Derara Hurisa wasn't the favourite for Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 but the Ethiopian upset the odds to win in a course record of 2:08:09 in Mumbai on Sunday.
Hurisa was rewarded with his biggest ever pay day, a US$45,000 winners cheque and a US$15,000 course record bonus.
The amount he picked up on Sunday for his stunning win was more than he had pocketed across his entire career.
In addition, the race was won with a pair of borrowed racing shoes.
"I misplaced my shoes while travelling from Addis Ababa to Mumbai earlier in the week. So I borrowed some shoes from my friend Abraham Girma (who also ran the Tata Mumbai
Marathon). So I only tried them on for the first time yesterday," Hurisa revealed after the race.
In a thrilling finish to the 17th edition of TMM, three men approached the last kilometre together, but Hurisa went through the gears as the trio passed that check point and he pulled away from his compatriots Ayele Abshero and Birhanu Teshome.
Abshero and Teshome finished second and third respectively in a time of 2:08:20 and 2:08:26, both coming inside the previous course record of 2:08:35.
Prior to Sunday, 22-year-old Hurisa's most notable achievement was winning the silver medal in the African Cross Country Championships U20 race four years ago.
This was Hurisa's second international win, the other being a low-key half marathon in Turkey in 2017.
The men's race started at a pace which indicated a course record was on the cards, and the weather was several degrees cooler.
A large group of 18 men, including pacemakers, sped through the 10km marker in 30.01, 20km in 1:00:35 and hit the halfway mark in 1:03:52.
However, as the second half of the race progressed, the runners started to regularly drop off the back of the leading pack with the leaders passing 30km in 1:30:52 although eight men still remained in contention at 35km.
As the runners passed the 36km marker, Teshome put his head down and started pumping his arms, attempting to almost sprint away from his rivals. It was a short-lived surge but it had the effect of splintering what remained of the pack.
With four kilometres left, Hurisa, Abshero and Teshome still had Uganda's 2013 Mumbai Marathon winner Jackson Kiprop for company and their Ethiopian compatriot Abera Kuma, after going through a bad patch, was back in contention.
First Abera and then Kiprop broke off with three kilometres to go, but the Ethiopian trio stayed together, testing each other, until Harisa made his decisive move.
Kenya's defending champion Cosmas Lagat had much earlier dropped out injured at around 14 kilometres.
In the women's race, Amane Beriso stormed back after a 15-month injury-induced absence from competition to win the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 in a time of 2:24:51.
Despite being 38 seconds adrift of race leader Kenya's Rodah Jepkorir at the 30km checkpoint, with Ethiopia's defending champion Worknesh Alemu drifting back off the lead and shortly to drop out, over the next kilometre Beriso reeled in Jepkorir and then overhauled the 2019 winner of the Gold Coast and Buenos Aires Marathons.
Once out on her own, Beriso was never challenged and, despite looking extremely tired over the final few kilometres, she came home more than two minutes clear of Jepkorir who crossed the line second in 2:27:14 with Ethiopia's marathon debutante Haven Hailu third in 2:28:56.
"I was nervous to start because I had spent so long without racing, but I started to feel confident at about 31 kilometres and I was certain I could win from about 36 kilometres," said Beriso.
"With a kilometre to go, my (male) pacemaker Sylvester Kiptoo was pointing at his watch and was telling me I could still get the course record but I was tired. I tried but I couldn't do it," she added.
Nevertheless, Beriso will go into the record books as the second fastest woman in Mumbai Marathon's history, despite finishing 18 seconds outside the 2014 course record of Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer.
1. Derara Hurisa (ETH) 2:08:09
2. Ayele Abshero (ETH) 2:08:20
3. Birhanu Teshome (ETH) 2:08:26
4. Jackson Kiprop (UGA) 2:08:41
5. Abdi Ali (BRN) 2:08:56
1. Amane Beriso (ETH) 2:24:51
2. Rodah Jepkorir (KEN) 2:27:14
3. Haven Hailu (ETH) 2:28:55
4. Fetale Dejene (ETH) 2:30:11
5. Maeregu Hayelom (ETH) 2:31:26.
Srinu Bugatha, Sudha Singh win Indian Elite category
Army man Srinu Bugatha and defending champion Sudha Singh won the Indian Elite athlete men and womens category respectively in the 17th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon held on Sunday.
Arjuna Awardee Sudha Singh clinched the title with a timing of 2:45:30s.
"My aim was for a hat-trick this year. The route was also good. I attained my best timings last year but the climate was humid and hot, whereas the weather was more suitable this time. My overall experience was good. I want to thank my coach Bijendra Singh," Sudha said on her performance.
Overall Sudha stood 10th in the Marathon, which was won by Ethiopian Amane Beriso, clocking 2:24:51.
First time full marathon runner and Army man, Srinu Bugatha finished first among Indian runners by clocking 2:18:44.
"I am thankful to my pacers for their help. I am happy but I feel I would have clocked a better timing than this. My pace dropped at the last kilometre and I couldn't make a proper recovery from that. Regardless, I am looking forward to performing better in my upcoming marathons," he said.
Srinu's overall ranking stood at 13th, with a gap of 10:35 seconds between him and Derara Hurisa, the winner of the International Elite Full Marathon.
Sher Singh, who was participating for the first time in the Tata Mumbai Marathon, finished second clocking a timing of 2:24:00.
Sher said, "I started the race with Srinu Bugatha and kept my pace along with him steadily till 35km after which I slowed down. The route was good but the weather was quite humid."
Durga Bahadur Budha, also from the Army, finished third with a timing of 2:24:03 among Indian runners.
"At present, I'm not practicing for marathons regularly. Mostly the only form of training I do is my army training. Also, an injurykept me away from the marathon scene last year. So, I am personally happy with my timings," Durga said.
Among Indian runners, Jyoti Gawate emerged runner-up clocking a timing of 2:49:14, while Shyamali Singh from West Bengal attained the 3rdposition in the Indian Elite women category with a timing of 2:58:44.
Sudha Singh and Jyoti Gawate ran together till the 30km mark, post which Sudha took the lead.
Meanwhile, in the women’s elite half marathon, Parul Chaudhary finished winner, breaking the course record by clocking 1:15:37.
Aarti Patil and Monika Athare secured 2ndand 3rd position with timings of 1:18:03 and 1:18:33 respectively.
Chaudhary pocketed an additional Rs 1.50 lakh bonus amount as course record jackpot.
In the men's elite half marathon, Tirtha Pun emerged winner, finishing the race in 1:05:39s.
Securing the runner-up position, Man Singh clocked the timing of 1:06:06, while Balliappa AB finished third with the timing of 1:07:11s.
Mumbai Marathon: 64-year-old runner dies of heart attack
A 64-year-old man died after suffering a heart attack while running in the Tata Mumbai
Marathon 2020 on Sunday morning, officials said.
Gajendra Manjalkar, a of Nalasopara from the neighbouring Palghar district, who had been participating in the marathon for last four years, came to Mumbai to participate in the latest edition of the run on Sunday.
He collapsed while running the marathon a police official said.
He was later taken to Bombay Hospital in south Mumbai where doctors declared him brought dead, he said.
Talking to PTI, Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician at Bombay Hospital, said 10 to 12 people were brought to the hospital with various complaints, including dehydration.
"Manjalkar was declared dead on arrival. He died due to a heart attack," Bhansali said.
The body was sent to GT Hospital for a postmortem, he added.
"An accidental death report has been registered at Marine Drive police station. Further probe is underway," Deputy Commissioner of Police Pranay Ashok told PTI.
Besides, a runner, Sanjay Bafna (51), was undergoing treatment for brain stroke, while angioplasty was performed on another participant, identified as Himanshu Thakkar (47), at the Bombay Hospital, Bhansali said, adding that both of them were currently recuperating.
Over 55,000 runners participated in the 17th edition of Tata Mumbai Marathon on Sunday.