Defending champion John Kelai of Kenya, as expected, won the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on Sunday.
The 31-year-old proved a class above the rest of the field to cover the gruelling 42-km course in two hours, 12 minutes and 21 seconds, an improvement on last year's effort of 2:12.27 seconds.
He finished ahead of Ethiopia's Tariku Jiffar (2:12.27 seconds) and countryman Philomen Boit (2:12.34 seconds), who placed second and third respectively. The victory made him richer by US $31,000.
"I waited for the last mile and then gave it all. I knew if I maintained the same pace I would succeed in winning. The wins in both the races was equally satisfying and I am really happy that I made it two in a row," said Kelai later.
Ethiopia's Mulu Seboka, winner in 2005 and '06, completed a hat-trick of victories in the race, winning the women's event in a personal best of 2:30.03 seconds. Kenyan rivals Mogaka Irene (2:32:50 seconds) and Margaret Karie (2:33:55 seonds) were second and third respectively in the women's 42-km race.
Ramsingh Yadav emerged the fastest Indian runner. The 27-year-old, finished in 2:18.23 seconds, the best ever time recorded by a home runner. Binning Lynkhoi (2:24.49) and Narendra Singh (2:25.30) finished second and third respectively among India's male competitors.
The Indian women's contingent lagged behind throughout and, unlike Yadav, none made a mark.
Devi Pashotlemia, who clocked 3:02:28 seconds, which was half an hour behind the international athletes' time, was the best Indian woman finisher in the full marathon.
Around 33,000 runners, including celebrities, corporate executives, students and housewives, joined in the fifth annual run, which included the 42-km full marathon, 21-km half-marathon, senior citizens` run, wheel chair event and a six-km 'dream run'.
Marathon Men (42 km): 1. John Kelai (Kenya) 2:12:22.21; 2. Tariku Jiffar (Ethiopia) 2:12:27.98; 3. Philemon Boit (Kenya) 2:12:34.57; 4. Ketema Amersisa (Kenya) 2:13:36.29; 5. Elijah Nyambuti (Kenya) 2:14:27.94; 6. Enoch Mitei (Kenya) 2:16:12.23; 7. Evans Ruto (Kenya) 2:17:05.66; 8. Maluni Katio John (Kenya) 2:17:34.52; 9. Zak Kinhara (Kenya) 2:18:18.47; 10. R S Yadav (India) 2:18:23.33.
Marathon Women (42 km): 1. Mulu Seboka (Ethiopia) 2:30:03.19; 2. Kemunto Mogaka Irene (Kenya) 2:32:50.91; 3. Margaret Karie Toroitich (Kenya) 2:33:55.69; 4. Winifridah Kwamboka (Kenya) 2:37:34.12; 5. Haille Kebebush (Kenya) 2:37:35.28; 6. Zebenay Moges (Ethiopia) 2:37:35.92; 7. Nailya Youlanonova (Russia) 2:37:38.32; 8. Letay Negash (Ethiopia) 2:39:52.13; 9/ Marashet Jimma 2:40:41.76; 10. Katerina Stetsenko (Ukraine) 2:43:09.60.
Marathon India Men (42 km) (Top three): R S Yadav 2:18:23.33; Bining Lyngkhoi 2:24:49.27; Narender Singh 2:25:30.63.
Marathon India Women (42 km) (Top three): Pashotlemia Devi 3:02:28.06; Dhiraj Indresh 3:08:11.28; Bhagwati Bhagwati 3:15:58.45.
Half Marathon Men (21 km) (Top 7): Surender Singh (India) 1:05:43.57; Jutsi Utrianen (Finland) 1:05:57.07; Santosh Kumar (India) 1:06:16.05; Soji Matthew (India) 1:06:43.43; Gurusewak Singh (India) 1:08:07.73; M D Yunus (India) 1:08:20.96; Naresh Kumar (India) 1:09:13.75.
Half Marathon Women (21 km) (Top 7): Kavita Raut (India) 1:16:36.81; Preeja Sreedharan (India) 1:16:38.07; Preeti Rao (India) 1:19:26.51; Kamlesh Baghel (India) 1:23:40.33; Vaishali Chatare (India) 1:23:46.02; Anuja Bijagare (India) 1:27:33.64; Wiitich Karen (UK) 1:44:57.78.