marathon feat 88.
(photo credit: )
Kenya's Jackson Kipkoech Kotut smashed the Tiberias marathon course record on Thursday, clocking a time of 2:08.07 to win the race and claim a $50,000 dollar bonus.
Two-time defending champion Leonard Mucheru also improved on his course record of 2:10.31 from last year, but had to settle for second position in the 32nd installment of the marathon with a time of 2:09.37.
Two years ago Muchero competed as a Bahraini national with the adopted name Mushir Salem Jawher but was stripped of his adopted nationality by the government of Bahrain days after it discovered he had competed in Israel.
Another Kenyan, Philemon Boit, came in third position (2:10.55), with 12 of the top 13 finishers hailing from Kenya.
"I was a little tired at the end, but I believed in myself and knew I would be okay," said Kotut, who was neck-and-neck with Mucheru until he pulled ahead in the 38th kilometer.
"I hoped to record a good time and knew that if I wouldn't be hampered by injury I would be able to do so."
Wodage Zvyda was the best placed Israeli, winning the national championships by finishing in 17th place overall in a time of 2:19.10.
"My goal was to meet the criteria for next year's World Championships and unfortunately I missed it by a minute. This is very disappointing," said Zvyda.
Asaf Bimro finished second among the Israelis, crossing the line 56 seconds after Zvyda, with 53-year-old Haile Satayin not completing the race for a second straight year despite representing Israel in the Olympic marathon in Beijing last summer.
The women's race was won by Kenya's Lrene Kosgei (2:39.07), with 43-year-old Orna Blau making the most of the absence of 11-time-winner Nili Abramski, finishing first among Israelis in a time of 3:00.30.