Kenyan duo Dominic Kangor and Eunice Kales underlined their country's domination of the international running scene by setting course records at Brighton marathon yesterday. Their performance, however, was overshadowed by the news that a 23-year-old died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The runner, who is believed to have collapsed around mile 16, was treated at the scene by medics and an off-duty police officer, but was declared dead after surgery in Royal Sussex County Hospital. Race director Tim Hutchings said: 'It's tremendously sad. I can confirm that a competitor collapsed and later died this morning. Obviously this is dreadfully sad news for the entire Brighton marathon team and we pass our condolences on to all his family.'
The event, celebrating its 4th staging, drew in a field of more than 9000 runners. Dominic Kangor, matched by Bernard Rotich for much of the race, pulled away from his countryman in the closing stages to finish in 2:10:46, slicing more than a minute of the previous course record. Rotich took second (2:10:51), with Robert Mwangi (2:11:26) completing a Kenyan top three. Local runner Jon Pepper was the first Brit home, finishing in an impressive 2:20:30.
In the women's field, Kales moved away from UK runner Aly Dixon at the 15 mile point to win on her marathon debut in a time of 2:28:46. Dixon, coming in to the event on the back of a fine run of form, secured a sizable PB to finish in 2:31:10. The time falls agonisingly short of the 2:31 required for World Championship and Commonwealth Games qualification.
In a recent post on her facebook page, Dixon said she had mixed emotions with her time: "Massively overjoyed by running such a huge PB but also frustrated at coming so so close the qualifying time. The fact that I'm still curled up in a ball with my whole body in agony shows that I left every ounce of myself out there on the road today."