Sri Lanka’s Lakmini Bogahawatte at the finish

Sri Lanka’s leading women’s runner Lakmini Bogahawatte finished second in this race, but she was more than two minutes behind the winner.

Kenyan runner Amos Maiyos who was leading the bunch of runners by quite a distance was misled by the course car and went out of course only to concede the first place to fellow Kenyan runner Joseph Gitau Kariuki who emerged winner at the recent LRS Colombo Marathon held in Negombo.

Amos, who crossed the finish line covering his face with his top wear, went down on his knees and put his head down to the ground and displayed his frustration. He kept on beating his head with his hands in disgust and lost out on taking home a cheque of US$ 2,500 plus an air ticket from SriLankan Airlines, the main sponsor of the event. Instead he received only $1,500 after finishing second.

Third place was won by Kenyan Joseph Mwangi Ngare.

“It was not a lucky day for me. I have to take the blame for myself. I followed the course car that took a turn away near the Negombo Beach Park,” said Amos when having lunch long after the race.

Nevertheless, it seemed a lucky day for the winner Joseph Kariuki also of Kenya who celebrated his 30th birthday the previous day. He was rewarded with $2,500 plus an airline ticket from SriLanka Airlines.

This is the third occasion that Joseph was contesting the Colombo Marathon. Last year, he finished second. He said that the conditions in Sri Lanka were tough.

“I nearly gave up, but when I had completed the first ten kilometres I thought that I must keep pushing myself and it paid off in the end,” said Joseph.

He had taken part in two previous marathons this year. In January, he won in Myanmar and was placed eighth in the Kuala Lumpur. His next race will also be in Malaysia at the Penang marathon, scheduled for next month.

When asked how he prepared for the hot conditions in Sri Lanka, he said that he would begin training at 10 a.m. when it begins to become hot in Kenya, but even at that time it is not as hot as in Sri Lanka.

“I train almost six days of the week, but at least for two days in the week,” said Joseph.
The son of a farmer, Joseph is a third year student at the Kenyatta University, studying physical and health education.

The men’s Open event two Sri Lankans Dilan Sandaruwan of the Army finish fourth while Kelum Gunasekara finished fifth.

Kenyan runners also finished in sixth and seventh places.

The women’s Open event was also won by a Kenyan runner. Margaret Wangui Njuguna, who finished the race in 2 hours 53 minutes, said that the course was challenging. She had also participated the Colombo Marathon in 2014 had finished third.

“My training depended on the weather. If it was good I ran 28 km in the morning, ten km at mid day three times a week,” said Margaret who has participated in Malaysia and Indonesia so far this year.

However, she complained that the gap between the water stations was excessive.

Sri Lanka’s leading women’s runner Lakmini Bogahawatte finished second in this race, but she was more than two minutes behind the winner.

Employed by Sri Lanka Navy, Bogahawatte finished first in the race last year. The 32 year old first participated in the Colombo Marathon in 2006. She has many laurels to her credit. She has finished first at the National championships on four occasions and third in the SAF championships this year.

“My target is to finish a marathon in 2 hours and 40 minutes and qualify for the Olympic Games to be held in four years time,” concluded Lakmini hopefully.

Finishing third was the colourful Kenyan runner Susan Kosgei.

Results: Men’s Open
1.Joseph Kariuki 2h, 25:32. 2. Amos Maiyos 2h 25:45. 3. Joseph Ngare 2h 26:59. 4. Dilan Sandaruwan, 5. Kelum Gunasekara.

Women’s Open
1.Margaret Njuguna 2h 53: 47. 2. Lakmini Bogaghawatta 2h 56:04. 3. Sasan Kosgei

Full Marathon Veteran men
1.Sunil Premaratne 3h 18:43. 2. Shelton Senasinghe 3h 35:41. 3. Princely Liyanage.

Full Marathon veteran women
1.Hiroe Loka, 2. Sasan.

Half Marathon (men)
1.Kumar Sahnmugeshwaran 1h 10:12, 2. Mahesh Gunathilaka 1h 10:44. 3.S.R.G. Kumara. 4. T.G. Alahakoon. 5. Eranda Tennakoon.

Half Marathon (women)
1.Naomi Wambul Muniuki, 2. K.S. Mickremasooriya, 3. W.D. Malkanthi.

Half Marathon veteran men
1.N.V. Udayashanthasiri, 2. Ajith Alwis, 3. H.A.D. Hathurusinghe.

Half Marathon veteran women
1.Dinar Boddin, 2. Chandra Perera.

women’s winner Margaret Njuguna
women’s winner Margaret Njuguna
Men’s winner Joseph Kariuki breaking the tape
Men’s winner Joseph Kariuki breaking the tape
Amos Maiyos walks away after finishing second
Amos Maiyos walks away after finishing second