Vincent Mutai and Mestawut Fikir clinched victory in the 2023 Cardiff Half Marathon.
Kenyan Mutai out-sprinted course record holder and compatriot Shadrack Kimining to win the men’s race in one hour and 35 seconds on a humid day.
Ethiopian Fikir had the edge in a close finish in the women’s race, with just a second splitting the top three.
Josh Hartley and Martyna Snopek won the wheelchair races as the event celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Meanwhile more than 27,000 club and amateur runners also covered the 13.2 miles (21km) course.
Former winners Kimining and Geoffrey Koech returned to the Welsh capital in a strong field in the men’s race that was decided in the final straight.
Both were in the lead group that completed the first 10km in 28:29 before 28-year-old Mutai showed the stronger kick.
He said: “I feel good. This was my first time running this course, it was a bit challenging, but it was really enjoyable and now I am a winner so I am so happy and very surprised.”
Former women’s race winner Beatrice Cheserek also returned and led early on, but the Kenyan was dropped before a three-way sprint for the line.
Fikir beat fellow Ethiopian Aminet Ahmed and last year’s runner-up Viola Chepngeno to add the Cardiff title to the Antrim Coast Half Marathon two months earlier in 1:08:13.
Bridgend’s Adam Bowden and Beth Kidger of Brighton Phoenix earned Welsh half-marathon titles.
Bowden beat Meirionydd’s Rhodri Owen and Pontypridd Roadent Adam Bull while Kidger – ninth in the overall women’s race in her first half-marathon – edged out a strong Welsh contingent including Anna Bracegirdle and Olivia Tsim.
“I was on my own at the start because I was trying to be sensible with the pace as this is my first real half marathon,” said Kidger.
“The fact it’s mainly flat really helped and I definitely want to do more half marathons in the future.”
Hartley was tipped as the athlete to beat in the men’s wheelchair race despite the presence of former winners Tiaan Bosch and Richie Powell. And so it proved as the Coventry Godiva Harriers athlete led from start to finish – crossing the line 10 minutes ahead of second-placed Bosch.
Snopek – who won the Great North Run’s wheelchair race in 2018 – won the women’s wheelchair race.
“I ran my own race the whole way through and stuck to my plan,” said Hartley.
“It was my first time racing here, the atmosphere was really good and the conditions were a nice surprise.”
The race is a member of the SuperHalfs, a global series of the world’s most prestigious half-marathons including races in Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen and Valencia.
Source : BBC