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Wins for Geleta and Gebru as records fall in Seville

Ethiopia’s Deresa Geleta ran a world-leading course record of 2:03:27 to move into the top 20 on the men’s world marathon all-time list while his compatriot Azmera Gebru won the women’s race in 2:22:13 at the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday (18).

Record breaking was the theme of the day, with eight national records set as athletes chased qualification times for the Olympic Games in Paris in August.

A total of 12 men dipped under 2:08 and 14 women went sub-2:25.

Three of those national records were achieved by the athletes who next followed Geleta over the finish line: runner-up Morhad Amdouni of France, who clocked 2:03:47; third-place finisher Gashau Ayale of Israel, who ran 2:04:53, and Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy, who finished fourth in 2:06:06.

Behind Gebru, the runner-up spot in the women’s race was secured by Josephine Chepkoech in a PB of 2:22:38, while her Kenyan compatriot Magdalyne Masai was third in 2:22:51.

The men’s race started fast and the leaders reached 10km in 29:02 before the front group of nine passed the half marathon mark in 1:01:49 – 42 seconds inside course record pace.

The pacemakers dropped out at around 25km and Geleta made a move. He was chased by a group of five athletes and by 30km Amdouni had closed the gap. They ran together through that checkpoint in 1:27:44.

Geleta pulled away from Amdouni over the final 5km and won by 20 seconds in 2:03:27.

Further back, national records were also set by Sweden’s Suldan Hassan in ninth (2:07:36), Chile’s Carlos Martin Diaz del Rio in 18th (2:08:04) and Macedonia’s Dario Ivanovski in 20th (2:08:26).

Gebru was part of a six-strong women’s group that passed halfway in 1:11:22. At the two-hour mark, the race was down to three.

Gebru was the only athlete who could stick with the pacemaker over the following kilometers and she reached the 40km mark in 2:15:02.

She continued on to win in 2:22:13, 25 seconds ahead of Chepkoech. Masai finished a further 13 seconds back.

The record-breakers in the women’s race were Meline Rollin, who placed seventh in a French record of 2:24:12, and Argentina’s Florencia Borelli, who was eighth in a South American record of 2:24:18.

Prior to the race, a 42-second silence was held in tribute to marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a road traffic accident last weekend.

(02/19/2024) Views: 311 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Masai, Gebru to battle it out at Sevilla Marathon on Sunday

Vienna Marathon champion Magdalene Masai will battle Azmera Gebru at the Sevilla Marathon on Sunday even as the organizers promise to honor Kelvin Kiptum.

The organizers will observe a 42-second silence in respect to Kiptum, the world marathon record holder who died on Sunday in a road accident alongside his coach, Rwandese Gervais Hakizimana.

“Before the start of the marathon on Sunday, we will pay tribute to Kelvin Kiptum, the world record holder, and his coach, who died in a traffic accident. We will observe 42 seconds of silence, as many as kilometers of the race, in his memory,” the organizers said in a statement.

Masai won the Vienna Marathon in April last year in 2:24:12.

She also won the 2019 Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada (2:22:16) and was second at the Hasper Marathon in Hamburg, Germany, in 2:26:02.

The 31-year-old is also a 2015 World Challenge gold medallist in 3,000m steeplechase from Dakar, Senegal, where she clocked 9:31.55.

Joining her will be 2018 Paris Half Marathon champion Antonina Kwambai. She clinched the Paris title in 1:08:07.

Gebru, from Ethiopia, won silver during the 2011 World U-20 Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain, clocking 18:54.

She is also an African U-20 champion in the 3,000m from the 2011 Africa Junior Championships in Gaborone, Botswana, clocking 9:11.84.

The duo will face stern competition from Spanish champion Meritxell Soler, the Cursa dels Nassos (Barcelona) 10km champion (32:37).

Leading the elite men’s race is defending champion Gadisa Shumie of Ethiopia who won last year’s edition in 2:04:59.

He will be up against 2019 Gran Canaria Marathon champion Julius Kiprono, 2023 Hannover Marathon bronze medallist Fredrick Kibii, Collins Kemboi and 2023 Zurich Marathon San Sebastian champion Benson Tunyo.

(02/14/2024) Views: 269 ⚡AMP
by Teddy Mulei
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Zurich Marathon organizers set to honor Kelvin Kiptum and his coach on Sunday

The Zurich Marathon race organizers have announced that they will honor Kelvin Kiptum and his coach as they mark their 39th edition on Sunday.

The Zurich Marathon race organizers are set to honor world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana as they mark their 39th edition on Sunday, February 18.

In a post on their X (Twitter) handle, it was noted that they would give their last respects to the fallen marathoner who is also the world’s fastest marathoner before starting the race.

“On Sunday before the start (8h30) of the #ZurichMaratónSevilla24 we will pay tribute to Kelvin Kiptum, world record holder, and his coach, who died yesterday in a traffic accident in Kenya. We will observe 42 seconds of silence, as many as km of the race, in his memory,” the post read.

Despite Kiptum never running there, the organizers have observed the great significance the Kenyan had brought to the world of marathon running.

The reigning Chicago Marathon champion had so much potential and he would have shown us wonders, something that will never be fully realized from him.

He just turned 24 in December and he had a bright future ahead of him considering less than a year after making his marathon debut in the streets of Valencia, he ran faster than any man in history, taking over half a minute off the world record with his astonishing winning time of 2:00:35 in the Chicago Marathon last October.

In running the first sub 2:01, Kiptum bettered by 34 seconds the 2:01:09 set by five-time Berlin Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, in September 2022, running ever closer to breaking the two-hour barrier in a legitimate race.

His sudden death now ends that teasing possibility of going head-to-head with Kipchoge at the Olympic Games in Paris, France later this year, where Kipchoge is looking to become the first athlete in history to win three successive Olympic marathon titles with Kiptum appearing to be the athlete most capable of stopping him.

(02/13/2024) Views: 294 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Magdalyne Masai eyeing a great start to her season at Sevilla Marathon

Magdalyne Masai has been confirmed for the Sevilla Marathon where she hopes to start her season on a good note.

The 2023 Vienna City Marathon champion Magdalyne Masai has been confirmed for the Sevilla Marathon scheduled for Sunday February 18.

Masai will be opening her season at the event with the hope of stunning her opponents and continuing her hot streak from last season.

Last season, the Kenyan was on fire, winning the Vienna Marathon and also finishing third at the Roma Ostia Half Marathon. However, she stumbled at the Frankfurt Marathon where she finished ninth but she will be out to prove her marathon prowess once again.

She will be up against Namibian long-distance runner Helalia Johannes, who is aged 43 but still has it in her legs to run well.

The Namibian only competed once last season, at the Daegu International Marathon that saw her finish 10th and she will seek to start her season on a good note this year.

Azmera Gebru, an Ethiopian runner, has also been confirmed for the event and she will be out to give Masai a run for her money.

Gebru returns to competitive running after a mixed two years and she has her fingers crossed to run well this season.

Last year, she was in action at the Zurich Marathon in Barcelona which saw her finish sixth while in 2022, she was confirmed for the Prague Marathon where she failed to finish the race.

The race organizers of the event are still announcing the elite athletes of the event which will promise fireworks owing to the women who have already been announced.

(02/02/2024) Views: 256 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Rory Linkletter to chase Olympic marathon standard in Spain

After a short and successful stint on the indoor track to end 2023, Canadian marathoner Rory Linkletter has announced his next race, the Sevilla Marathon on Feb. 18. Linkletter’s goal is to run a personal best and book his ticket to the Paris Olympics, which will require a time of 2:08:10.

“I will be heading to Spain to run the Sevilla Marathon on Feb. 18,” Linkletter wrote on Instagram. His reasoning for choosing to race in Sevilla was to give himself ample time to recover and prepare after his 18th-place finish in the marathon at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in late August.

Although Linkletter’s time of 2:12:16 in Budapest was shy of his personal best, he referred to the race as the smartest he’s ever run, passing over 20 runners in the final 15 kilometers.

In Sevilla, Linkletter will be vying for the fastest time of his career, and he will need to hit the men’s Olympic A standard of 2:08:10. If he misses the standard, he can still be selected for Team Canada via the World Athletics rankings. He has a personal best of 2:10:24 from the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore.

“Training is going well, and I want to set myself up well for an Olympic Standard attempt (2:08:10),” Linkletter said.

The 27-year-old had the second-fastest Canadian men’s marathon time in 2023, behind only Cam Levins’s 2:05:36 in Tokyo. Levins already has one of the three eligible marathon spots for the Canadian men’s Olympic team, but with five months left to qualify, two spots are up for grabs for Canadians who meet the Olympic B standard of 2:11:30.

If Linkletter were to hit the A or B standard, he would potentially be selected for his first Olympic Games.

The Canadian-born marathoner, who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., has been working on his speed over the last few months with his coach, former U.S. marathoner Ryan Hall, to improve his speed. In early December, he became the 74th Canadian to run a sub-four-minute mile and only the second Canadian to accomplish the feat while also being a sub-2:12 marathoner.

He joined marathon record holder Levins as the only other Canadian to do so.

(01/04/2024) Views: 328 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Turkish runner flies to 15th place at Seville Marathon after surviving earthquake

Just weeks after a devastating earthquake hit her homeland, Yayla Kiliç Gönen ran the third-fastest marathon in Turkish history.

On Feb. 6, a massive earthquake hit Turkey and part of Syria, killing more than 46,000 people. When the earthquake hit, Turkish runner Yayla Kiliç Gönen was in Diyarbakir, a city in the southeast of the country.

Less than two weeks later, Kiliç Gönen traveled to Spain to race the Seville Marathon on Sunday, marking her debut at the distance. Despite the horrible tragedy that has struck Kiliç Gönen, her friends and family, and her country as a whole, she managed to run to an incredible result, placing 15th in 2:29:10, the third-fastest marathon in Turkish history.

Kiliç Gönen, who will turn 26 in March, has had plenty of success in her young career, including three Turkish national titles. Her first Turkish crown came in 2019, when she won the national 10,000m championship.

In 2020, just before the pandemic put all racing on hold, Kiliç Gönen won her second national title, this time in the indoor 3,000m. She followed that up with her third national championship win in as many years, once again claiming the 10,000m title in 2021. She has since made the jump to road racing, and as of Sunday, she’s one of her country’s fastest marathoners ever. 

As Kiliç Gönen said on Instagram after her race, the result means so much more to her considering what so many of her compatriots are going through at the moment. “I would be happy if I could make the country smile even for a moment after the catastrophe we are experiencing,” she wrote. 

Now two weeks on from the earthquake, the death toll in Turkey and Syria is still rising, and aftershocks continue to impact the region.

(02/21/2023) Views: 652 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Chelal and Shumie take the spoils in Seville

Kenya’s Jackline Chelal and Ethiopia’s Gadisa Shumie claimed victory at the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, held on Sunday (19) over one of the flattest circuits in the world. Clocking 2:20:29 and 2:04:59, respectively, they both ran big PBs and the men’s race featured good depth as six men dipped under 2:06:00.

Right from the start in the women's race, the trio of Chelal and Ethiopia's Ayana Mulisa and Urge Diro broke away from the rest of the field, their rivals unable to maintain the 3:15/km pace. The leaders went through the opening 5km in 16:15 and 10km in 32:39. The halfway point was reached in 1:09:11, well on schedule to duck under the 2:18:51 course record set last year.

At around the 24km mark, Diro, a 2:27:13 performer, began to falter, leaving Chelal (2:29:13) and Mulisa (2:28:02) fighting for the win.

However, the speed slowed significantly over the second half, putting the course record assault in jeopardy. It was around the 33th kilometer when 29-year-old Mulisa dropped her pace dramatically to lose any chance of winning, as Chelal was timed at 1:55:18 by the 30km point, 38 seconds clear of the fading Ethiopian whose runner-up spot was never at risk.

Despite averaging 3:30 for the final seven kilometers, Chelal increased her advantage on Mulisa throughout and crossed the finish line in 2:20:29, head and shoulders clear of Mulisa (2:21:54), while Diro completed the podium in 2:23:05. The top three all improved their career bests, as did Mexico’s Citlali Cristian Moscote who finished fourth thanks to a 2:24:51 clocking.

Like a Swiss clock, Kenyan pacemaker Tarus Kiprono opened the men’s race at a 2:57/km rhythm, a large pack going through the 5km and 10km chekpoints in 14:47 and 29:28, respectively. That group included France’s Nicolas Navarro and Ethiopians Shumie, Kabede Wami and the 2020 victor in 2:04:46 Mekuant Ayenew, plus Israel’s Gashau Ayale and Kenyans Bethwel Kibet and Enock Onchari, among others. The midway mark was reached in 1:02:32, 10 seconds outside schedule for the 2:04:43 record set last year.

The leading group began to lose athletes progressively over the second half and by the time the pacemaker dropped out some 30km into the race only four men remained in the pack: Shumie, Wami, Ayenew and Onchari. Shumie, whose lifetime best was 2:09:25, pushed hard with kilometer splits always in the 2:56-2:58 range and first Ayenew, then Onchari and finally Wami with the clock reading 1:51 just could not follow the brisk speed. They had to settle for fighting for the minor places on the podium.

The unopposed Shumie tried to accelerate over the closing two kilometers to break the course record and while the 30-year-old was unsuccessful, he still managed a performance just under 2:05 to cross the finish line 20 seconds clear of Wami and 25 seconds ahead of Ayenew, who completed a sweep of the podium places for Ethiopia.

Navarro came eighth in a career best of 2:06:45, while Peru’s Christian Pacheco and Bolivia’s Hector Garibay managed to break their own national records thanks to respective times of 2:07:38 and 2:07:44.

(02/20/2023) Views: 1,153 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Megertu and Abderehman break course records in Seville

Alemu Megertu and Asrar Abderehman secured an Ethiopian double at the Zurich Maratón de Sevilla, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday (20) with huge world-leading PBs of 2:18:51 and 2:04:43 respectively.

Both men’s and women’s races had strong depth as seven men finished inside 2:07 with the 13th finisher clocking 2:08:30, while nine women went sub-2:26, confirming the course is conducive to fast times.

Perfectly paced by Hassan Aouchar, the women's contest opened at a brisk pace with opening splits of 16:13 (5km) and 32:44 (10km), suggesing a finishing time well inside 2:20, which would smash the course record of 2:23:13. By then the leading quintet was formed by Ethiopians Megertu, the fastest entrant thanks to a 2:21:10 PB, Meseret Gola, runner-up at last November's Barcelona Marathon in a PB of 2:24:09, Kalayu Chekole, Chimdesa Kumsa and Alema Gebremedhin. Behind them, Britain's Jess Piasecki, eager to improve on her marathon best after smashing her half marathon PB with 1:07:20 last month, passed through 10km in 33:24.Megertu and her compatriots went through halfway in 1:09:25, more than a minute ahead of Piasecki.

But Kumsa, then Gebremedhin and finally Chekole lost ground from the heading duo and the race became a two-woman battle between Megertu and Gola, both still following the pacemaker.

The key movement came at 35km when Gola simply could not live with the steady 3:17 pace and began to lose contact. Megertu, meanwhile, metronomically maintained her cadence and reached the finish line in a massive career best of 2:18:51, having ran halves of 1:09:25 and 1:09:26.

Runner-up Gola also set a massive PB of 2:20.50 while Chekole completed an Ethiopian sweep of the podium with a lifetime best of 2:21:17. Kumsa held on for fourth place (2:22:13), while Piasecki overtook Gebremedhin just before 40km and finished fifth in 2:22:27, becoming the second-fastest Briton in history behind former world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.The men's pacemakers, Enock Onchari and Wilfred Kimeli, were asked to maintain a 2:57/km tempo in the hunt for a race record (2:04:46) but they covered the opening 5km in 14:54, a bit slower than expected, closely followed by the main favourites which included Eritrea's 2015 world champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, his compatriot Awet Habte and a large Ethiopian contingent led by Abderehman, Adugna Takele and debutante Adeladlew Mamo among others.

The pace heated up over the following kilometres and the leading group reached 10km in 29:39, 15km in 44:22 and the half-way point in 1:02:31, still eight seconds outside the required pace to break the record. By then, 12 men remained in the heading pack. Way back, Spain's 40-year-old Ayad Lamdassem, who finished fifth at the Tokyo Olympics, was in the chasing group, timed at 1:03:16 by halfway.

The steady pace progressively whittled down the main group and by the time the pacemakers dropped out at 30km, the Ethiopian pair of Abderehman and Mamo took command and opened a sizeable gap on the rest. The leaders took turns at the helm but it was Mamo who made most of the pacing duties with his fellow Ethiopian running alongside.By 35km the lead duo was timed at 1:43:17 with Ghebreslassie and Takele 27 seconds in arrears.

A 35-40km split of 15:26 seemed to ruin the chances of a course record but Abderehman unleashed a devastating kick with some 1200m to go and built a sizeable margin over Mamo to secure the win in 2:04:43, a course record by three seconds and an improvement of more than three minutes on his previous best.

Runner-up Mamo produced a promising 2:05:12 debut, while Ghebreslassie got rid of Takele in the closing stages to complete a classy podium in 2:05:34, a massive PB for the 26-year-old Eritrean. Debutant Habte finished fifth in 2:06.25.

Running negative splits (1:06:17/1:06:08) Lamdassem placed sixth to improve his own national record by 10 seconds (2:06:25). Likewise, Israel’s Maru Teferi dipped under 2:07 for the first time to improve on his national record, while compatriot Tachlowini Gabriyesos, a member of the Athlete Refugee Team at the Tokyo Olympics, clocked a PB of 2:10:09.

Abderehman prevails over debutant Mamo

(02/20/2022) Views: 1,035 ⚡AMP
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Kevin Seaward clocked a lifetime best and became the second-fasted Irish marathon runner of all time in the process at the Seville Marathon on Sunday

Belfast man Kevin Seaward, a school teacher, ran the second-fastest Irish marathon time ever as he finished 26th at the Seville Marathon on Sunday morning.

Belfast’s Seaward ran a PB of 2:10:10 – second only to John Treacy’s national record of 2:09:15.

Seaward’s time was more than three minutes quicker than his previous best of 2:13:39, which he ran in Berlin last September.

Only John Treacy, in 1988, has ran a faster Marathon time for Ireland than Seaward while the 36-year-old now becomes the fastest Northern Ireland marathon man of all time. 

It is also comfortably inside the IAAF time of 2:11:30 for Tokyo 2020 qualification as he becomes the third Irish marathon runner to achieve the Olympic criteria.

The 34-year-old joins Paul Pollock, who ran a 2:10:25 in Valencia in December, and Stephen Scullion who is eligible by virtue of his fifth-place finish at the “gold label” Houston Marathon where he ran a time of 2:11:52.

Ballina’s Hugh Armstrong missed out on the Olympic time by less than a minute this morning, finishing 35th in a personal best of 2:12:26.

Seaward joins Paul Pollock and Stephen Scullion as Tokyo 2020 qualifiers.

(02/24/2020) Views: 1,501 ⚡AMP
by Niall Kelly
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Ayenew and debutante Chekwel break course records at Seville Marathon

Ethiopia’s Mekuant Ayenew and Uganda’s Juliet Chekwel captured commanding victories at the 36th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday (23) with respective clockings of 2:04:46 and 2:23:13.

Although Ayenew had previously won marathons in Beijing and Venice, his pre-race PB stood at 2:09:00, so his victory in Seville was something of a surprise. The 29-year-old took almost two minutes off the course record.

Chekwel, who was making her marathon debut, also improved the course record by more than a minute. Her time took more than nine minutes off the Ugandan record.

Both men’s and women’s races had strong depth as seven men finished inside 2:07 and 14 broke the 2:08 barrier, while seven women went sub-2:28, confirming the new course is conducive to fast times.

The men’s race opened at brisk pace as a 15-man lead pack went through 5km in 14:45, led by pacemakers Henry Kiprop and Raymond Kipchumba. They passed 10km in 29:24 with all the main favourites in close attendance.

The halfway point was reached in 1:02:30, putting the leaders well on schedule to break the course record of 2:06:36. By then 11 men led the contest in the form of the Kenyan quartet of Barnabas Kiptum, Amos Kiplagat, Michael Kunyunga and Stanley Kiprotich plus the large Ethiopian contingent compounded by Ayenew, Regasa Bejiga, Alemayehu Mekonen, Bazu Worku, Maru Teferi and Workhenh Tesfa, plus Italy’s Eyob Faniel.

Shortly afterwards the pacesetters dropped out and by the 25th kilometre Kiplagat, Kiptum and Ayenew had broken away from the rest with the unknown Kiplagat, whose career best is 2:11:18, making most of the pace.

By the 30km checkpoint the clock read 1:28:39, following a 29:31 split between 20km and 30km. Shortly afterwards Kiplagat began to falter and the race became a two-horse battle between Kiptum and Ayenew. The 33-year-old Kenyan, a 2:06:33 performer, took command of the rhythm at first but looked back several times to ask for the Ethiopian to help. Ayenew then moved to the front but they only travelled together for a couple of kilometres because at exactly the 34km point Ayenew’s relentless speed proved to be too fast for Kiptum and the Ethiopian began to build a sizeable gap.

At 35km (1:43:24) it became clear that, barring disaster, Ayenew would be the eventual winner as he cemented a 100m gap on Kiptum and 41 over Kunyunga, Tesfa and Bejiga who would fight for the third place on the podium.

Like a metronome, Ayenew covered each kilometre section in 2:57 and even increased his speed over the closing stages to finish in a world-leading PB of 2:04:46, having recorded negative splits of 1:02:30 and 1:02:16.

Kiptum also managed a PB of 2:05:05 to take the runner-up spot. Bejiga’s late burst of speed gave him third place in 2:06:24, a PB by three minutes.

The Spanish title went to Javier Guerra, who finished 10th overall in a PB of 2:07:28 to secure his Olympic spot while Hamid Ben Daoud had to settle for second barely six seconds behind to also improve on his previous best.

Similar to the men’s race, the women’s contest started fast, the opening 5km being covered in 16:50 with Uganda’s Juliet Chekwel leading ahead of a large Ethiopian contingent comprising Gada Bontu, Melkam Gizaw, Ftaw, Zeray, Shewaye Woldemekel and Beji Bekelu, along with Kenya’s Caroline Kilel, Josephine Chepkoech and Purity Changwony.

They reached 10km in 33:48 always with debutante Chekwel running closest to the pacesetters and still eight women remained with winning chances by halfway, which was reached in 1:12:01, perfectly on schedule to lower the race record.

The continued to whittle down until only four athletes formed the leading group by 30km, reached in 1:42:05 – Chekwel, Bontu, Melaku and Chepkoech.

Chepkoech was the first of those to drift back at 35km. With the clock reading 2:13, Chekwel made a decisive move and built a seven-second gap on Bontu and an 18-second advantage on Melaku by the 40km point. In the final two kilometres the 29-year-old Chekwel finished strongly to cross the line in 2:23:13, while Bontu was second in 2:23:39, a PB by 10 minutes. Melaku was timed at 2:23:49, also a huge PB for the 22-year-old.

(02/23/2020) Views: 1,501 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Ethiopian and Kenyans contingents are expected to battle at the 37th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla on Sunday

The race boasts one of the flattest courses worldwide and the new circuit inaugurated last year witnessed race records set by Ethiopian duo Ayana Tsedat (2:06:36) and Guteni Shone (2:24:29).

Kenya’s Barnabas Kiptum is in the form of his life following a 2:06:33 PB in Lisbon last October. Over the past three years the 33-year-old has shown great consistency, having bettered 2:10 six times. He will be joined by compatriots Emmanuel Kibet, a 2:08:42 performer in Rabat last year, Michael Kunyunga (2:10:05) and Stanley Kiptotich (2:10:12).

The large Ethiopian contingent is headed by Birhane Bekele and Tebalu Zawude; the former finished third last year in a lifetime best of 2:06:41 although the 38-year-old has raced only once at any distance since then with a 2:11:08 outing in Taiyuan last September while Zawude won the last Rome marathon in 2:08:37 in April 2019.

Other Ethiopians include Bazu Worku, who clocked 2:06:15 as an U20 athlete back in 2009. The 29-year-old has not approached that kind of time in recent years, but he clocked a respectable 2:10:56 in Beijing in November.

Yet the quickest athlete on show will be 2:04:50 performer Dino Sefer, but the 31-year-old Ethiopian will be contesting his first competition in more than two years. Getu Feleke, who boasts an identical PB of 2:04:50 from 2012, had a best last year of 2:10:39.

Sunday’s event will also serve as the Spanish championships for the distance. Javier Guerra, who set a career best of 2:08:33 a couple of years ago, is fresh from a 10km PB of 28:11 in Valencia last month and might also be a factor. Same goes for Hamid Ben Daoud, a 2:08:14 performer. The 24-year-old ran a fine 28:06 at the San Silvestre Vallecana at the end of December. The fight for the Spanish title promises to be thrilling with Juan Antonio Pérez, a 1:00:58 half marathon performer, also in the hunt for the win.

Likewise, the women's race doesn’t have a clear favorite. The cast is led by Ethiopia’s Sifan Melaku, who finished fourth last year in a PB of 2:26:46 and went on to improve to 2:25:29. She will be joined by fellow Ethiopians Bezabeh Fitaw, who made her debut last November in 2:29:15 in Hefei, Bekelu Beji, holder of a 2:28:21 time, and Melkaw Gizaw, who won in Nanchang last November and has a PB of 2:24:28 from 2016.

Kenya’s Purity Changwony should be in contention for victory on Sunday as the 30-year-old ran 2:30:34 to win in the altitude of Nairobi last October. Josephine Jepkoech, the runner-up at last year’s Barcelona Marathon in a PB of 2:25:20, will also try to get a podium spot.

Watch out too for Uganda’s Juliet Chekwel. The 29-year-old, who has PBs of 1:09:45 over the half marathon and 31:37:99 at the 10,000m, will be making her debut over the classic distance. The Ugandan’s last outing came in Madrid on the New Year’s eve when she finished fourth in 32:13.

The European charge will be headed by Poland’s Izabela Trzaskalska, fresh from a 1:11:09 lifetime best at the Seville Half Marathon four weeks ago; the 32-year-old seems ready to improve on her marathon best of 2:29:57 set in 2017. Spain’s Marta Galimany, who came second in Seville in a PB of 1:11:13, and Germany’s Anja Scherl (2:27:50) will also fight to finish inside the top 10 on Sunday.

The course will pass several iconic landmarks, including La Giralda, one of the largest cathedrals in the world, and the La Real Maestranza bullring or ‘La Torre del Oro’. A record number of 13,500 runners from 86 countries have entered. The forecast calls for sunny conditions with temperatures between 14-16C at the start.

(02/22/2020) Views: 1,771 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Both the men and women course records were smashed at the 35th Annual Zurich Marathon in Sevilla

Ethiopians Ayana Tsedat and Guteni Shone grabbed convincing victories at the 35th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday February 17. 

Running in nearly ideal weather conditions, the 22-year-old Tsedat clocked 2:06:36 to improve the race record by 1:07. Likewise Shone’s winning time of 2:24:29 broke the course record by a similar difference, 1:06.

Both men’s and women’s contests had strong depth as five men ducked under 2:07 while four women ran inside 2:27 as the new circuit proved to be even faster than the previous one.

The men’s race opened at a steady pace of 3:00m per kilometer.  A group of 13 runners hit the 10km point in 29:56 with Kenya’s Daniel Kipkore Kibet plus the Ethiopian group of Tsedat, Belay Asefa and Birhanu Berga.

The Madrid-based Tsegay went through the halfway point in 1:03:18 with ten men still running at his shoulder. By the 27k it was Kibet who moved to the front to maintain the rhythm, sharing the lead with Tsegay by 30 kilometers, reached in 1:30:09. Surprisingly, the Eritrean, a 2:09:56 performer, didn’t quit the race at that point and ran on with relative ease.

By then the main group included Tsegay, Kibet and the Ethiopian trio of Tsedat, Asefa and Berga, with the race record of 2:07:43 seemingly well within reach. In the closing kilometer Tsedat launched his attack. First Kibet and then Tadese fell back while Asefa and Berga followed behind in single file, but unable to maintain the pace. Tsedat cross the line in 2:06:36 to obliterate his previous lifetime best of 2.09:26 set last year in Barcelona while Asefa (2:06:39) and Berga (2:06:41) secured an Ethiopian podium sweep, also improving their career bests.

Meanwhile Tsegay, the designated pacemaker, crossed the line in 2:06:46 to break the Eritrean national record and obliterate his previous best. Tsegay trains in Madrid under the guidance of Jerónimo Bravo, the coach who led Zersenay Tadese to the world half marathon record of 58:23 back in 2010.

In the women's race, it was Spanish marathon Roger Roca who was given pacing duties on track to break the 2:25:35 record set last year. He set a steady 3:26 per kilometer pace to go through the opening 10,000m in 34:25 with ten women following closely. The halfway point was reached in 1:12:40 by a group of eight Ethiopians.

The leading quintet passed 30k in 1:43:17, still led by Roca and well on schedule to set a new race record. Shone and Gebremeskel proved to be the strongest as they comfortably led by the 35k point, still on track for a sub-2:25 performance.

Then Shone, one of Tirunesh Dibaba’s training partners, made her move, reaching the 40km point in 2:17:03 with a 12 second advantage over Gebremeskel. The 27-year-old injected an even faster pace over the closing kilometers to romp home in 2:24:29, less than one minute outside of her PB set four years ago. Gebremeskel clocked 2:24:53, improved her previous best by more than five minutes. 

(02/17/2019) Views: 2,239 ⚡AMP
by from IAAF
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This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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A strong field is expected at the 35th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla on Sunday

The Zurich Maratón de Sevilla is one of the flattest courses worldwide and the new circuit is just as flat and fast.

The large Ethiopian contingent includes Belay Afesa, holder of a 2:07:10 lifetime best set in Hamburg five years ago, sub-2:10 runners Seboka Nigusse (2:09:14) and Ayana Tsedat (2:09:26) and sub-11 men Melaku Bechalew (2:10:31) and Regasa Mindaye (2:10:51).

Meanwhile, the Kenyan challenge will be led by Samuel Kiplimo Kosgei, whose 2:06:53 career best dates back to 2016. More recently, he ran 2:09:07 last October in Gyeongju. Another contender is Jonah Chesum, winner of the 2017 Barcelona marathon with a lifetime best of 2:08:57. He last raced in October's Lisbon Marathon clocking 2:10:08.

Eritrea’s Yohanes Gebregergish boasts a 2:08:14 career best from the 2017 Tokyo Marathon. He clocked 2:11:27 in Valencia in December, his last outing. His countryman Okubay Tsegay will be the designated pacemaker chargeed with leading the main group to the 30 kilometre checkpoint. The scheduled split for the half is 1:03:30, well inside the pace required to challenge the 2:07:43 course record set by Kenyan Titus Ekiru two years ago. 

Likewise, the women's race is wide open.

Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan, who arrives on the heels of a 1:07:36 half marathon personal best set in Copenhagen in September, is among the athletes to beat. The 23-year-old will be aiming to improve on her personal best of 2:25:45 set in 2017. Guteni Shone is the quickest woman in Sunday’s line-up thanks to a 2:23:32 outing in Houston in 2015, though she was far from that in her last appearance, a 2:31:41 effort in Lisbon last October.

Other Ethiopians include Aynalem Kassahun (PB 2:28:18) and Meskerem Abera (2:28:35). Kenya will be represented by Susan Jeptoo who set her 2:30:50 best in Prague last year.

European hopes rest on two debutants: Sweden’s 2014 European 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Charlotta Fougberg, who has a 1:11:58 half marathon best to her credit, and 24-year-old Dutchwoman Jip Vastenburg, who clocked 1:11:04 for the half marathon in Valencia in 2017. 

The 2:25:35 course record was set last year by Moroccan Kaoutar Boulaidran, who has struggled with injury since. Still on the mend, she won’t be back to defend her title.

(02/15/2019) Views: 2,352 ⚡AMP
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Kenyan´s Chesum returns to defend title in Barcelona

Jonah Chesum returns to defend his title at the Zurich Barcelona Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race. Chesum was a pacesetter last year who went on to win the race in 2:08:57 in his debut over the distance. Later in the season the 29-year-old took fifth in the Gold Coast Marathon clocking 2:10:47. To help remember his surprise victory last year, Chesum spent part of his earnings from the race to buy a cow for his farm in Iten. “Of course,” he said with a laugh, “I named her ‘Barcelona’. Now she is pregnant and the calf will be named ‘Messi’.” (03/09/2018) Views: 1,937 ⚡AMP
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Morocco’s Kaoutar Boulaid breaks course record in seville

Kenya’s Dickson Tuwei and Morocco’s Kaoutar Boulaid triumphed at the 34th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla. Running in nearly ideal weather conditions, Tuwei clocked 2:08:18 while Boulaid’s winning time of 2:25:32 broke the course record by more than half a minute. “Honestly, I didn’t expect a 2:25 clocking but a time in the 2:27-2:28 region,” said Boulaid, who is based in Spain. “I went out fast but managed to maintain the pace in the second half and beat the Ethiopians.” (02/26/2018) Views: 1,595 ⚡AMP
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Ethiopians Assefa and Debebe lead the elite field at the Zurich Marathon

Ethiopians Fikre Assefa and Zinash Debebe will be among the favourites at the Zurich Marathon de Sevilla. The race, which boasts one of the flattest courses worldwide, will also serve as the Spanish championships for the distance which has attracted the local crème.Assefa seems to be the field’s most in-form runner as he finished last year on a high by setting a career best of 2:08:36 in Kosice for second, his first ever sub-2:10 clocking.The women’s event features a fine Ethiopian contingent including Zinash Debebe, who set her career best of 2:30:38 in Beirut last November. (02/23/2018) Views: 1,832 ⚡AMP
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