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Lonyangata and Melese regain Shanghai Marathon titles in the heat

Thirty-eight thousand runners from 85 countries and regions beat the heat to challenge their physical limits as the 2019 Shanghai International Marathon began at 7am on Sunday from the Bund.

About 25,000 took part in the marathon, while 6,000 were featured in the 10km race and another 7,000 in the 5.5km run. Kenya’s Paul Lonyangata and Yebrgual Melese of Ethiopia took the men’s and women’s title at the Shanghai International Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday (17).

The 26-year-old Lonyangata broke clear before 35km and led alone the rest of the way to hit home with a clocking of 2:28:11, 57 seconds shy of the 2:07:14 course record he set in the Chinese city in 2015.

“It has been five years since I run here last time,” Lonyangata said. “I noticed nobody had broke my course record so I came back to break it myself. But the weather was much hotter than five years ago.” 

The temperature was around 15c degrees when the race started but rose quickly. When the men’s leaders reached 20km 1:00:12, it was already near 20c (69F) degrees.

A group of 12 runners led the race to a fast pace in the early stages, reaching 5km in 14:57 and 10km in 29:58. When the leaders passed the 15km mark in 45:01 they were already 47 seconds ahead of the course record, and by 20km they were still six seconds ahead. 

But the pace slowed after 20km and when the last pace maker left the seven-runner leading pack, the leaders were 43 seconds behind the record time.

“I think the pacers stopped too early. One of the two pacers stopped after 11 kilometres and the other left by 25km. Because of the weather and the pace maker, I did not break the course record,” said Lonyangata, who decided to control the race with his own pace after 30km and pulled clear by 35 km before breaking the tape in style to celebrate his first marathon victory of the year.

Hassan El Abbassi of Bahrain, who set the Asian record of 2:04:43 last year in Valencia, finished second in 2:08:58, followed by Lmenih Getachew of Ethiopia with a clocking of 2:09:14.

Defending champion Yebrgual Melese also managed to confirm her favourite status in the women’s race although the wining time of 2:23:19 is more than two minutes slower than the 2:20:36 course record she achieved 12 months ago.

As the fastest entrant in the field with a personal best of 2:19:36 set last year in Dubai, the 29-year-old Melese was among a six-athlete leading group in the first half of the race. When she arrived at the 25km water stations in 1:24:12, only countrywoman Waganesh Mekasha managed to keep up with the chasers trailing 16 seconds behind.

After another four kilometres, the 27-year-old Mekasha began to fade gradually. Melese was leading by 14 seconds at 30km and kept widening the gap until wrapping up her fourth title over the classic distance.

Mekasha, a 2:22:45 performer, finish second in 2:25:37 while Ethiopia’s Obse Abdeta, 19, finished third in 2:27:47 in her marathon debut. 

(11/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon has established itself as the marquee running event on China’s Marathon calendar. Every November, tens of thousand participants run passing the many historical places of this city such as Bund Bull, Customs House, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Exhibition center, Jing’an Temple, Nan Pu Bridge, Lu Pu Bridge, Long Hua Temple, Shanghai Stadium. The course records...

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Course record-holders Yebrgual Melese and Paul Lonyangata, will return to the Shangai Marathon this weekend

Ethiopia’s Melese won comfortably last year, taking more than a minute off the course record with 2:20:36.

A past winner of the Houston and Prague marathons, Melese set a PB of 2:19:36 when finishing third in Dubai last year, but her form in 2019 hasn’t been quite so good. The 29-year-old finished 11th in Tokyo in March in 2:31:40 but last month clocked a promising 1:09:02 at the Lisbon Half Marathon.

Fellow Ethiopian Waganesh Mekasha is another title contender. The 27-year-old reduced her PB by more than three minutes to finish fourth in Dubai in January in 2:22:45 and went on to clock 2:23:19 at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon in Dongying seven months ago.

The Ethiopian contingent also includes Fantu Jimma, a 32-year-old with a PB of 2:26:14 set four years ago in Xiamen. It will be Jimma’s fourth marathon of the year, having won in Wuhan in 2:28:25 and finished third in Xiamen and Lanzhou. She was also victorious at the Changzhou West Taihu Lake Half Marathon last month.

Lonyangata is among the main favorites in the men’s race. The 26-year-old Kenyan set his PB of 2:06:10 when winning the 2017 Paris Marathon, the first of two victories in the French capital. He set the Shanghai course record of 2:07:14 in 2015 and has a season’s best of 2:07:29, set when finishing third in Paris.

Bahrain’s Hassan El Abbassi is another top contender. The 35-year-old, who set his marathon PB of 2:04:43 in Valencia last year, is the 2014 Asian Games 10,000m champion and 2018 Asian Games marathon silver medalist. More recently he finished seventh in the marathon at the World Championships in Doha in 2:11:44 but is still in pursuit of his first international marathon title.

Kipsang Kipkemoi will compete in China for the first time in his career. The 29-year-old Kenyan clocked his PB of 2:08:26 in Seville in 2017 and came close to that in April when he finished second in Madrid with 2:08:58. Sunday’s race will be his fourth marathon of the year as he has also competed in Mumbai and Cape Town but didn’t better 2:10 on either occasion.

Other sub-2:10 runners in the field include Kenya’s 2011 world silver medalist Vincent Kipruto and Ernest Ngeno, a 2:06:41 performer who finished second in Shanghai two years ago.

(11/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon has established itself as the marquee running event on China’s Marathon calendar. Every November, tens of thousand participants run passing the many historical places of this city such as Bund Bull, Customs House, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Exhibition center, Jing’an Temple, Nan Pu Bridge, Lu Pu Bridge, Long Hua Temple, Shanghai Stadium. The course records...

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David Eikelboom has sights set on Shanghai International Marathon

It is off to China for Yukon runner David Eikelboom who will be competing in the 2019 Shanghai International Marathon on November 17.

In May, Eikelboom raced the BMO Vancouver Marathon and came seventh overall out of 2,766 athletes. He came fourth in his age group 30-34 and was the second Canadian to finish.

Both the Shanghai and Vancouver marathons have an agreement to send the top runner from each country to their respective races. The top Canadian finisher in Vancouver was Robin Watson, who declined the invitation to China, opening up the door for Eikelboom.

Eikelboom’s time in the Vancouver Marathon was two hours, 25 minutes and 26 seconds - only 16 seconds behind Watson. His final time in B.C. was far lower than his previous personal best.

“I was nine minutes faster than my best time,” said Eikelboom about his Vancouver time.  In Shanghai, Eikelboom said he hopefully shave off another five minutes to get into the two hours, twenty minutes range.

“Opportunities really open up in the 2:20 range,” said Eikelboom. “Pan Am Games and World Championship qualifying times are 2:16 and being 2:20 is a good stepping stone. Being in that time, I am capable of that.”

The Shanghai marathon will feature 38,000 runners and will be the second-largest race Eikelboom has ever competed.

“In 2014 I ran the Boston Marathon a year after the Boston bombing,” said Eikelboom. “In Boston, you are a bit of a sardine but I never found it too crowded.”

This race will begin with the elite athletes at the front of the pack. “If you go out reasonably hard, the top 20-30 will have about 20-30 second gaps,” said Eikelboom. “There won’t be too many people around me.”

Eikelboom described the Shanghai Marathon as a “top-level race” comparable to marathons in Berlin and Toronto.

“The winning time was 2:09:19 last year,” said Eikelboom. “That’s pretty premium.”

Eikelboom said he is excited about China. “China was never a country I thought I need to visit,” said Eikelboom. “I’m only there for five days so I won’t get to do the whole tourist thing and see the sights.”

The race will take the runners past some landmarks like the Bund Bull, Shanghai Museum, and the Longhua Temple, to name a few, but Eikelboom said he doesn’t remember “a single thing from any of my races.”

At the start of a new running season, Eikelboom said he addresses his areas of need and works on making it an area of strength. He referred to this as training cycles and has been currently working on his sprinting.

“I’m a terrible sprinter and since July and August I was doing a lot of training sprinting,” said Eikelboom. “Sprinting won’t help with a marathon but it is a good predictor of performance and running economy. It’s about becoming more efficient.”

Before his sprint training, Eikelboom was working to improve his lactate threshold, which is a good indicator of overall fitness and aerobic capacity.

On top of the physical training, Eikelboom also said he has done mental training as well.

(10/31/2019) ⚡AMP
by John Tonin
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Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon has established itself as the marquee running event on China’s Marathon calendar. Every November, tens of thousand participants run passing the many historical places of this city such as Bund Bull, Customs House, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Exhibition center, Jing’an Temple, Nan Pu Bridge, Lu Pu Bridge, Long Hua Temple, Shanghai Stadium. The course records...

more...
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Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese broke the women’s course record by more than a minute at the Shanghai International Marathon on Sunday

Melese´s compatriot, Abdiwak Tura took the men’s title following a breath-taking home stretch battle, securing the first Ethiopian double in the 19-year history of the IAAF Gold Label event. Running in cold and drizzly conditions with temperatures ranging from 10 to 12 degrees (50-54 degrees F), Melese built up a comfortable lead in the final five kilometers to wrap up the win in 2:20:37, beating the course record of 2:21:52 set three years ago by compatriot Tigist Tufa. The 28-year-old led a group of seven and maintained a fast pace in the early stage of the race, passing 10 kilometres in 35:30 and 20 kilometres in 1:06:30. The group was cut to three women at the 25-kilometre water station, which they reached in 1:23:35, and Muluhabt Tsega of Ethiopia quit the title contest after another two kilometres. The in-form Melese, whose PB of 2:19:36 from Dubai earlier this year made her the fastest entrant, kept pushing ahead. After several unsuccessful mini-breaks, she finally pulled away from Azmera Abreha to achieve the sole lead after 36 kilometres and never looked back before breaking the tape in style to celebrate her first marathon title in three years. Eight of the top 10 finishers in the women’s race achieved a lifetime best. The 20-year-old Abreha, also from Ethiopia, improved her PB by more than three minutes to finish second in 2:21:51. Third place went to Kenya’s Betty Lempus, who improved her PB by nearly six minutes to 2:23:41. In the men’s event, two sub-2:05 runners turned the race into a last 100-metre sprinting contest, with Tura rallying to edge fellow Ethiopian Tsegaye Mekonnen in front of the finish. The 21-year-old Tura clocked 2:09:20 to claim the title, 4:36 shy of his career best of 2:04:44 set in Dubai earlier this year. Mekonnen, a 2:04:32 performer, finished with the same clocking but had to settle for second place. Dickson Tuwei of Kenya finished third in 2:09:21. (11/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sub-2:20 runners Sarah Chepchirchir and Yebrgual Melese will face one another in the women’s race at Shanghai International Marathon

Ethiopia’s Melese trimmed more than three minutes off her PB to finish third in Dubai in 2:19:36. She also clocked 2:27:47 to finish second at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon in Dongying, China. Sunday’s race will be her third marathon of the year. The 34-year-old Chepchirchir of Kenya is the second-fastest woman in the field. Following a solid season in 2017 when she registered her big PB of 2:19:47 from her victory at the Tokyo Marathon and successfully defended her title in Lisbon, Chepchirchir will be keen to continue her winning streak in her first race in 2018. Kenya’s Flomena Cheyech, 36, is the other title contender whose PB is faster than the 2:21:52 course record in Shanghai set by Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia three years ago. Cheyech clocked a PB of 2:21:22 to finish third in Paris last April and finished fourth over the classic distance at the IAAF World Championships in London. Her most recent performance was a 2:33:01 clocking at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in March. Helen Tola Bekele, who will celebrate her 24th birthday next week, is another woman to watch. The rising Ethiopian has improved her PB each season since making her marathon debut in 2015, recently reducing it to 2:22:48 in Berlin. (11/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Lydia Cheromei is ready to return and win the women's title at the Shanghai Marathon

Kenya's veteran road racer Lydia Cheromei is hopeful her return to the Shanghai International Marathon on November 18 might see her strike gold. The 41-year-old had to settle for silver last year, but started 2018 on a high note, winning in Rabat in a time of 2:28:48. Two weeks ago, she was seventh in the Lisbon half marathon. Now she has returned home to Eldoret to continue her training before heading to China. "I loved the fans and the challenge I received in Shanghai last year," said Cheromei. "On returning to China I want to win like I did at the 2017 Lanzhou Marathon. I know the caliber of opposition in Shanghai will be tough, but that is what inspires me." Cheromei will be up against former Commonwealth Games marathon champion Flomena Cheyech, who has shaken off a foot injury and is back in contention. "I have been out of competition for a long time because of the injury I picked up in Japan. But it has since healed and I am back in competition. Shanghai is the next stop for me in November, and hopefully I will be able to run well and win gold," said Cheyech. (10/31/2018) ⚡AMP
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Former Commonwealth Games marathon champion Flomena Cheyech has confirmed she will be competing at the Shanghai Marathon on November 18

Cheyech has had torrid season this year and barely held on to finish the Nagoya Marathon in March, finishing 19th in a slow time of 2:33:01. However, the 36-year-old has since shaken off the fatigue and injury that slowed her down and is focused on winning in China. "I have been out of competition for long because of the injury I got in Japan. But it has since healed and I am back in competition," said Cheyech after finishing second in 71:05 in the Eldoret Half marathon. Now she is focused on winning in Shanghai next month. "I normally run a few road races to prepare my body and gauge how good it is for the marathon distance. Shanghai is the next stop for me in November, and hopefully I will be able to run well and win the gold medal," she added. Ethiopian athletes have provided the stiffest challenge to Kenya's dominance, and Cheyech believes she is over the worst of her injury concerns and is ready to rise up again. She will be up against last year's champion Lydia Cheromei and Margaret Agai. Ethiopia are expected to field last year's runner-up Hirut Tibebu Damte and Gulume Tollesa Chala. (10/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Injury has forced Paris Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata to not run Chicago

The former Lisbon marathon champion was supposed to give Olympic champion Mo Farah and last year's runners-up Abel Kirui a run on the Chicago marathon course on Oct. 7. However, a late injury in his training means the 25-year-old will have to bite his time before debuting on the US soil. With the Shanghai marathon coming up on Nov. 18, Lonyangata remains hopeful he will get the nod from both the medical team and the race organizers to return to China where he won in 2015. "The plan was to compete in Chicago, but I then sustained an injury that has made it hard for me to train. My doctors advised me against putting it under pressure in training so I had to ease off," he said Sunday in Eldoret. "Hopefully, I will be back in training soon and be fit to run. I think returning to Shanghai will be a good idea. If invited, I want to go back and win." Already former world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto (2:02.57) has confirmed participation in this year's Shanghai marathon as he makes another comeback after his initial attempt in Vienna, Austria in April saw him limp out with injury after the 21km mark. In April, Lonyangata became the first man to win back-to-back Paris marathon titles since Steve Brace of Britain in 1989 and 1990. He won the Paris title in two hours, 6 minutes and 25 seconds and failed in attaining his second target that was to improve his personal best, which he had set in 2017 when he finished in 2:06:10. "It was a wonderful experience to win in Paris. But that is in the past. I want to look forward and excel because I want to represent the country in the Olympics and the World Championships," he added. (09/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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World marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto says he has overcome his injury worries and hopes to make another comeback, this time running at the Shanghai Marathon in China in November

Kimetto wants to set a new all-time best mark in China as he seeks his first win in marathon since 2016. Speaking in Iten, Kimetto, 35, warned his rivals that it will take more than their skills to improve on his world mark. "I am in right frame and shape to return to marathon running. Shanghai in my next stop in Nov," Kimetto told Xinhua on Thursday in Iten. Compatriots Wilson Kipsang (2:03:13) and Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge (2:03:05) like patient vultures have been circling the carcass that has been his world record for the last three years. The two will be in Berlin next week eyeing shutter the record but Kimetto is sitting pretty saying the record is safe. "It depends on their strategy. They are the fastest in the last two years and it depends on their pace makers. If they go past the 30km mark in under one hour and 27 minutes, then they will be able to break the record. But it is fast running and needs a lot of endurance," he warned. Kimetto, who has not finished a marathon since London in 2016, suffered another unhappy day in Vienna, Austria in April when he aggravated his calf muscle injury. He has been in and out of hospital in Germany and hopes when he returns to Hamburg next week for review, he will be given the all clear signal. "I am going for a review in Germany next week. I have just cleared my long run now and am resting. There has not been any pain my leg and I believe it is clear sign I am getting back to my best form," he said. "I will be running in Shanghai in November and I want to check with the doctors to be certain I am ready for the race. If Kipchoge and Kipsang fail to break the record, I want to tell them I will be back next year and will run even faster. But for now, winning Shanghai Marathon is my main concern," said Kimetto. (09/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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