or 17 times and it's always nice to get a win and a fast time."
Alexander Benfield, 16, of Burton-on-Trent, retained the mini marathon title by completing the 1.5-mile course in seven minutes 25 seconds.
Assistant race director Claire Bond, of organisers Sweatshop, said all 6,800 half marathon runners and 1,200 mini marathon competitors finished in one piece.
She said: "The leading time proved what we wanted to do, and that was to create a fast, flat course. I've heard numerous people say they beat their PB. It was always our intention to give people that opportunity."
She added that a decision would be made later in the year, in consultation with Nottingham City Council, as to whether the full marathon would return in 2013.
For the full results, see today's special supplement in the Nottingham Post