NEW YORK (11-May) - After a furious start, Kenya's Leonard Patrick Komon's attempt to break his own UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K record here this morning fizzled, and the world record holder had to settle for his second victory in three years, clocking 27:58. Race organizers had put up a USD 30,000 bonus for the winner had he broken Komon's 2011 record of 27:35.
Komon, who holds the world records for both 10-K and 15-K on the road, ran both of the first two miles in 4:18, immediately breaking open the race, and was alone through 5-K in 13:40 with a seven-second lead over his primary chaser, Uganda's Moses Kipsiro.
"Like a bullet," Kipsiro said of Komon's opening mile.
But the soaking humidity, wet streets from earlier rains, and Central Parks' challenging hills began to take their toll on the Kenyan. He slowed significantly in the second half, splitting the course's certified 8-K mark in 22:18, then working hard in the uphill final two kilometers just to maintain his lead. He crossed the finish line with a four-second advantage and collected the $25,000 first prize award, the largest of any 10-K in the world.
"I will get the record next year," Komon said after event sponsors, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, said that they would raise the course record bonus to $50,000 for next year's 10th edition of the race.
Behind Komon, Kipsiro and former NCAA standout Stephen Sambu of Kenya sprinted for second place. Both men were credited with a 28:02 finish time, but Kipsiro was clearly in front of Sambu who appeared to ease up just before the line. Ethiopia's Abera Kuma (28:18) and Australia's Collis Birmingham (28:29) rounded out the top-5.
PHOTO: (l. to r.) Stephen Sambu of Kenya (3rd place), Leonard Patrick Komon (1st) and Moses Kipsiro (2nd) after finishing the 2013 Healthy Kidney 10-K (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)