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Schneider Electric Paris Marathon

Sunday October 17th, 2021
Paris, France
Distance: Marathon

The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris offers a unique opportunity to make the city yours by participating in one of the most prestigious races over the legendary 42.195 km distance. The race was scheduled for April 5, 2020 but was postponed until October 18, 2020 due to the Coronavirus.

The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris is now one of the biggest marathons in the world, as much for the size of its field as the performances of its runners. Each finisher comes home with incredible memories.

Nearly 145 nationalities and 60,000 runners come to tackle the most fabled long-distance discipline in athletics. In April, this race across Paris, taking in the Champs Elysées, the Bois de Vincennes and Boulogne, offers an incomparable backdrop, with spectacular views and landmarks all along the route.

The Salon du Running fair at Porte de Versailles, taking place three days before the marathon, is also an occasion not to be missed, a gathering of over 80,000 visitors with more than 200 professionals from the running world.

The marathon itself combines personal challenge with the chance to discover one of the world's great cities. The athletes will pound the pavements of the French capital's most famous avenues and plazas, from the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, where they take the start, towards the Place de la Concorde. From the Rue de Rivoli they'll then sweep through the Place de la Bastille. After a glimpse of greenery in the Bois de Vincennes, views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower point the way home. Every year, this unique and spectacular setting attracts more and more entrants. There are now more than 23,000 runners from abroad, making up 40% of the field.

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Schneider Electric Paris Marathon

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Race Date: 11/15/2020 Distance: Marathon
Division Time Name Age Home
Male 2:07:05 Abrha MILAW 30 Ethiopia
2nd Male 2:07:25 Asefa MENGISTU 34 Ethiopia
3rd Male 2:07:29 Paul LONYANGATA 27 Kenya
4th Male 2:07:46 Morris GACHAGA 24 Kenya
Female 2:22:47 Gelete BURKA 33 Ethiopia
2nd Female 2:22:52 Azmera GEBRU 27 Ethiopia
3rd Female 2:23:35 Azmera ABREHA 21 Ethiopia
4th Female 2:23:41 Clemence CALVIN 29 France
Division Time Name Age Home
Schneider Electric Paris Marathon



Ethiopia’s Abrha Milaw and Gelete Burka prevailed at the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, whose 43rd edition took place on Sunday (14).

Milaw clocked 2:07:05 for a comfortable 20-second victory over compatriot Asefa Mengistu while Burka crossed the line in 2:22:47, five seconds clear of another Ethiopian, Azmera Gebru.

With his victory, Milaw put an end to Paul Lonyangata’s dominance in Paris, the 26-year-old Kenyan who was looking for a third successive victory in the French capital, a would-be record. Lonyangata had picked up a slight injury last week when he slipped and fell in training, but it wasn’t a big enough setback to keep him from the start line.

A small group of four runners, composed of three pacemakers and Milaw, reached five kilometres in 14:50, five seconds ahead of a pack of about 10 which included Lonyangata and others favourites.

Then, the chase group joined the four leaders, upping the rhythm. Spearheaded by Kenya’s Cosmas Lagat, the lead pack hit the 10km checkpoint in 29:31, before reaching the 15km mark in 44:23.

Ten men reached the halfway point in 1:02:15, suggesting a possible finish time of 2:04:30, well under the course record of 2:05:03 set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2014.

Lonyangata then made his first move to test his opponents before falling back into the fold.

The lead group reached 30km in 1:29:34, when pacemaker Cosmas Lagat dropped off. That left Milaw, Lonyangata, Morris Gachaga, Yitayal Atnafu, Asefa Mengistu (the fastest man of the field courtesy of a 2:04:06 PB), Barselius Kipyego and Polat Arika still in contention for the victory.

Much like a track cycling contest, the race became tactical with the leaders watching each other while shifting gears several times.

But overall, the lead pack slowed, covering the 5km section between the 30 and 35 km markers in 15:45, the slowest split of the race.

Milaw made a big surge with three kilometres remaining, building a four-second gap on Lonyangata and Mengistu, and nine on Gachaga, at 40km, hit in 2:00:30.

He forged on unchallenged to secure the 2:07:05 victory, clipping 20 seconds from his previous best and sealing a second successive French road success after his win at the Nice-Cannes Marathon last November.

“The conditions were tough,” Milaw simply said.

Mengistu, a past winner in Seoul, Cape Town and Bloemfontein, came home second in 2:07:25, well outside his personal best, while Lonyangata rounded the podium in 2:07:29, 1:19 slower than the time he clocked last year.

Morhad Amdouni, the European 10,000m champion, was the first Frenchman, finishing eighth in 2:09:14 in his debut over the distance.

Burka impresses with blistering kick

The women’s race was as fierce as expected.

The lead pack of a dozen passed the opening 5km in 17:30, suggesting a finish time of about 2:27:00. The group then ramped up the pace, covering the next 5km stretch in 16:40 to reach 10 kilometres in 34:13.

Six women remained in contention for the victory at the halfway point, hit in 1:11:08. Soon after the 30km point, Kenyan Sally Chepyego made a move that broke up the field behind her. Only the Ethiopian trio of Burka, Gebru and Azmera Abreha were able to sustain her relentless pace.

The foursome hit the 35km checkpoint in 1:57:52, 30 seconds ahead of Clémence Calvin of France and 56 seconds ahead of Betty Lempus. Chepyego still led the pack in the waning stages, but continually shadowed by Burka, Gebru and Arebha.

But Chepyego eventually faded while Burka, the 2008 world indoor 1500m champion, launched a furious attack in the final kilometre. Gebru followed suit, but couldn’t maintain contact as the finish line came into view.

Burka, who was the fastest woman the field, lived up to her favourite’s role to capture her second marathon victory in 2:22:47. Grebu finished five seconds in arrears as Abreha came home third in 2:23:35, six seconds ahead of Calvin.

Quentin Guillon for the IAAF

Leading results:
1. Abrha Milaw (ETH) 2:07:05
2. Asefa Mengistu (ETH) 2:07:25
3. Paul Lonyangata (KEN) 2:07:29
4. Morris Gachaga (ETH) 2:07:45
5. Barselius Kipyego (KEN) 2:07:57
1. Gelete Burka (ETH) 2:22:47
2. Azmera Gebru (ETH) 2:22:52
3. Azmera Abreha (ETH) 2:23:35
4. Clémence Calvin (FRA) 2:23:41
5. Sally Chepyego (KEN) 2:23:54

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