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Articles tagged #Biruktayit Degefa
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Caroline Chepkoech, the sixth all-time fastest runner at half marathon will lead Kenya's bid to conquer the Houston Half Marathon on Jan. 19

Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech, who has ruled out any hopes of competing at the Tokyo Olympics in the marathon, will have to calculate her steps to perfection if she has to beat Kenyan-turned Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, the reigning European 10,000m champion.

With a personal best time of 65:07, Chepkoech is the fastest ahead of Chemtai 66:09 and Ethiopians Burka (66:11), former champion Ruti Aga (66:39). Current champion Ethiopia's Biruktayit Degefa will also be back to defend her title.

"This will be a good testing ground ahead of the April marathon. The big challenge is here with top runners. But for me the focus is to improve the time and hopefully win the race," said Chepkoech on Wednesday.

Hassan El Abbassi (2:04:43) and Woldaregay Kelkile Gezahegn (2:05:56) are the quickest marathon entrants. Degefa's main opposition could come from fellow Ethiopian Askale Merachi.

In the men's race, Jemal Yimer, the fourth fastest of all time (58:33) is quickest in the line-up, one of eight sub-hour runners. Shura Kitata (59:16), Bernard Kipkorir (59:07) and Robertson (59:58) will oppose him.

Kipkorir will team up with compatriot Bernard Ngeno (59:07), Sam Chelanga (60:37) and Shadrack Biwott (61:25) to challenge the Ethiopians' dominance.

(01/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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Past winners are set to defend their title at Houston Marathon and Half Marathon

Organizers of the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon have revealed the elite fields for the World Athletics Gold Label road races on January 19.

The city’s marathon has now joined the half marathon as a Gold Label event, making Houston the only city in the world to host Gold Label marathon and half marathon races on the same day.

Defending marathon champion Biruktayit Degefa will try to become the first woman to win in Houston four times. Bahrain’s Hassan El Abbassi, the Asian record-holder for the men’s marathon, is the fastest in the men’s field.

Three former winners of the half marathon will be back in Houston to contest the 13.1-mile race: defending men’s champion Shura Kitata and 2018 winners Ruti Aga and Jake Robertson. Ethiopian record-holder Jemal Yimer and Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui, the eighth-fastest woman of all time, have the quickest PBs of the half marathon fields.

(01/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, are ready to compete at Toronto Marathon

Belaynesh Oljira brings an enviable reputation to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th which includes two 2013 IAAF World Championships bronze medals at 10,000m and in cross country.

The Ethiopian star, who also represented Ethiopia at the 2012 London Olympics, has run 2:21:53 (Frankfurt 2018) for the marathon staking her claim as one of the heavy favorites to win this IAAF Gold Label race.

Oljira will be joined in Canada’s largest city by a member of her training group, Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, who is also a world class marathoner. In January of this year Degefa ran a personal best of 2:23:28 to earn herself a hat trick of Houston Marathon victories. A year ago, Degefa beat Oljira in Houston by a mere six seconds.

Despite sharing a coach and training group their contact has been minimal and it will be every woman for herself when they line up in Toronto. 

“I train with the Demadonna Athletics Promotion team,” Oljira says, “which includes also Biruktayit Degefa. We don’t train together, except when there is group training, we meet with others.

“We are not friends. I joined the team recently, I didn’t socialize with most of them but once I met her at the Houston Marathon she seems sociable and I hope we will be friends in the future.” 

Their casual relationship is not unusual. With training groups numbering as many as a hundred the athletes will meet their coach - in this case Gemedu Dedefo - two or three times a week at some of the popular training sites such as Sendafa, a thirty-minute drive outside Addis Ababa. Athletes might ride share. Training sessions begin just as the sun is rising so it is not unusual that runners might get out of bed at 4am to be picked up.

After a brief warm-up the training session starts and from then on, it’s all business. If the athletes are going to socialize it is likely to be in Addis away from training. Another barrier in their relationship is the fact Degefa is also married to an American-based Ethiopian named Abinet Adraro and spends much time in the U.S. This past spring, she prepared for the Boston Marathon for several months there. She was eighth in Boston. 

“Training with the group can benefit you with different things like you share experience, you find new friends, you have fun with them especially when you train with them you don’t think of your tiring moments of training.”

Among their training group are a strong contingent of world-class women including Tirfi Tsegaye (2:19:41 personal best, who ran an impressive 2:22:44 in Toronto in 2010), Aberu Kebede (2016 Berlin winner in 2:20:45) and two-time Toronto champion, Shure Demise.

“Yes, Shure has told me about the Toronto marathon, about its course and weather, and all the good people there,” Degefa admits. “My expectation in Toronto is to win with a good time.”

Not surprisingly Oljira is also targeting victory in Toronto.

“My main goal as for any athlete is to run a good time and to win the race,” she declares.

The pair come from vastly different backgrounds. Oljira grew up in Wellega district about 315km west of Addis. She started out running cross country and track with immediate success. Indeed, her first overseas venture was a cross country race in France where the first-place prize was a car. She won.

(09/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kenyan´s Albert Korir, and Ethiopian´s Biruktayit Degefa were the Chevron Houston Marathon winners

Ethiopian women had already created their own Chevron Houston Marathon dynasty. But Biruktayit Degefa has taken this thing a step further, deciding to corner the market herself.

Degefa won Houston for the first time in her third visit in 2016, when she was 25. On Sunday, she won for the third time in four years while becoming the first woman to repeat as champion since 2010. And the one time she hasn't prevailed of late, in 2017, she crossed second, just 26 seconds back. Nor has she ever finished worse than fourth.

No wonder Degefa refers to H-town as "my hometown."

"When I prepare to come, I really get excited," she said. "On this occasion, I would like to thank Houston for the hospitality."

We, in turn, would like to thank her for her consistent excellence, although she expressed disappointment that the personal-best 2:23:28 she posted on a sunny, chilly morning run through the city's streets from downtown to the Galleria area and back fell 14 seconds short of the course record, something she very much wants to own before she's done.

"I came prepared to break it," Degefa said, "but it was colder (than I expected), and that made it difficult."

Korir didn't threaten the men's course record, but he's only 24, and who's to say he won't eventually collect a head full of cowboy hats — always awarded to Houston's winners — as well in the years ahead?

His story is an inspirational one. At 10, Korir lost his right thumb while chopping cow silage, and he soon quit going to school because he was routinely bullied. He wound up laboring for the equivalent of $5 a day to pay for food, never mind his running shoes. He'd never traveled to the United States before this weekend.

"It's good," Korir conceded, "to win on my first time."

In contrast, Houstonians who line the route have come to recognize Degefa both for her running skills and her radiance. One now-former Houstonian, Abinet Adraro, was so taken by Degefa following that first triumph that he made it a point to meet her at a dinner hosted by the local Ethiopian community. An email relationship turned into a marriage, and they split their time these days between Albuquerque, N.M., and her training grounds in Ethiopia.

Adraro, to be sure, was waiting for his wife as she crossed. Also a runner, he had completed the Aramco Half Marathon in 1:02:09.

Making a sixth consecutive Chevron start, Degefa seemed the strongest from the get-go in becoming the third woman to claim a (cowboy) hat trick. Veronique Marot (1986, 1989, 1991) and Tetyana Pozdnyakova (1995, 1999, 2000) are the other three-time winners. For the first 25 miles, however, Meseret Belete kept Gedefa's undivided attention, and should she deign to return in the future, it's a reasonable bet she'll claim a Stetson of her own.

(01/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Defending champion Biruktayit Degefa is hoping to get a third title at the Houston Marathon

The defending Houston Marathon champion, Biruktayit Degefa, who also won in 2016, will be chasing a third title. The 28-yer-old has competed here the past five years, finishing third in 2015 with a 2:23:51 PR and second in 2017.

The strong Ethiopian contingent includes Muluhabt Tsega, who improved to 2:25:48 in Shanghai last November, Sechale Delasa, who was third here in 2016; and 23-year-old Gebayenesh Ayele, who improved to 2:26:54 last September in Hengsui.

Kenyan hopes lie with Sarah Kiptoo, whose 2:26:32 dates back to 2013 and Gladys Kipsoi, who was fourth here last year in 2:27:32.

Notable debutantes include 19-year-old Meseret Belete, who clocked a 1:07:51 world U20 best in the half marathon in Copenhagen last year.

Abayneh Ayele of Ethiopia is the fastest in the men's field at 2:06:45, clocked in Dubai in 2016. But the 32-year-old struggled last year, recording a season's best of just 2:13:47 in two races over the distance. His 25-year-old compatriot Yitayal Atnafu has shown stronger form, producing back-to-back fourth place finishes at the Paris Marathon the last two years, clocking 2:07:21 in 2017 and improving to 2:07:00 last year.

Three others will bring sub-2:09 bests to the start line: Kenyan Dominic Ondoro, who ran his 2:08:00 lifetime best in 2013; Birhanu Gedefa of Ethiopia, the 2015 Houston winner in 2:08:03, and Kenya's Albert Korir, who improved his personal best to 2:08:17 last March in Otsu.

Of course the perdicted cold weather could be a factor.

(01/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Two-Time Olympian, Goucher will compete in Bjorklund Half Marathon at Grandma's

Kara Goucher will compete in the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon for the second straight year. The Duluth native and two-time U.S. Olympian announced on Twitter that she will return to her hometown to run in the race, which is part of Grandma's Marathon Weekend. In 2017, she finished fifth with a time of 1:15.11. Ethiopian Biruktayit Degefa won with a time of 1:11:26. (05/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Top two women's seeds drop out of Houston Marathon

Mamitu Daska, and Abebech Afework Bekele had to drop out, both from Ethiopia, for medical and visa issues, respectively. Ethiopian women have won the Chevron Houston Marathon 11 years in a row, going back to Dire Tune in 2007, With them out, another Ethopian, Biruktayit Degefa, becomes the favorite on Sunday. (01/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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