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Benard Cheruiyot Sang and Diana Chemtai Kipyogei of Kenya won in the men’s and women’s category respectively in Sunday’s Istanbul Marathon.

The world’s only intercontinental marathon, in addition to being in the World Athletics' Gold category, the 42.195-kilometer (26.2-mile) event was run without spectators this year to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

Sang completed the race at 2 hours, 11 minutes and 49 seconds, his personal best. He was followed by fellow Kenyan Felix Kimutai at 2:12:00. Ethiopia's Zewudu Hailu Bekele took third, finishing in 2:12:23.

Diana Chemtai Kipyogei won the top women's title by completing the race in 2:22:06. Ethiopia's Hiwot Gebrekidan and Tigist Memuye secured the second and third spots with running times of 2:24:30 and 2:37:52 respectively.

In a separate event for local athletes, Yavuz Ağralı won the marathon's Turkish championship by completing the course at 2:19:23. In women’s, Tubay Erdal, who took sixth in the general category, won the Turkish championship by finishing the race in 2:41:11.

The marathon reversed its course for the first time this year. Instead of starting from the Asian side of the city, athletes took off from the European side. Another change to this year’s race was crossing the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge over the Bosporus twice this year.

The marathon began at Yenikapı, a venue allocated for large-scale rallies, on the city’s European side, to give more space to runners amid the pandemic. Athletes then crossed a route straddling in front of the city’s ancient city walls before reaching the iconic Galata Bridge. They then headed to Beşiktaş and climbed Barbaros Boulevard, a long uphill stretch needed to reach the bridge. After a U-turn at Altunizade on the Asian side, they returned to Europe to wrap up the race.

The pandemic forced organizers to scrap the 15-kilometer race and an 8-kilometer “public” run. Instead, participants were given the opportunity to “Run Alone, With Us” in which they could take part in virtual races of 5, 10 or 15 kilometers.

There were also a pandemic-limited number of participants, as only 4,000 people ran the race compared with around 37,000 last year.

Athletes were required to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between them at the starting line and took off at five-second intervals in different groups to prevent crowding. They were only allowed to remove their masks after the marathon began.

 

(11/09/2020) Views: 157 ⚡AMP
by Daily Sabah
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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Ethiopia's Hailu Zewdu and Diana Chemtai lead their respective fields for the Istanbul Marathon as the World Athletics Gold Label road race series resumes in Turkey's largest city on Sunday

Zewdu made his marathon debut at the Dubai Marathon in January, clocking 2:06:31 to finish 10th. He'll be joined by compatriot Tsegaye Getachew, the next fastest in the field with a 2:06:50 career best, set at the Valencia Marathon last year where he finished eighth. Earlier in the year Getachew won the Dalian Marathon in 2:11:25, his first and to date only international victory over the distance.

Felix Kimutai, with 2:09:23 credentials, leads the Kenyan contingent. The 31-year-old won here in 2018 and finished third one year ago.

Cosmas Birech, who clocked 2:08:03 to win the Rome Marathon in 2018, is also in the field, along with Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist over 5000m, who'll be making his marathon debut.

Local hopes will rest with Yavuz Agrali, who set his 2:10:41 lifetime best in Seville in February.

Chemtai, who made her marathon debut last year, leads the women's field. The 26-year-old Kenyan clocked 2:22:07 at last year's Ljubljana Marathon, finishing third. She has a 1:07:07 half marathon best from 2018.

She'll face a pair of formidable Ethiopians, Hiwot Gebrekidan and Yeshi Kalayu Chekole. Gebrekidan has a 2:23:50 career best set in Guangzhou last year while Chekole, 23, has a 2:24:28 best set in Abu Dhabi, also one year ago.

Strict safety measures in place

Organisers have put several measures in place to ensure the safety of all runners, beginning with a cap of 3000 participants.

The start and finish area was moved to a massive open space to ensure a safe distance between the runners both before and after the race. The area will be secured, barring entry to anyone without a clearance code provided by Turkey's Ministry of Health. A negative test for Covid-19 was required to enter the race.

All participants, including the elite athletes, will be required to wear face masks at the start, and will be able to dispose of them in designated boxes at 20 metres, 200 metres and one kilometres from the start.

The gun will sound the start of the elite race at 9am. The mass race will follow with groups of four runners starting every five seconds.

The change in course means that this year, instead of starting on the Asian side of the city and finishing on the European side, runners will first cross from Europe to Asia and then back again. With the change to a much more difficult course, organisers don't expect the race records - Daniel Kipkore Kibet's 2:09:44 set in 2019 and Ruth Chepngetich's 2:18:35 from 2018 - to be under threat.

The accompanying shorter races that regularly attract up to 70,000 participants were cancelled this year.

(11/07/2020) Views: 209 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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2020 Istanbul Marathon is set to be run despite coronavirus crisis

Are you ready to be one of the 4,000 marathon runners that challenge all odds?

The Istanbul Marathon, which is the only intercontinental marathon in the world and is in the Gold Category, was among the organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that left its mark in 2020 with many mandatory changes from participation conditions to the track.

In 2020, when many major marathons were canceled or run only by elite athletes, we meticulously completed all the preparations for the Istanbul Marathon, which we organized for the 42nd time. In this direction, we decided to run the N Kolay 42nd Istanbul Marathon on November 8 with only 4,000 42k runners on the “pandemic special track”!

The Istanbul Marathon, where tens of thousands of Istanbulites come together with Public Run every year and turn it into a feast, will be run in 2020 with just 4,000 marathon runners who won’t give up and go forth, even without spectator support!

Instead of the track that started with an intercontinental run on the 15th of July Martyrs Bridge on the Anatolian side, this year it starts from the Yenikapı Event Area, which allows all participants to take full health and hygiene measures.

The 42K runners who will participate in the N Kolay 42nd Istanbul Marathon started in Yenikapı for the first time this year and toured the Historical Peninsula, and after Dolmabahçe and Beşiktaş Barbaros Boulevard, the Bosporus from Europe to Asia and from Asia to Europe will mark a first by passing!

So, are you ready to run this special year and proudly carry the medal that only 4,000 people can have?

(11/04/2020) Views: 200 ⚡AMP
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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Kenyan Daniel Kipkore Kibet on Sunday won the 41st Istanbul Marathon men's title breaking the course record

Ethiopian athlete Hirut Tibebu bagged the women's title in the run.

Kibet finished the transcontinental race in 2:9:44. Ethiopian athlete Yitayal Atnafu Zerihun came second at 2:9:57 and Kenyan Peter Kwemoi Ndorobo third at 2:10:9.

Tibebu won the women's title finishing at 2:23:40 with Ethiopian athlete Tigist Abayechew trailing at 2:24:15. Kenyan Maurine Chepkemoi came third at 2:24:16.

Turkish athletes Polat Kemboi Arikan came sixth at 2:12:57 in the men’s title and Busra Nur Koku came eighth in the women’s title.

A total of 63 elite athletes joined the Vodafone 41st Istanbul Marathon, which started at 06:00GMT from Istanbul's Asian side and ended in the European part of the city. The motto of the 2019 marathon is "Istanbul is yours. Don’t stop, run!"

The sports event has three categories, 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) marathon, 15-km run (9.3-mi), 8-km (4.9-mi) FunRun,  as well as a wheelchair competition.

In the 15-km run, Kenyan athlete Mathew Kimeli won the men’s title, while the women's title was bagged by Ethiopia's Tsigie Gebreselama.

Some 37,000 runners from 106 countries competed in the marathon, with 100,000 people attending the 8-km FunRun.

Wife of Paraguay's ambassador to Turkey Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta also joined the 15-km race.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency after the run, Celestina Diaz de Valdez said that it was her first time at the Istanbul Marathon and it was a "wonderful" feeling to cross to Europe from Asia.

She recalled that she previously joined the races in many countries such as Paraguay, Korea, US and South Africa, adding that she also plans to take part in next year's Istanbul marathon.

Valdez was the first woman who competed in Istanbul's race from Paraguay.

(11/04/2019) Views: 607 ⚡AMP
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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Kenyan Felix Kimutai set a course record of 2:09:57 at the Istanbul Marathon last year, and this year he aims to retain Instanbul Marathon title

The 30-year-old won the Dongying Marathon earlier this year in 2:09:23, taking more than half a minute off his previous PB set when winning in Istanbul 12 months ago. But he may need to produce another lifetime best if he is to become the first back-to-back men’s winner since 2011.

Former track specialist Yitayal Atnafu of Ethiopia is the fastest in the field, having clocking 2:07:00 in Paris last year. The 26-year-old returned to the French capital earlier this year and recorded a season’s best of 2:08:31.

Based on this year’s times, Turkey’s Polat Kemboi Arikan leads the field. The two-time European 10,000m champion set a PB of 2:08:14 in Paris back in April, finishing just ahead of Atnafu, but earlier this month he withdrew from the marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

Aside from Kimutai, two other men in the field know what it’s like to triumph in Istanbul. 2016 winner Evans Kiplagat of Azerbaijan and 2015 champion Elias Chelimo – both sub-2:08 performers at their best – return to the Turkish city. Kiplagat also recently withdrew from the World Championships marathon, while Chelimo has a season’s best of 2:11:41, set in Hong Kong.

Fellow Kenyans Cosmas Birech, Joseph Aperumoi and Hillary Kipchumba all have PBs inside 2:09 and so have the ability to contend for a podium finish. And watch out for Bahrain’s Abdi Ali Gelchu and Ethiopia’s Musa Babo, who have been in PB form this year, clocking 2:09:44 and 2:09:55 respectively.

Three pacemakers will lead the field through 30km on schedule for a 2:09 finish, so it’s possible that Kimutai’s course record could fall on Sunday.

Visiline Jepkesho has the strongest credentials of the entrants in the women’s race. The 29-year-old has the fastest PB (2:21:37) and season’s best (2:22:58) and outside of major championships has finished in the top four in all of her marathons to date.

Former track specialist Yitayal Atnafu of Ethiopia is the fastest in the field, having clocking 2:07:00 in Paris last year. The 26-year-old returned to the French capital earlier this year and recorded a season’s best of 2:08:31.

Based on this year’s times, Turkey’s Polat Kemboi Arikan leads the field. The two-time European 10,000m champion set a PB of 2:08:14 in Paris back in April, finishing just ahead of Atnafu, but earlier this month he withdrew from the marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

Aside from Kimutai, two other men in the field know what it’s like to triumph in Istanbul. 2016 winner Evans Kiplagat of Azerbaijan and 2015 champion Elias Chelimo – both sub-2:08 performers at their best – return to the Turkish city. Kiplagat also recently withdrew from the World Championships marathon, while Chelimo has a season’s best of 2:11:41, set in Hong Kong.

Fellow Kenyans Cosmas Birech, Joseph Aperumoi and Hillary Kipchumba all have PBs inside 2:09 and so have the ability to contend for a podium finish. And watch out for Bahrain’s Abdi Ali Gelchu and Ethiopia’s Musa Babo, who have been in PB form this year, clocking 2:09:44 and 2:09:55 respectively.

Three pacemakers will lead the field through 30km on schedule for a 2:09 finish, so it’s possible that Kimutai’s course record could fall on Sunday.

Visiline Jepkesho has the strongest credentials of the entrants in the women’s race. The 29-year-old has the fastest PB (2:21:37) and season’s best (2:22:58) and outside of major championships has finished in the top four in all of her marathons to date.

But Jepkesho, who represented Kenya at the 2016 Olympics, contested the marathon at the World Championships just five weeks ago, finishing a respectable 15th in 2:46:38, so she may not be at her freshest on Sunday.

Merima Mohammed’s PB of 2:23:06 was set back in 2010, but the Bahraini runner is still highly competitive. She has a season’s best of 2:27:34 and won the Jilin Marathon in June.

Ethiopian duo Hirut Tibebu and Fatuma Sado are also expected to challenge. Tibebu finished second in Seoul in March, beating Mohammed and coming within 30 seconds of her PB with 2:24:05. Sado, meanwhile, is a 2:24:16 performer at her best and will be keen to improve on her third-place finish from Istanbul last year.

Three other women in the field head to Istanbul off the back of recent lifetime bests. Kenya’s Angela Tanui and Maurine Chepkemoi clocked respective PBs of 2:25:37 and 2:26:16 in Vienna seven months ago, while Ethiopia’s Sifan Melaku ran a PB of 2:26:46 in Seville in February.

The pacemaker in the women’s race will aim to put the leading athletes on schedule for a 2:21 finish.

(11/01/2019) Views: 809 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

more...
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Kenyan Felix Kimutai set a course record at the Istanbul Marathon on Sunday

Kenyan Felix Kimutai won the 40th Annual Istanbul Marathon men's race by breaking the course record on Sunday. JKimutai clocked 2:09:57.  A record number of runners of nearly 30,000 competed in the world's only intercontinental marathon in Istanbul on Sunday. The Vodafone 40th Istanbul Marathon started on the Asian side of Istanbul's July 15 Martyrs' Bridge, formerly known as the Bosphorus Bridge. The finish line is located in the historic Sultanahmet Square on the city's European side. This year's theme was: "Run Istanbul for a healthy future."  (11/12/2018) Views: 870 ⚡AMP
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Ruth Chepngetich runs the 7th fastest women’s marathon time of all times Sunday in Turkey

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich stormed to a Turkish all-comers record at the 40th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon on Sunday November 11, clocking 2:18:35 at this IAAF Gold Label Road Race.  With a 2:22 pace initially in mind to try breaking the 2:22:36 race record she set in her debut last year, Chepngetich surprised at Saturday’s technical meeting when the defending champion asked that intermediate times be calculated for a sub-2:19 run. Having noted those, the 24-year-old went in pursuit of exactly what she targeted. Leading from the gun, Chepngetich opened her bid with a 16:13 opening five kilometers, already four seconds ahead of her compatriot Margaret Agai, with Fatuma Sado of Ethiopia following behind closely. While Agai and Sado did not attempt to maintain the pace, Chepngetjch reached the 10K mark in 31:59. Agai was 30 seconds behind at that point, with Sado another 27 seconds adrift with Ethiopian Zerfie Limeneh on her shoulder. Chepngetich confidently passed the 15-kilometres marker in 48:15 before reaching the halfway in 1:08:22, ahead of world record pace. She increased the gap to nearly three minutes at 30K where she passed at 1:37:42, and cruised onwards to her 2:18:35 performance to end the day in a tie as the seventh fastest women’s marathoner of all-time. Agai was a distant second in 2:25:04 with Sado third in 2:31:05. (11/11/2018) Views: 935 ⚡AMP
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Marius Kimutai and defending champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya will headline the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

The Istanbul Marathon is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. As in previous years, the race starts on the Asian side of the city and finishes on the European side at the Hippodrome, one of the oldest race tracks in the world. The favorite to arrive first in the historical peninsula is Kimutai who can boast a 2:05:47 personal best, achieved in Rotterdam two years ago. Having finished his recent seven marathons well under 2:10, the Kenyan is also a candidate to break the 2:10:42 race record set by Kenyan Vincent Kiplagat in 2010, a performance that is also the Turkish all-comers record. Kimutai is likely to be challenged by Ethiopia’s Getu Feleke whose career best is 2:04:50 set at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. More recently, Feleke’s clocked 2:07:46 at the Frankfurt Marathon last year. However, 21-year-old Bahraini Abdi Ibrahim Abdo, who has a fresh PB of 2:08:32 from Rome this year, is expected to be a strong contender as well. The field also includes winners of the most recent two editions, 2017 champion Abraham Kiprotich of France and 2016 champion Evans Kiplagat of Azerbaijan. Last year’s runner-up Jacob Kendagor of Kenya also returns. Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco will be another athlete to watch. On the women’s side, race record holder Chepngetich returns to defend her title. The Kenyan was a surprise winner in her debut last year, smashing the previous record in 2:22:36. The 24-year-old finished second in 2:22:59 at the Paris Marathon earlier this year. Chepngetich may face tough competition from her compatriots Margaret Agai and Bornes Kitur, with lifetime bests of 2:23:28 and 2:24:19 respectively. The women’s race will also feature Merima Mohammed of Bahrain, and Diana Lobacevske of Lithuania, 17th in Rio Olympic Games. (11/09/2018) Views: 1,048 ⚡AMP
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Organizers are expecting a record number of runners at this year's Istanbul Marathon

The 40th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon, the world's only transcontinental race, will be held on Nov. 11. "We are seeing a lot more interest compared to last year. The registration for the 10-kilometer and the 15-kilometer events are already closed. We are expecting a record number of runners this year," Vodafone Turkey Deputy CEO Hasan Suel told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday. "The Istanbul Marathon attracts a great deal of attention from foreign and Turkish runners," he said. "This is the only marathon in the world where the runners cross two continents. The runners also run to see the world. This marathon also gives the participants a chance to see the city." The marathon will start on the Asian side of Istanbul's July 15 Martyrs Bridge, formerly known as the Bosporus Bridge. The finish line will be at the historic Sultanahmet Square on the city's European side. Recalling this year's motto "Run Istanbul for a Healthy Future," Suel said, "Running has become much more popular in Turkey." Around 30,000 runners including 3,500 foreigners from more than 100 countries will take part in the marathon. The event features the marathon, 15K, 10K and 8K.  (11/02/2018) Views: 1,208 ⚡AMP
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