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Chumo and Bekere take Barcelona half marathon wins

Kenya’s Victor Chumo and Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere took their respective titles at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday (16). On a perfect day for running, the 33-year-old Chumo succeeded after a thrilling sprint finish in 59:58 while Bekere was an overwhelming victor to smash her career best by exactly four minutes to 1:06:37.

Paced by the Kenyan pair of Cornelius Kiplangat and Boniface Kibiwot, the men’s race kicked off at a moderate tempo as the large main group went through the opening 5km in 14:18. The rhythm then heated up over the following kilometres, with the lead pack reaching 10km in 28:04, well on schedule to attack the course record of 59:44 set in 2018. Six men remained in contention: Kenyans Chimo and Moses Koech, Uganda’s Stephen Kissa and Mande Bushendich, and Eritrea’s Abrar Osman and Ethiopia’s Tesfahun Alkanew.

Once the pacesetters dropped out the six athletes took turns with the pacing duties. First Chumo took command, then Osman, the only athlete with sub-60 minute credentials, pushed hard. Even Kissa moved to the front on his first ever try over the distance.

By 15km, the clock was reading a promising 42:24 with six men still battling it out. But the speed decreased a bit over the following kilometres with a 54:14 19km split eliminating any chance of a course record. Over the closing kilometre, Chumo, Koech and Kissa proved to be the strongest and pulled away targeting a sub-one hour run.

Chumo prevailed at the tape in 59:58, clipping five seconds from his previous best with Kissa and Koech next in 1:00:00, an interesting debut for the Ugandan and a career best for the 22-year-old Kenyan by 11 seconds.

“I have been looking for an under 60 minute time for so long so I’m very satisfied with my win and my clocking today,” Chumo said.

Bekere dominates women’s race, Dereje falters

Held simultaneously with the men’s race, the women’s contest began conservatively as the four-woman leading group went through the opening five kilometres in 15:51. That pack included pre-race favourite Roza Dereje, her fellow Ethiopians Ashete Bekere and Asnakech Awoke plus Kenya’s Dorcas Kimeli. Always paced by Daniel Feyisa, the quartet passed 10km in 31:32 for a 15:41 5km split, but not fast enough to threaten either the world record or the course record set by Florence Kiplagat in a then world record of 1:05:09. By then, Britain’s Charlotte Arter travelled in fifth (32:390 alongside Ugandan Rachael Chebet while Germany’s Alina Reh ran 22 seconds behind that duo.

After another 15:51 5km section for an overall 47:23 15km split, the big surprise came when Dereje simply could not live with the pace and began to struggle leaving behind any chance of a podium finish. Simultaneously, Bekere, the winner at the last Berlin marathon in a PB of 2:20:14, began to push hard and Kimeli soon lost ground. Awoke managed to keep up with her compatriot for some 1200m, Bekere’s relentless pace proved too fast. She broke from Awoke with three kilometres remaining and finished unchallenged in 1:06:37 for a massive PB. Awoke’s 1:07:04 was also a lifetime best by over three minutes. Kimeli completed the podium six seconds behind Awoke in 1:07:10 also a career best for the Kenyan. As for Dereje, she finished two minutes behind the winner in 1:08:38.

Arter managed to hold off the late challenge by fast-finishing Reh to finish fifth in 1:10:01, seven seconds ahead of the German.

(02/16/2020) Views: 407 ⚡AMP
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Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona Half Marathon

The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the...

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Ethiopia’s rising star Roza Dereje is the one to beat at the Barcelona half Marathon

The 22-year-old Roza Dereje won last year with a 1:06:01 lifetime best and seems ready to improve on that performance. She also bettered her marathon career best thanks on  December 1 to 2:18:30 to win the Valencia Marathon. That time placed her among the top-ten on the all-time world list.

“I want to run as fast as possible on Sunday,” Dereje said. “I have my own dream and a clear goal in terms of clocking but I need to see how I feel on the race day. If the weather is fine I hope you all can enjoy something special.”

The world record is 1:04:51 set by Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in 2017. Dereje will be paced by her compatriot Daniel Feyisa.

Her stiffest opponent should be fellow Ethiopian Zeineba Yimer who holds the quickest time among the entrants, 1:05:46 for third at Ras Al Khaimah exactly one year ago. The 21-year-old made a remarkable marathon debut in Valencia last December clocking 2:19:28 for fifth, the same place she managed at the last World Half Marathon Championships also held in Valencia. Yimer enjoyed a fine 2019, clocking a 10,000m career best of 30:46:24 in Hengelo and a winning 46:52 time at the Valencia 15km in June.

Kenya’s Dorcas Kimeli should also be a factor. The 22-year-old belongs to the exclusive sub-30 minute 10km club, breaking that barrier in Prague last September when she ran an impressive 29:57 to finish second. More recently, Kimeli finished second in a cross country race in Thika where she beat world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei by a couple of seconds.

Germany’s Melat Kejeta will try to give a scare to the theoretical podium placers. The 28-year-old Ethiopian-born runner boasts a 1:08:41 best for the distance and made a solid marathon debut in Berlin last September clocking 2:23:57.

Two other women have dipped under 70 minutes, Germany’s Alina Reh and Britain’s Charlotte Arter. Reh, a multiple European U20 and U23 champion with a 1:09:31 best, will contest her third race over the distance while Arter, 28, returns to the setting of her 1:09:41 best.

(02/14/2020) Views: 669 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona Half Marathon

The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the...

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Eric Kiptanui of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje take the crown in Barcelona Half-Marathon

Eric Kiptanui and Roza Dereje raced to victories at the Dreams Mitja Marato Barcelona,  road race, on Sunday.

While the 21-year-old Dereje was an overwhelming winner ahead of her fellow Ethiopian Dibabe Kuma in the women’s race, Kiptanui took the top spot over Ethiopia’s Abebe Degefa after a thrilling sprint in the men’s.

The women’s race had been billed as a serious attack on the world record by the rising star Dereje. She came up short, but still clocked 1:06:01 to clip a full minute from her previous lifetime best. The Ethiopian came within 16 seconds off the national record set by Senbere Teferi in Ras Al Khaimah.

Paced throughout by her fellow Ethiopian Fekele Darsema, Dereje’s early rhythm proved too slow for the record assault, with the opening five kilometres covered in 15:37, some 15 seconds behind world record pace. By then only Kuma and Kenyan Lucy Cheruiyot remained with Dereje, with Kenya’s Sally Chepyego another 12 seconds back and her compatriot Celestine Chepchirchir a distant fifth, 48 seconds behind the leaders.

The following five kilometres section was covered slightly faster, with the leaders reaching the 10-kilometre point in 31:10 with Dereje at the front and Kuma, last year’s runner-up, tucked in behind. Chepyego travelled 24 seconds adrift.

Dereje found the required world-record pace (3:04/3:05/km) over the following kilometres to pass 15 kilometres in 46:51. Kuma couldn’t respond to that turn of speed, dropping some 30 metres behind with Chepyego now 1:16 behind Dereje.

Another 15:52 five kilometres split led the leader through 20 kilometres in 1:02:43, keeping prospects alive for a sub-1:06 performance. Dereje stepped up the pace in the waning stages but nonetheless just missed the barrier, clocking 1:06:01.

(02/11/2019) Views: 1,180 ⚡AMP
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Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona Half Marathon

The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the...

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Ethiopian runner Roza Dereje Bekele will attack the world record at the Mitja Marato de Barcelona 2019

Roza Dereje Bekele from Ethiopia announced her participation in the Barcelona Half Marathon, which will be held in Barcelona on February 10, with the aim of breaking the world record.

The current record is held by the Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, with a time of 1:04:51, achieved in Valencia on October 22, 2017.

The young Ethiopian runner, only 21 years old, has run 1:07:00, achieved April 2018 in Istanbul. She had surprised most everyone clocking 2:19:17 for the marathon in Dubai on January 26, 2018.

The Ethiopian runner who is training very well has decided to try to beat the half marathon world record and then run the Marathon in London.

"I have chosen Barcelona because it is one of the fastest races in the world and has an excellent organization," Bekele explained through a statement from the organizers of the Barcelona event.

(01/29/2019) Views: 1,336 ⚡AMP
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Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona Half Marathon

The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the...

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The four white Kenyans..It's all in the training..sacrifice and quality...

"These four runners listed below live and spend long seasons in Kenya at altitude, training with Africans with their custom meals, sleeping in their cots, training at 6am, fasting, and eating ugali The White Kenyans.

1. Julien Wanders this morning ran 60:09 at half marathon in Barcelona, a new Swiss record

2. Zane Robertson from New Zealand ran a 59:47 Half

3. Sondre Moen 2:05:48 Marathon From Norway, European record

4. Jake Robertson 60:01 Half Marathon in Houston From New Zealand

"They sacrifice themselves like the Kenyans... they run like the Kenyans... It doesn't matter that their skin is not black. It's all in the training. It's the sacrifice and the quality."

(02/11/2018) Views: 1,730 ⚡AMP
by Gonzalo Sukunza
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Wasihun breaks course record in Barcelona and Wanders sets new Swiss Record

Ethiopia’s Mule Wasihun took an overwhelming victory at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, winning the IAAF Gold Label road race comfortably in a course record of 59:44 on Sunday. The 24-year-old took 20 seconds off the previous course record set five years ago by Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge. Bahrain’s Tejitu Daba confirmed her status as pre-event favourite in the women’s race to win in 1:08:36, one second ahead of Ethiopia’s Dibabe Kuma, who took 41 seconds off her career best. Switzerland's Julien Wanders, 21, who has been training in Kenya finished second this morning in a Swiss record and European U23 record of 60:09! (02/11/2018) Views: 1,037 ⚡AMP
Fast Half Marathons
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Mitja Marato Barcelona will be upgraded as an IAAF Gold Label road race

Two years ago the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona was ‘just’ an IAAF Bronze Label road race. After being upgraded to a Silver Label 12 months ago, this year’s event on Sunday 11 February will be held as an IAAF Gold Label road race after being upgraded again. The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona, is held every March. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. (02/09/2018) Views: 961 ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Florence Kiplagat is not ready to run the Barcelona Half

Former Chicago marathon champion Florence Kiplagat of Kenya will not defend her Barcelona Half Marathon title on Feb 11. Kiplagat, who broke the world record in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015, has not fully recovered from her muscular crump injury. "I have been in rehabilitation to get the muscular crump injury healed. I have started light training," she said. In 2015, Kiplagat set a new world record of 1:05:09 in Barcelona by shaving three seconds off her previous world record of 1:05.12.The world record has since been improved by Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei to 1:04:51 in Valencia. (02/02/2018) Views: 1,027 ⚡AMP
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