When 21 year old Festus Talam, entered the 2016 Eindhoven marathon, he was not expected to win. He was not even expected to finish. Firstly he had never run a marathon before. He had only previously run in half marathons where his personal best was a modest 1:01:48.
Secondly, in this race, he was enlisted as a pacemaker and instructed to take the field through the 35 km mark at 2:06 pace. Talam kept his end of the bargain and fully earned his pacemaker money: By the 30 km mark, Talam was leading, closely followed by defending champion Stephen Chebogut and Marius Kipserem. But the rest of the field could not handle the tempo and fell back.
Talam maintained his composure over the last seven kilometres to win in impressive fashion. “I’m over the moon with this win. There were some favourites to win this race and I’m delighted that I was able to beat them.” said the unheralded Talam
Director Edgar de Veer praised his talent: “We knew that Festus had this in mind. Marc Corstjens had given him permission to race on and try his luck after 35 kilometres. Ultimately, he was the strongest today. Finishing in 2:06 in your debut marathon is a fantastic springboard to the international top.”
|5||Dejene Debela Gonfa||Ethiopië||2:10:13|
|10||Harm Sengers||Eindhoven Atletiek||2:19:48|
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