On an almost perfect day with just some slight winds for the runners to contend with, Cheruyiot (marathon world rank: 3), the 2016 Olympic 5000m champion, ran on her own from the 10km point en route to her 1:06:34 victory. The 35-year-old Kenyan improved her personal best, a 1:07:43 performance set at last year's Great North Run, by more than a minute.
At Friday's pre-race press conference, Cheruyiot promised to mount an assault on her personal best - and she followed through.
"It was a good race for me," she said. "Only the strong wind made me run slower. I raced to beat my personal best, and I’m happy. It was a great test the London Marathon, next month."
The previous record (on this flat course) was 1:08:22 set by Kenyan Rose Chelimo in 2015.
Ethiopian Zeineba Yimer (road running world rank: 13) was second, more than a minute after the winner in 01:08:07. Debutante Sandra Tuei Felis (road running world rank: 41) rounded out the podium in 1:08.14 with countrywoman Linet Masai (marathon world rank: 93) further back, clocking 1:08:51 for fourth, and another Kenyan debutante, Caroline Chepkemoi (road running world rank: 124), next in 1:09:13.
In a thrilling sprint finish, Swede Meraf Bahta (road running world rank: 44; 10,000m: 10), also making her half marathon debut, edged Portugal's Sara Moreira, both credited with 1:12:09.
1 Vivian Cheruiyot, KEN, 01:06:34
2 Zeineba Yimer, ETH, 01:08:07
3 Sandra Tuei Felis, KEN, 01:08:14
4 Linet Masai, KEN, 01:08:51
5 Caroline Chepkemoi, KEN, 01:09:13
6 Meraf Bahta, SWE, 01:12:09
7 Sara Moreira, POR, 01:12:09
8 Jéssica Augusto, POR, 01:13:07
9 Elena Loyo, ESP, 01:15