Kiplagat catchess eye with storming win

Florence Kiplagat proved unstoppable over the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea Picture: Innes Marlow
Florence Kiplagat proved unstoppable over the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea Picture: Innes Marlow

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Florence Kiplagat’s BUPA Great South Run victory proved an eye-watering experience.

The world half-marathon champion obliterated the field to take the 2013 women’s title.

Kiplagat was way too good for her rivals as she stormed to a classy win in 53min 53sec.

The Kenyan continued her flying form after winning the Berlin Marathon last month.

Kiplagat was nearly three minutes clear of runner-up Polline Wanjiku (56.43), also from Kenya.

And former European Cross Country champion Charlotte Purdue put an injury-hit spell behind her to finish third in her first race in 14 months (56.57)

Kiplagat had her own company for the race as she dominated from the outset.

But she admitted she was shocked by the severity of the wind over the last two miles – which impaired her vision.

Kiplagat said: ‘I like to run very fast but the wind here was very strong.

‘I was told about that before the race, but did not know it would be like that!

‘I wasn’t prepared for it. I was hoping it would be going in the other direction!

‘My eyes were stinging as I went along. I couldn’t see where I was going, so it was not good!

‘But next year I will learn the lesson from that because the last two miles were not easy for me.

‘It would be no problem to come back.’

The conditions were never going to be conducive to a shot at the women’s course record set by Sonia O’Sullivan in 2002.

Kiplagat believed some company would have quickened her time.

She said: ‘My time was good after 10km, but maybe I could have got a better time with some people pushing me.

‘When you run alone that is not an easy thing to do. I was looking for people to push me when I got to the front, but it wasn’t long before I realised I was all alone.’