Kenyan wins Edinburgh Marathon four years after being shot in ambush

Joel Kipkemboi Kiptoo was the first man to cross the line
Joel Kipkemboi Kiptoo was the first man to cross the line
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Joel Kipkemboi Kiptoo hailed the Edinburgh Marathon as the start of a new chapter in his career after winning this year’s event in a course record of 2:13:33.

The 32-year-old Kenyan, brought over to the Capital as part of the race’s Project Africa charity, survived an ambush four years ago in his homeland that left two of his training partners dead.

Caroline Jepchirchir was the leading female in 2:47:36

Caroline Jepchirchir was the leading female in 2:47:36

He bolted away from the outset at the head of more than 12,000 runners to finish almost eight minutes clear of American competitor Jeffrey Stein with Corstorphine’s Michael Crawley third.

“It’s my first big win overseas since I was shot,” Kipkemboi revealed. “I’ve had some health problems to overcome. I’ve really had to nurse my knee. But I felt good here. It was my fastest ever time. It was a fantastic course. I went out at the start by myself but I really felt I could go and win.”

Stein flew in from Washington DC to land a comfortable runners-up spot. “I normally do an autumn marathon but I had the chance to come here and it went great.”

Kipkemboi’s compatriot, Caroline Jepchirchir, above, was the leading female in 2:47:36 with local favourite Shona McIntosh 92 seconds behind and Birtley’s Tracy Millmore third.

“It’s 12 years since I last ran this but I did the half two years ago when I was pregnant,” McIntosh revealed. “I feel I should have gone quicker. I pushed the pace at the start but I ended up too slow.”

Severino Felipe Gomez narrowly won the adjoining half-marathon from Spanish rival Arturo Quijada Gonzalez in 1:10:37 with Irish Olympian Breege Connolly the leading female in 1:16:09.

Elsewhere Chris O’Hare secured the British mile title in 4:03 at yesterday’s Vitality Westminster Mile with Edinburgh club-mate Jake Wightman fifth.