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Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco breaks Men´s course records in Beirut

Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco ran a course record at the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon clocking 2:10:42, an IAAF Silver Label road race. The women’s race also saw some swift performances, with Ethiopia’s Medina Deme Armino taking victory in 2:29:31 ahead of Nazret Weldu Gebrehiwet, who clocked an Eritrean record of 2:29:48 in second. But it was El Aaraby who stole the show, the 28-year-old surprising the East African contingent with his surge early in the race, taking full advantage of the hesitancy in the pack among his rivals, with several leading contenders instead keeping their eyes trained on Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion who was running his first marathon since April 2017. After struggling with injuries on the build-up, Korir was far from his best, coming home seventh in 2:14:18, but given his shortened preparation the 35-year-old was upbeat about performance. El Aaraby ran behind one of the pacemakers until halfway, which he reached in 1:05:07, then ran most of the second half alone. Back in the pack, Korir’s rivals were still watching his every move, paying him more respect than he wanted as the Moroccan out front built an 88-second lead in the first half. His advantage was closed down in the final miles, but El Aaraby was still all alone at the finish, hitting it in 2:10:41 to take a single second off the event record set by Dominic Rutto of Kenya in 2017. “It’s a big result for me to be first in the World Military Championship and to break the course record,” said El Aaraby. “This result came after hard training and big preparation.” (11/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenyans Rebecca Korir and Ednah Mukwana will headline the women´s field at Beirut Marathon

Kenyans Ednah Mukwana and Rebecca Korir  will headline the elite women field at the 16th edition of the  Beirut Marathon on November 11. Mukwana has a best of 2:30:24 which she ran to take victory at the Zhengzhou Marathon earlier this year, while Korir has a best of 2:29:16, which she ran to finish third at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2016. Another who will be in contention is Lithuania’s Raza Drazdauskaite, a three-time Olympian who clocked 2:29:29 to finish 26th at the London Games in 2012. Belarus’s Sviatlana Kudzelich comes in with impressive form at the shorter distances. The 31-year-old was a European indoor silver medallist over 3000m in 2015 and earlier this year she set her half marathon personal best of 1:11:45 in Prague. Ethiopia will have a trio of strong contenders in the form of Almensh Herpha, Medina Deme Armino and Nigist Muluneh Desta. Herpa took victory at the Lagos City Marathon on her most recent outing over this distance, while the Ethiopian has previous form at the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon, finishing third in 2016. Armino has been enjoying a breakthrough year after lowering her PB to 2:33:17 when taking victory at the Treviso Marathon, while Desta lowered her best to 2:36:54 when finishing third at the Shenzhen Marathon last December. Another potential champion is Kazakhstan’s Gulzhanat Zhanatbek, who finished 14th in the marathon at the Asian Games in Jakarta in August. There will also be a strong local contingent, with Nisrine Njeim, Nadine Kalot and Hiba Traboulsi hoping to make an impact against their international rivals. Fellow Lebanese elite athletes Chirine Njeim, Nadia Dagher and Zainab Bazzi will tackle the half marathon, where Njeim will be targeting the Lebanese record. Athletes will compete for a first prize of US $15,000 with additional time bonuses on offer. There will also be substantial prize money and time bonuses available for the first Lebanese finishers. (10/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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Wesley Korir won the 2012 Boston Marathon and wants to win this year's BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon

Wesley Korir won the 2012 Boston Marathon and has not raced since April 2017 but after taking time out from his political career, the 35-year-old is planning to get back to winning ways at next month’s race in the Lebanese capital. “Everything is going well, I’m trying to get in shape after politics and run full-time again,” said Korir. “Getting a win in Beirut will give me a boost for me as I get back to the top level.” To succeed he will have to be at his best, with Ethiopia’s Bazu Worku, who has a best of 2:05:25 and was a winner at the Houston Marathon this year, also in the field. Kenyans Ezekial Omullo and Andrew Ben Kimutai, who have both run below 2:09, are also sure to run well. Omullo is a three-time winner of the Warsaw Marathon, his most dominant win coming in 2016 when he set his current PB of 2:08:55, while in April this year he cruised to victory at the same race in 2:11:17. Kimutai is also a formidable performer, the 29-year-old finishing third at the Seville Marathon earlier this year where he set his current PB of 2:08:32. There will also be a duo of exciting prospects in Uganda’s Felix Chemonges and Morocco’s Mohamed Ahmami, who bring impressive pedigree at the shorter distances. An interesting debutant at the distance is Kenya’s Kalipus Lomwai, who was a pacemaker at the race last year but carries a classy half marathon best of 1:01:22, which he ran to win in Hamburg in July. Others of note include Bahrain’s Benson Seurei, who brings the best track pedigree to this test of endurance, the 34-year-old boasting an 800m personal best of 1:45.67. Since moving to the marathon he has proved himself a capable performer, finishing seventh in Barcelona earlier this year in 2:11:27.  Wesley will have to be really on November 11 to pull off the win against this elite group of runners.  (10/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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