As the first runners finished the 42.2km Taipei Fubon Marathon amid rain and chilly weather yesterday morning, there was little surprise that the first man and woman across the finish line were from Kenya.
Josphat Kamzee Jepkopol successfully defended his title by completing the run in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 10 seconds, a time 4 minutes shy of the event’s all-time record of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 24 seconds, but a one-minute improvement over Jepkopol’s own record last year of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 27 seconds.
The fastest woman was Rebecca Kangogo Chesire, who finished the race in 2 hours, 33 minutes, 20 seconds, but failed to break the women’s all-time record of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 37 seconds.
Both runners were awarded a NT$1.2 million (US$40,500) prize for first place, but no winners received the NT$2 million bonus promised to anyone who broke an all-time record.
Jepkopol said he lost the bonus prize because the cold, damp weather slowed him down.
Taiwan’s top male runner was Ho Chin-ping (何盡平) — the fastest Taiwanese man last year — at 2 hours, 23 minutes, 33 seconds, while Hsu Yu-fang (許玉芳) was the first Taiwanese woman to cross the finish line at 2 hours, 48 minutes, 17 seconds.
Each local winner was awarded a prize of NT$200,000.
The annual marathon, Taiwan’s largest, also featured a half-marathon and a 9km race.
More than 46,000 people registered for the competitive events, while 24,000 people entered their names for fun runs and casual jogging events.
However, bad weather meant that turnout fell short of expectations, organizer the Chinese Taipei Road Race Association said.