Kenyan star Micah Kogo was an impressive winner of yesterday’s BUPA Great Yorkshire Run yesterday beating Chris Thompson (Aldershot).
The two were together up to the seven-kilometre mark when the Kenyan started to force the pace.
The break was not decisive and Thompson hung on tenaciously but Kogo really piled on the pressure in the final kilometre and stretched his winning lead to 18 seconds by the finish at Arundel Gate, still looking full of running.
It was hardly a surprise that Kogo showed a clean pair if heels to the rest of the elite runners.
He is a former world record holder for 10k on the road with a stunning time of 27:01 and is Olympic bronze medallist at 10,000 metres.
There was even speculation by the organisers of yesterday’s race that the 25-year-old Kenyan might threaten the UK allcomers record of 27:22.
The early pace, the lack of serious opposition over the last 3k and a troublesome wind put paid to any challenge for the record. General conditions were very good, overcast but not cold.
However, the runners found that a strong breeze, particularly on the return journey from Hillsborough, made a tough course even harder.
Kogo’s time was 28:45, five seconds faster than Australian Craig Mottram achieved last year when he beat Thompson in a close finish.
“I’d like to win this next year,” said Thompson who has also finished fifth and sixth in this race.
Thompson achieved much acclaim when he finished runner-up to Mo Farah in last year’s European 10,000m Championship final but his career has been peppered with injuries.
After a fine early season, he had to miss the World Championships this year because of his latest injury and yesterday’s Sheffield race marked an early stage of his rehabilitation.
He said, “I’m happy with the progress as far as my injury is concerned but not yet with my fitness.”
Having said that, there can’t be much wrong with his fitness after a 62:11 half-marathon time trial two weeks ago. He shortly returns to his training base in the USA where he will begin his serious Olympic preparation. For him it will not be a question of which event he wants to do. He is
determined to go for selection for both the 10,000 and 5,000m.
Scotland’s Andrew Lemoncello, who has marathon aspirations for the London Olympics, just edged out Stuart Stokes (Bolton) for third place, both being timed at 29:57.
For Lemoncello it was a place higher than last year but 51 seconds slower.
Romanian world marathon runner Marius Ionescu and Irish international Sean Connelly completed the top half-dozen.
First local runner was Hallamshire’s Dave Archer who finished a creditable 16th in 32:51.
Gemma Steel (Carnwood) beat pre-race favourite Jo Pavey (Exeter) for the women’s title. Third in this race last year, Steel has improved greatly since then and came to prominence in the London BUPA 10k by beating Paula Radcliffe in a personal best of 32:48. Winner on that occasion was Pavey but this time Steel was too good for her by 20 seconds, clocking 32:52.
Pavey paid tribute to her younger rival’s performance but was generally satisfied with her own run considering that her aim is the marathon at next year’s Olympics.
Results: Men: M Kogao (Kenya) 28:45; 2 C Thompson (Aldershot) 29:03; 3 A Lemoncello (Fife) 29:57; 4 S Stokes (Bolton) 29:57; 5 S Connelly (Tallaght, Ireland) 30:15; 6 M Ionescu (Romania) 30:21
Women: G Steel (Charnwood) 32:52; 2 J Pavey (Exeter) 33:12; 3 M McCambridge (Ireland) 34:39; 4 R Robinson (Kendal) 35:08; 5 L Jeska (Todmorden) 35:33; 6 S Gaunt (Charnwood) 36:37.
Eight-page special, including comprehensive results: Tomorrow’s Star