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Sydney Marathon has been announced as an Abbott World Marathon Majors candidate race

The Blackmores Sydney Marathon has officially been announced as a candidate race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) – the first marathon in Oceania to be nominated.

The announcement marks the commencement of a multi-year evaluation process by AbbottWMM.

To become a Major, the Sydney Marathon will be required to meet strict criteria over a three-year period and if successful, will join an esteemed group of races – Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, TCS London Marathon, BMW-BERLIN Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon – as a new member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2025.

“We have always believed that the Blackmores Sydney Marathon has what it takes to be an Abbott World Marathon Major, so becoming one of only three candidate races is a tremendous honor”, said Wayne Larden, Race Director, Sydney Marathon.

“The Sydney Marathon is part of Australia’s largest running festival, the Sydney Running Festival, attracting thousands of participants to run across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and finish under the sails of the Sydney Opera House each year.

“We can now take a huge leap forward and become one of the most iconic running events in the World and achieving this status would be a tremendous boost for Sydney and Australia.  Australia is a proud sporting nation, and we want to call on all of Australia’s runners from all over the country and runners from overseas to support the Sydney Marathon achieve the criteria to become an Abbott World Marathon Major in Sydney.”

Whilst the Sydney Marathon already meets many of the requirements set by the Abbott World Marathon Majors and continual enhancements will be made to the race over the next three years including significant growth of our marathon finishers.

“We are pulling out all the stops to achieve these goals and greatly appreciate the support of the running community across Australia and Overseas, as well as the support from our partners, sponsors, staff and volunteers who are helping to make this dream a reality.” Larden said.

The Sydney Marathon and its candidacy for the Abbott World Marathon Majors series is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres said the candidacy acknowledges the Sydney Marathon as a world-class event with one of the most spectacular marathon courses on the planet.

“No city in the world has a better combination of natural beauty, love of sport and iconic infrastructure for hosting a marathon than Sydney. The Sydney Marathon is recognized as one of the world’s best marathon events, uniting people of all backgrounds to enjoy an unforgettable running experience. The World Marathon Majors candidacy recognizes Sydney as a premier destination to join the great marathon cities of the world, while showcasing Sydney’s natural beauty and desirable lifestyle to a global audience.

“Achieving the status of an Abbott World Marathon Major would cement Sydney’s position as one of the world’s great sporting event cities. It would attract thousands of visitors to the Harbour City and play a key role in the NSW Government’s ambition to make Sydney and NSW the major events capital and premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific,” Mr Ayres said.

A legacy event of the Sydney Olympics, the Sydney Marathon will attract some of the world’s greatest long-distance runners and wheelchair athletes to Sydney throughout the candidacy period. The presence of these elite athletes is expected to draw significant interest in the event, lower current finish times and act as a drawcard for age group runners.

The candidacy also sees Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company, become a stakeholder in the Sydney Marathon. The organization will provide strategic input on both media rights and sponsorship strategy whilst also supporting the event throughout the evaluation phase.

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Senior Vice President Personal & Corporate Fitness at Infront, said: “Sydney is an amazing destination and has an iconic marathon with a strong legacy.  Infront is delighted to form part of the efforts to make it an AbbottWMM event in the coming years. The event is already recognized as a success, and we will leverage our expertise, networks, and insights to elevate the event to the next level. We are proud to work in close partnership with the Abbott WMM team, as well as the Sydney team including all stakeholders to make the dream of establishing a WMM event in Sydney, Australia come true.”

CEO Athletics Australia, Peter Bromley added: Athletics Australia is extremely proud to be the owners of Australia’s greatest running festival. A legacy event of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, it has a long and prestigious history. Building on that, this candidacy opportunity will deliver significant growth to the event and showcase the sport of Athletics far more broadly. We look forward to assisting the event achieve the criteria and become an Abbott World Marathon Major.

Dawna Stone, recently appointed Abbott World Marathon Majors CEO said, “The Abbott World Marathon Majors are delighted to welcome the Sydney Marathon into the candidate process from 2022. This presents an exciting opportunity to expand our impact into Oceania and further our mission to create, grow and support opportunities for all to discover the power of the marathon community. We look forward to working closely with the team in Sydney as we start this journey together!”

The marathon is part of the Sydney Running Festival which boasts incredible courses that take in Sydney’s most scenic and iconic landmarks. The Sydney Marathon provides runners with the unique opportunity to run over the spectacular Sydney Harbour Bridge, traffic-free, before crossing the finish line surrounded by the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

In addition to the Sydney Marathon, Cape Town’s Sanlam Marathon and China’s Chengdu Marathon are currently part of the AbbottWMM candidate process. Only three candidate spots are available.

The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival including the Sydney Marathon will take place on Sunday September 18, 2022.  Entries are open at sydneyrunningfestival.com.au.

(07/28/2022) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Sydney Marathon

Sydney Marathon

The Sydney Marathon is a marathon held annually in Sydney, Australia. The event was first held in 2001 as a legacy of the 2000 Summer Olympics, which were held in Sydney. In addition to the marathon, a half marathon, 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) "Bridge Run", and a 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) "Family Fun Run" are also held under the banner...

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Course records smashed Sunday morning at the Sydney Marathon

Felix Kiprotich and Stellah Barsosio have smashed the men's and women's marathon course records at the Sydney Running Festival.

Pre-race favorite Kiprotich took almost a minute and a half off the men's record, becoming the first person to break 2:10 for the Sydney Marathon with a winning time of 2:09:49 as he breasted the tape at the Sydney Opera House forecourt. 

In a quick race in perfect conditions, second placed Michael Kunyuga and Japan's third-place finisher Saturo Sasaki also ran under the previous course record of 2:11:18, set by Gebo Burka in 2014. 

Last year's winner Elijah Kemboi finished fourth in 2:13:55 - 42 seconds faster than his victorious time in 2018. 

The women's record fell by even more, with Barsosio finishing alone in 2:24:33, which was good enough for eighth place overall.

That's an incredible 3:33 faster than the previous record (2:28:06), set by Makda Harun in 2017.

Second placed woman Josephine Chepkoech also run under the previous record, finishing in 2:26:43, while the third placed woman - Tejitu Chalchissa - finished in 2:28:22.

In the half marathon, Ryota Komori won in 1:05:00, beating Thomas Do Canto by 32 seconds.

Belinda Martin won the women's half in 1:14:50, ahead of Rebecca Lowe in 1:17:04 and Karinna Fyfe in 1:18:09.

(09/14/2019) Views: 1,529 ⚡AMP
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Sydney Marathon

Sydney Marathon

The Sydney Marathon is a marathon held annually in Sydney, Australia. The event was first held in 2001 as a legacy of the 2000 Summer Olympics, which were held in Sydney. In addition to the marathon, a half marathon, 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) "Bridge Run", and a 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) "Family Fun Run" are also held under the banner...

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Sydney marathon organizers are determined to see the course records go when this year’s race is run on Sunday

The IAAF Gold Label road race, centerpiece of the mass participation Sydney Running Festival that has attracted almost 40,000 entrants, is not as fast as some courses, but any road course in Australia’s biggest city boasting one of the world’s iconic harbors, must be a compromise between aesthetics and degree of difficulty.

Nonetheless, organizers are confident the course records – 2:11:18 by Ethiopia’s Gebo Gameda Burka in 2014 and 2:28:04 by Ethiopian-born Australian resident Makda Harun Haji in 2017 – can be substantially improved. They have assembled a field and will provide the pacing to make that happen in this year’s race.

Australian 10,000m record holder Ben St. Lawrence will spearhead the pacers endeavoring to pilot the leading male runners through the first 25km on pace to break the men’s record. Corresponding assistance should see the leading women – including Harun Haji – through half-way on the required pace.

“We want to see the records broken this year,” race director Wayne Larden said on Friday, “and we think we have the depth in both fields for that to happen.”

Felix Kiprotich looks the pick of the men’s field. The 30-year-old Kenyan runner comes with strong current form. He recorded his personal best – 2:05:33 – in winning Korea’s Daegu marathon this April, so he is fast and in a winning mood. He also brings consistency, having four sub-2:07 times on his c.v.

Kiprotich has bettered 2:07 in four of the past five years and ran sub-2:08 in the only year he did not. He is also familiar with the region, his best performances all coming in Asia.

Elijah Kemboi won last year’s Sydney race by over two minutes in 2:13:33. Before last year he had run sub-2:10 for the previous six years. Besides his win in Sydney, he was second in Linz and won in Macao, so his consistency remains at a high level. Another Kenyan, Kiprotich Kirui, has bettered 2:10 each of the past three years including a 2:09:05 for third place in Madrid earlier this year.

Japanese runners have a good recent record in Sydney, despite usually not arriving with the strongest credentials among the elite runners. Satoru Sasaki was third in the always-strong Fukuoka marathon in 2015 in his PB 2:08:56 and finished eighth there last year in 2:11:40. He and younger compatriot Ryo Kuchimachi – 2:13:30 in Tokyo this year – will bear watching.

Kenyan duo Stellah Barsosio and Josephine Chepkoech head the elite athletes in the women’s field.

Each comes with strong recent form. Barsosio was second in this year’s Rotterdam marathon in her fastest career performance of 2:23:36. The 26-year-old was fifth in Paris the previous year and also boasts a half-marathon best of 1:09:31.

Chepkoech, 30, is a little faster than her compatriot over the half distance, with a best of 1:08:53. That dates back to 2013, however, but her 2:25:20 performance in the Barcelona marathon earlier this year suggests she remains a strong contender.

Harun Haji holds the race record set in 2017, the second time in succession she triumped in Sydney. In both victories, she broke away in Centennial Park significantly before the half-way point where the tree cover and bends in the road make it relatively easy to “disappear” from the chasers. She does not have compelling domestic form coming into the race, but it will be interesting to see whether she, or any of her rivals, adopt similar tactics.

Ethiopian pair Hirut Alemayehu and Gebeyanesh Ayele will also be in the hunt. Ayele has a personal best of 2:26:54 from Hengshui just one year ago, while Alemayehu’s best is 2:30:09. Both have half-marathon bests of just over 70 minutes, so need to be respected.

Tejita Daba, Bahrain, and Bornes Kitur, third in Osaka this year and with a 2:24:19 PB from Prague last year, are also more than capable of winning in a very even women’s field.

(09/13/2019) Views: 1,209 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Sydney Marathon

Sydney Marathon

The Sydney Marathon is a marathon held annually in Sydney, Australia. The event was first held in 2001 as a legacy of the 2000 Summer Olympics, which were held in Sydney. In addition to the marathon, a half marathon, 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) "Bridge Run", and a 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) "Family Fun Run" are also held under the banner...

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Kenya´s Elijah Kemboi was victorious in the Blackmores Sydney Marathon

Kemboi broke a run of three successive wins by Japanese athletes in taking the men’s race while Kibarus produced the third-fastest winning women’s time on the Sydney course, which starts with an up-and-over run over Sydney Harbour Bridge and produces several other tough challenges along the route to the finish at the Opera House. Favouritism is often a heavy burden in a marathon, but Kemboi and Kibarus bore the mantle lightly. Each had seen off their closest rivals by the 35-kilometre point and ran to victory unchallenged over the final stages. With three sub-2:08 marathons to his name among seven sub-2:10 performances, Kemboi looked the class of the men’s field. In the marathon, however, you have to execute your race plan before the race executes you. The just-turned 34-year-old dominated the race from the start in North Sydney to the finish at the Opera House. It had come down to a race of three very shortly after the start as the lead group was whittled down from 10, to six and then to Kemboi, Uganda’s Thomas Ayeko, and Birhanu Addisie of Ethiopia. Addisie never looked too interested in sharing the leading duties, but Kemboi motioned the younger Ayeko, the Commonwealth Games 5000m fourth-place finisher and with a 1:00:26 half marathon to his credit, to the front several times in the first 30 kilometres. (09/17/2018) Views: 1,460 ⚡AMP
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Uganda’s Thomas Ayeko will be chasing the race course record at Sydney Marathon

Uganda’s Thomas Ayeko best marathon is only 2:12:04, but he has a 1:00:26 half-marathon and a 27:40.96 10,000m (11th in the 2013 World Championships) to his name and was fourth in the 5000m at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. The elite men at the upcoming Syndey marathon will be chasing the race record of 2:11:18 set by Ethiopia’s Gebo Gameda Burka in winning the 2014 race. The race records are modest by the highest international standards, but any road course in Australia’s biggest city is a compromise between aesthetics and degree of difficulty. If you want pancake-flat, better look somewhere else. There are faster runners, but recent history of the men’s race suggests Japanese duo Norikazu Kato and Takumi Honda should be in the lead pack. Since Burka’s record winning performance, there have been three successive Japanese winners. Hisanori Kitajima won in 2015, followed by Tomohiro Tanigawa a year later and then Shota Hattori last year. Sydney will be just the second marathon for Honda. He made his debut in Nobeoka earlier this year, finishing second in 2:12:18. Several others in the field have faster personal bests, but he looks competitive on 2018 performances. Likewise, Kato’s personal best of 2:12:48 came in this year’s Beppu-Oita race in Japan. Sydney will be his first significant race outside Japan. Kenya’s Elija Kemboi is entitled to race favouritism, however. Kemboi has run 2:11:15 or faster each year from 2011 to 2017 and was second in Linz this year in 2:11:30. He has run three sub-2:08 marathons, with a best of 2:07:34, among his seven sub-2:10 performances. If he is in that sort of form again now, he will be very hard to beat and might be the most likely to try an early breakaway. The other sub-2:10 men in the field are Ethiopia’s Birhanu Addisie, who ran 2:09:27 in finishing second in Rome in 2016, and Kenya’s Cosmas Kimutai, who ran 2:09:25 on debut back in 2010, but nothing of similar quality since. (09/14/2018) Views: 1,390 ⚡AMP
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