Kenyans Stanley Kiprotich Bett and Eddah Jepkosgei were the convincing winners at the Bournemouth Marathon, while David Kiyeng dominated the 93rd Kosice Peace Marathon in a busy Sunday (2) for the East Africans.
In the men's Bournemouth race, a group of four broke clear early on along the picturesque course along England's south coast, including Kenyans Bett and Julius Kiplagat Korir, along with Moroccan Abdelhadi El Mouaziz. The lead pack of four, which also included Japhet Koech of Kenya, were still together as they ran over Bournemouth Pier and through the finish area in Lower Gardens with nine miles remaining.
But it was Bett who surged clear in the closing stages, en route to his 2:17:59 victory. El Mouaziz remained strong to claim second in 2:20:45, with Korir third in 2:25:44.
"The route was good and I felt good the whole way around," said the 30-year-old Bett, who contested the distance for the first time this year.
"There was some strong wind on the shore but I just ran my own race. I enjoyed the Bournemouth sunshine too so I'm very happy."
The women's race was won in 2:40:38 by Eddah Jepkosgei of Kenya, who held off a strong challenge from compatriot Hildah Cheboi.
"I liked the route," said Jepkosgei, who won the Edinburgh Marathon in May in 2:39:53. "I was with a group until about 7-k and then I went on my own."
Cheboi clocked 2:45:39.
Emma Prideaux of Great Britain was a distant third, clocking 3:01:15.
It was the second successive Kenyan double victory at this event. Boaz Kiprono and Joan Kigen cruised to victories one year ago.
A record-breaking 13,000 runners gathered on the Dorset coastline to run in the fourth edition of the two-day Bournemouth Marathon Festival, which included a 5km, 10km, half marathon and junior races in addition to the full marathon.
Kiyeng Wins in Kosice
Meanwhile, David Kemboi Kiyeng of Kenya and Ethiopian Chaltu Tafa Waka captured their respective titles at the 93rd Kosice Peace Marathon.
Running in sunny and rapidly-warming conditions, Kiyeng clocked 2:08:58, the fifth fastest winning time in this eastern Slovak city, to become the 14th Kenyan winner at Europe's oldest marathon.
With a 2:06:26 lifetime best, the 33-year-old arrived in Kosice as the fastest in the field, experience he said, that was the key to his victory.
"My experience was the decisive moment," said Kiyeng, who ran patiently until making his decisive attack in the 38th kilometre.
"I was not expecting we would be in a group of six at the 35th kilometre, and that later we would still have three. So I pushed. In my first race here I was very thankful for the support from the crowd and I want to come back to attack the course record."
Elijah Kemboi, the winner here in 2011, was second in 2:09:24.
Tadesse Mamo of Ethiopia produced a surprise, finishing third in his debut over the distance --and in his first race outside of Ethiopia-- clocking 2:10:17.
Further back, Kenyans Daniel Kiprop Limo and Henry Chirchir both dipped under 2:11, finishing fourth and fifth in 2:10:31 and 2:10:40 respectively.
The women's race began well with a solid 1:13:53 midway split, but as in the men's competition, the second half witnessed runners struggling with the warming conditions.
Chaltu Tafa Waka handled it best, winning in 2:32:20 in her fifth marathon, two minutes and 50 seconds shy of the 31-year-old's lifetime best set in Warsaw last year.
Kenyan Emily Ngetich, on paper the fastest with 2:25:14 credentials coming in, was exhausted by the time she crossed the line, finishing second in 2:33:57.
Further back, Tinbit Gidey Weldegebriel from Ethiopia was third in 2:40:49.
Nearly 12,000 from 58 countries runners competed in the various races, both participation records.
Follow us on Twitter/Instagram: @Four4TwoMedia