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Kenyan Barnabus Kiptum was so far ahead of his rivals that the runner-up thought he had won

Kenyan Barnabus Kiptum was so far ahead of the chasing pack in Sunday’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon that runner-up Dawit Wolde of Ethiopia thought he had won.

After finishing third in last year’s race, 32-year-old Kiptum was out of sight and out of mind as he blazed to a new course record. The Kenyan said it felt “amazing” to win such a prestigious race in an “iconic” city like Hong Kong.

“I’m so happy,” said Kiptum. “Hong Kong is one of my favourite places, full of good people. The race had so many [people watching] and this is how races, competitions, should be.

“I had so much fun and I hope I will be invited next year to defend my record.”

What makes Kiptum’s record of two hours, nine minutes, 21 seconds even more impressive is that he was able to achieve it despite rain, wind and humidity.

“I actually thought the weather was better than last year, when it was very hot,” he said. “If you want to be a champion runner, you have to be ready for any kind of weather.”

Kiptum beat the previous record of 2:10:31 set in 2017 by Ethiopian Melaku Belachew and he claimed a US$10,000 bonus for beating a 2:09:30 target set by organisers.

He takes home US$65,000 in prize money for his efforts, the most he has ever won in his career. But he insisted that he was more pleased with the result.

“I always just want to be number one, and to finish ahead of all these good runners, I am just so happy,” said Kiptum, who was surprised at how dominant his performance was.

In fact, he was so far ahead of his competitors that second-placed Wolde did not realise he had only finished second.

“I did not even know the Kenyan guy had won already,” said the 27-year-old Wolde, who hails from Ethiopia. “I only realised when they gave me a medal that said second place and I said ‘what is this?’ I thought I had won.”

Wolde finished with a time of 02:11:11, just one second ahead of countryman Tsegaye Getachew Tadese and three seconds ahead of Kenyan Joel Kemboi Kimurer.

“I thought the fight was between us three, and I thought I won the fight,” Wolde said.

Thetrio take home US$30,000, US$15,000, and US$10,000 respectively – all decided by a few seconds’ difference.

“I am still happy with the result, and it’s not about the money, it’s the challenge,” said Wolde. “Last time I was here, I finished closer to 20th because I got injured. So I told myself, next time I come here I’m going to give a better performance. My dream is to win this race.”

(02/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

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Volha Mazuronak of Belarus blew away the field at the Hong Kong Marathon winning by nearly four minutes

Volha Mazuronak of Belarus finished nearly four minutes ahead of her closest rival clicking 2:26:13 at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. Mazuronak also smashed the women’s record of 2:29:37 set by Ethiopia’s Gulume Tollesa last year also claimed the US$10,000 bonus for finishing under 2:28:00.

“I feel really tired. It was a very different course from what I’m used to,” said Mazuronak. “It was very challenging because of the humid air and strong wind, but I am very happy because today I was victorious.

“I really like Hong Kong,” she added. “The food is very good.”

Mazuronak, 29, has a long-distance pedigree, with a best of 2:23.54, a victory in the European women’s marathon in Berlin last year in 2:26.22, and a fourth place in the 2016 London Marathon among her achievements.

Kenya’s Eunice Chebichi Chumba finished second in 2:30:01, and Ethiopia’s Jemila Wortesa came third in 02:32:06.

(02/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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High humidity is going to be a challenge for the 74,000 runners at Hong Kong Marathon

Weather forecast says the maximum humidity could reach 95 per cent with temperatures set to reach 21 degrees Celsius (70F).  Experts have warned that high humidity will affect the runners at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon as the annual distance running showpiece takes to the streets on Sunday morning.

Professor Patrick Yung Shue-hang, a sports medicine expert and chairman of orthopaedics and traumatology at the Chinese University, said the conditions would be difficult for the runners.

“The main worry is the high humidity,” he said. “Coupled with a relatively warm temperature, there may be difficulties in heat dissipation for the runners, and a possibility of higher energy demand, which may result in fatigue, muscle cramp, syncope or even heatstroke.”

The doctor said the participants should wear sports gear that allows good ventilation for heat evaporation and replace fluids regularly during the race because extra energy will be required in the humid conditions.

“Runners should always pay attention to their physical condition. If it gets worse during the race, they better stop and rest,” he said. 

(02/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

more...
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Former Kenyan runner Eunice Chumba now representing Bahrain going for the win at Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon

Former Kenyan runner Eunice Chumba hopes changing her allegiance will also change her luck at this weekend’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon when she races under a Bahrain flag.

The 25-year-old, who won a silver medal in the women’s 10,000 metres at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta, is one of the favourites in the women’s marathon, at least on paper. She has a personal best time of two hours, 24 minutes and 27 seconds set in the Rotterdam marathon in 2017. And she has intimate knowledge of the Hong Kong course having competed here in 2013 when she finished fifth racing under the Kenyan banner.

“I moved to Bahrain in 2014 and then represented the country in the Asian Games and many other events,” said Chumba. “I know the Hong Kong course is very tough as it goes through tunnels and bridges but we are used to it when we train in Kenya.

“The only worry will be the weather as I know the humidity will be very high on Sunday and therefore I can’t be too aggressive in the race.”

Chumba said she would love to win in Hong Kong for Bahrain but says she won’t target a personal best because of the weather. “I only hope to beat my previous time [2:33] with an improved result this time,” she said.

Her major rival is likely to be Volha Mazuronak of Belarus, who has a personal best of 2:23:54 which she set while finishing fourth at the London Marathon in 2016.

(02/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

more...
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Defending champion 45-year-old Kenneth Mburu Mungara wants to defend his title at Kong Kong marathon this weekend

In the men’s marathon, defending champion Kenneth Mburu Mungara will attempt to make it two in a row – at the age of 45. “Age is absolutely not a problem for me,” said the Kenyan. “I want to win in Hong Kong again or else I won’t be coming back [here].”

Mungara, who will race for the third time in Hong Kong, said because runners have to negotiate “too many corners” it would make it tough for any runner.

The Kenyan runner has a personal best time of 2:07:36 but clocked only 2:13:38 when he won here last year. “The humidity is very bad and all the runners will face difficulties,” he said. “My target is always to do better than last time and I am confident of making it even though I will be a marked man as defending champion.”

2016 Hong Kong champion Mike Kiprotich, also from Kenya, is another medal contender as well as fellow countryman Tuwei Dickson, who won the 2018 Seville Marathon in a time of 2:08:18.

Meanwhile, organisers of the event said about 400 runners from the half-marathon challenge group have requested to move to a slower group after a tougher time limit was set just a week before the event.

(02/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

more...
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Leanne Szeto wants to become the top Hong Kong women’s finisher at the Standard Chartered Half

Leanne Szeto Shiu-yan is ready to put her sports running gear saga behind her as she aims to become the top Hong Kong women’s finisher again in the half marathon in Sunday’s Standard Chartered Marathon.

A prominent triathlete, Szeto received police enquiries after an anonymous complaint was made against her running with a customised sports gear that incorporated the Hong Kong bauhinia during a trail running race in Braemar Hill in mid-January.

Her jersey design could have been in violation of the laws governing the use of the regional flag and emblem. The runner put her story on social media and gained wide support from netizens.

But the 27-year-old, who will be taking part in her third half-marathon race in the annual Hong Kong showpiece, wants put her recent troubles behind her and is fully focused on running a big race over the weekend.

“I won’t use the same gear [with the Hong Kong bauhinia] at the stage as I did not want other people to make it a big thing out of it,” she said at a media function on Wednesday. “Also, the gear manufacturer may not be willing to produce this gear anymore.

“I want to focus on the race on Sunday as this is a big event in Hong Kong. My target is to finish faster than last year.”

She clocked 1:23:29 in the 2018 event which is still her personal best.

(02/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

more...
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Hong Kong Marathon is increasing the size of their field by 4,000 in their 2019 event

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon will welcome 4,000 more marathon runners in 2019 as organisers seek to foster a long-distance running culture in town. The annual Hong Kong showpiece, which will take place on February 17, will cater to a record 22,500 marathon runners, while the total number of runners will remain at 74,000. “There is always a great demand for the event and most of all we want to develop a culture for marathon running,” said Hong Kong Athletic Association chairman Kwan Kee. “The annual event has been running over 20 years and it’s time we produced more runners in the marathon category.” (08/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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44-Year-Old Former Barber Wins Hong Kong Marathon

When Bonsa Dida Direba was born in 1995, Kenneth Mburu Mungara was already 21 years old. But it was experience rather than youth that won the day at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon Sunday. The 44-year-old Kenyan, a former barber who was only enticed to the sport in his 30s when he cut the hair of other runners, finished in 2:13:38, with Direba just five seconds back. Ethiopia’s Gulume Tollesa defended her title with a course record of 2:29:37. (01/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Belachew will defend his crown at hong kong marathon

Melaku Belachew danced on the finish line after breaking the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon men’s record last year – and we could get to see some more of his moves on Sunday if all goes according to plan for the Ethiopian. “I feel good now, I will win this – again!” he finished the 2017 race in 2:10:31, said as he gave a thumbs-up sign. Belachew was feeling confident. “Yes, I will do it, I will break my course record,” he added. “I think everything will be OK, I am in good condition.” (01/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Belachew and Tollesa aim to retain their titles

Defending Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon champions Melaku Belachew and Gulume Tollesa are aiming to win back-to-back titles. The Ethiopian duo were unexpected winners in close races 12 months ago, but on Sunday they will line up for the race with the added weight of expectation. Belachew will be joined by fellow Kenyans Robert Kwambai and Joseph Aperumoi, who have set respective PBs of 2:08:14 and 2:08:26 within the past three months, 2016 Hong Kong winner Mike Mutai. (01/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Zero Yu Hin-wa ready for Hong Kong marathon

Short-distance specialist Zero Yu Hin-wa knows this weekend’s race is another chance to impress the national team coaches. For many, the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon is meant to be a bit of fun or a personal challenge. But for short-distance specialist Zero Yu Hin-wa, the pressure is on in front of watchful eyes. "my aim is to run 1:08:00 or 1:09:00. There’s time to improve and I want to be a Hong Kong representative at this distance,” he says. (01/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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