Former Featherston woman Debbie Donald has run a personal best [PB] but was well outside the top placings in the World Road Women’s Half Marathon Championship dominated by Kenyans on Sunday.
On a cool sunny afternoon in Riga, Latvia, Donald could not match the hot pace of the frontrunners, eventually finishing 59th but slashing four minutes 31 seconds off her previous best in only her second start over the 21km distance. Her time of 1:18:35 was more than 11 minutes off the winning time of Kenyan Pere Jepchirchir. Kenyans filled four of the top five placings and all three on the podium.
Donald was the second of two Kiwis in the race, finishing four places and one minute behind Katherine Camp.
The 36-year-old, who is now based in Western Australia but still runs under the Athletic and Cycling Masterton [ACM] banner, came to prominence in April, winning the national marathon championship in Christchurch in only her third attempt at the distance.
Another ACM runner, Tony ‘Bones’ Price, also produced a meritorious performance at the recent Berlin Marathon, which attracted a field of almost 48000 competitors. The veteran was 33rd in the Men’s 65 age group in a time of 3:34:41.