Uta Runs a Fine Bellin While There Is Great Success for KIMbia

John Korir remains the runner to beat in US road running this season. The Kenyan has run his fifth race of the year on Saturday (11thJune) and won for the fifth time. In humid and warm conditions with temperatures well over 77° Fahrenheit John Korir had no problems to win the Bellin Run in Green Bay (Wisconsin). He clocked 28:51 minutes for the 10-kilometer race while KIMbia’s Paul Koech (KEN) was second with 29:13.

Elva Dryer made it two in a row in Green Bay. She had come as the defending champion and clocked 33:22 to win again. KIMbia’s partner Uta Pippig clocked 36:55 for a fourth place.

Training partners John Korir and Paul Koech took the lead early in the race together with Vanderlei Lima. The Brazilian had become famous when he was stopped for a couple of seconds during the Olympic marathon in Athens in 2004 by a crazy spectator. He was leading the race and finally finished third. This time Lima was again third. And there was no way he could stop John Korir and Paul Koech. Just before the two passed the 5K mark in 14:35 Lima had started to fall behind. He was two seconds behind at half way and later finished in 29:22. At front John Korir was once again superior.

The women’s race was all about Elva Dryer. Having won the Bolder-Boulder less than a fortnight ago she confirmed her good form. The US runner was more than half a minute ahead at the 5K mark (16:30) and constantly enlarged her advantage. KIMbia’s Sharon Cherop (KEN) held on to second with 35:02 (half way in 17:01). While Jenna Boren was just one second behind and in third place (35:03). Uta Pippig took fourth. “I am very happy with my race and with the result”, Uta said.

There was more success for KIMbia on the track. Bob Tahri has opened his steeplechase season in superb style. The Frenchman won the high-class 3,000-meter steeplechase at Ostrava’s Golden Spike Meeting on Thursday evening. In his first race at the distance this year he clocked 8:18.12 minutes and had a two second advantage. Poland’s Radislaw Poplawski was second (8:20.25) while Olympic Champion Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya) was well beaten. Among the opponents was a second Olympic Champion. Reuben Kosgei (Kenya) had won the gold medal in Sydney 2000.

In what had become a tactical and slow race Reuben Kosgei started sprinting at the bell. Though there was a gap at first Bob Tahri reacted well and came back. At the final water jump he was level with Reuben Kosgei and then showed a superb finish—leaving the rest of the field trailing behind. “I felt very good and it was my plan to first hang on an then try my luck with a final sprint,” Bob Tahri explained.

There was more success for KIMbia later in the night in Ostrava. After Bob Tahri’s great 3,000m steeplechase, Sammy Kipketer made it a double for KIMbia in the Czech Republic. He won the 5,000 meters in 13:19.46 minutes. At the end the Kenyan had an advantage of more than a second. His countryman Robert Sigei Kipngetich was second with 13:21.01. KIMbia had a third runner participating in Ostrava. Abraham Chebii was sixth in 13:22.53 minutes.

“Sammy looked very good and can go to the Kenyan trials optimistic. He will run the 10,000 meters in Nairobi in two weeks time. I think this win will have given him quite some confidence,” Dieter Hogen said. It was more difficult for Abraham Chebii to adapt to track racing again. In his first track race of the season he finished sixth.

It was a special night for KIMbia’s coach in Ostrava since it was the first time ever Dieter Hogen coached athletes from KIMbia during a track meeting. Also he never coached a Kenyan or French athlete at a track meeting before. So the debut was a perfect and promising one.