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Articles tagged #Tigist Girma
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Ethiopian Tigist Girma Withdraws from Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Following last announcement of Tigist Girma´s participation in the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon we were surprised to receive an email from her management company, Elite Sports Management International, says Alan Brookes, the race director.

The email, sent on Monday September 9th, informed us that the athlete was withdrawing from the race because the athlete’s husband did not think the course was fast enough to match her condition.

We are surprised and disappointed as a contract was signed and returned to us on July 11th, 2019.

Furthermore, the Toronto course record set last year by Mimi Belete ( is 2:22:29 more than four minutes faster than Tigist´s personal best. Sharon Cherop ( and Koren Yal ( both ran 2:22:43 in 2010 and 2011 respectively. These times compare favorably with most IAAF Gold Label races.

As a professional IAAF Gold Label organization we enormously value our relationship with the world´s media. We understand athletes sometimes are injured and must withdraw. But, in this case, we hope that these unforeseen circumstances do not reflect badly upon our efforts to further grow the sport we love. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Though we are disappointed we wish Tigist well with her career.

(09/11/2019) ⚡AMP
by Alan Brookes
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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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Ethiopian Tigist Girma is going after the Toronto Marathon title

Tigist Girma’s best marathon time may not have caught up with her impressive competitive record but the Ethiopian is quickly establishing herself as a world-class athlete to be feared. When she lines up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20, however, it will be a reality check of epic proportions.

Among the athletes she will face at this IAAF Gold Label road race are her countrywomen Bruktayit Degefa and Belaynesh Oljira who have run much, much faster times. Oljira, for instance, has a best of 2:21:53, almost five full minutes faster than Girma’s PB of 2:26:34 which she set in winning the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in May. However, the 26-year-old Girma remains undaunted.

“Whenever I train for a specific competition, I have the goal to win as well as to run as fast as my training partners like Roza Dereje and Ruti Aga,” she says when asked what her target might be for Toronto. “So, I will try to run fast and win the race as well.”

Her resolve to match times recorded by members of her training group is decidedly ambitious. Dereje has a best of 2:19:17 while Ruti Aga has run 2:18:34. But it is the way Girma wins that is compelling. In each of her victories she has gone to the front with more than 12-15km remaining and simply run away from athletes, many of whom have superior personal bests.

“My coach (Haji Adilo) always trains us to run following our heart and condition. So, I am not afraid of running in front,” she explains. “My victory in both races (Guangzhou and Ottawa) with new personal bests was not only because of my strength but it was also with God’s support.

“According to my condition during the race I could have run better. But I won’t complain with the results I got in both races.”

The question of whether she can outwit and outrun her compatriots remains to be seen but there is much on the line. Toronto has seen the breakthrough of many international athletes. Past winners Sharon Cherop (Kenya) and Shure Demise (Ethiopian) went on to compete in the prestigious World Marathon Majors with Cherop finishing third in Boston in 2011, six months after her Toronto victory and was Boston champion in 2012. Demise went on to finish on the podium at both Tokyo and Chicago.

Girma first emerged on the scene with a victory in the 2016 Beirut Marathon where she ran a then personal best of 2:32:44. That was on a day when the temperature at the start was 21C. More recently she won the 2018 Guangzhou and 2019 Ottawa Marathons - both IAAF Gold Label races.

It is hard to believe that she has accomplished so much considering this is just her fourth season of competition. Moreover, coach Haji has reigned in her willingness to run three marathons in a year. Toronto Waterfront will be only her second marathon of 2019. She seems pleased with her training since Ottawa.

“I train four days a week with the team with coach Haji. Right now, I am doing all the training program my coach gave me and I run 170km each week,” she reveals.

Some of Haji’s favourite sites are well outside of Addis, the capital. This is because Addis traffic is notoriously heavy and not conducive to training. Haile Gebrselassie, for example, ran on a treadmill each afternoon in the basement gym in his office building.

 “Since the training sites are quite far and it’s long drive there my boyfriend drives me up and down,” Girma says.

The unpredictable weather coming off Lake Ontario in late October should not be a problem for her. Two of her victories were in heat and humidity while in Guangzhou it was cold and raining.

“I think (Toronto) is good timing for me,” she confirms. “Since it’s now winter-time here in Ethiopia I have been training in rain and very cold weather conditions. I don't think cold weather will be problem for my result.” 

(09/10/2019) ⚡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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Albert Korir was the surprise winner of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon on Sunday

Korir and Ethiopia’s Aberu Kuma, who has a personal best of 2:05:50, were running side by side after dropping Ethiopia’s Tsedet Ayana, Kenya’s Martin Kosgey and Ethiopia’s Adugna Takele when Kuma came to a complete stop at the water station. Seizing the opportunity, the tall Kenyan took off and quickly opened up an insurmountable gap.

Kuma eventually finished second in 2:08:14 with Ayana completing the podium with 2:08:53.

“This is a great achievement. It is a dream,” said the winner. “Kuma is a strong guy, I didn’t know I would beat him. But at 40km I saw he somehow stopped so I made a move to go.

“It’s a dream. I was hoping to improve my personal best; I didn’t know that I could improve. The weather was good and the course is flat, good. The first half was hard (1:03:35) but when the pacemakers went out, the pace went down.”

This was the second victory this year for Korir. He was the Houston winner in January and now, understandably, he has huge ambitions.

“I have to improve my athletics career,” he offered, “at least win a World Major and have a better time, 2:04 or 2:03.”

If Kuma was disappointed, he masked it well. With a stellar career to date, he had been the favourite to win the race.

“At 35km I didn’t take any water and so I knew I must drink water at 40km,” he explained in English. “I take water – the guy’s gone. That’s my problem. “The weather really affected my running.”

The women’s race resulted in another Ethiopian victory – the 10th consecutive time – with the ever improving Tigist Girma dropping her compatriots Bethelhem Moges and Etaferahu Temesgen at 28km. She and one of the elite women’s pacemakers opened up a gap and many observers wondered if she had moved too early.

Girma was full of confidence and ran across the line in a personal best of 2:26:34, throwing her arms up in the air in joyful celebration. She earned herself CDN$30,000.

“I was extremely ready for this race,” Girma declared. “I tried my best. Because I was all alone, I couldn’t push because the weather was not good so that’s why the time is slow. I really had good preparation.

(05/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Welcome to Canada’s largest and fastest marathon: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital, the top-notch organization of an IAAF event, the atmosphere of...

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Rachel Hannah and Reid Coolsaet are Canadian headliners for Ottawa Marathon this weekend

Last year’s Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon saw a new female Canadian All-Comers record set at 2:22:17 and the field for the 2019 event could rival that of 2018.

Shuko Gemeno, Abeba-Tekula Gebremeskel and Tigist Girma all have personal bests under 2:27:00 and all have recent wins under their belts. The three Ethiopian women could work together to being each other to new personal bests and challenge the Canadian All-Comers and course record.

The Canadian women’s contingent includes 2:32 marathoner Rachel Hannah, Dayna Pidhoresky and Anne-Marie Comeau. Hannah and Pidhoresky are no strangers to the distance, but Sunday will be Comeau’s debut. The 22-year-old winter Olympian has been dominant on the roads for several years and we’re excited to see what she can do over 42.2K.

In the men’s field, Abera Kuma of Ethiopia has run under 2:06 twice, most recently 2:05:50 at the 2018 Rotterdam Marathon. Joining Kuma is Adugna Takele who was third in Ottawa a year ago, and ran a huge personal best in February at 2:06:32. The fastest man in the field is Getu Feleke at 2:04:50. Kenyan Martin Kosgey is also racing with an incoming time of 2:06:41.

The dark horse in the field is 23-year-old Ayana Tsede who comes in with a recent win at the 2019 Seville Marathon and a new personal best of 2:06:36.

Reid Coolsaet leads the Canadian men on his 10 year anniversary since his debut marathon. “I’m going to try to run as fast as I can on the Ottawa course, which will hopefully give me a solid placing and some points to help with my world ranking.

I’m realistically aiming for a 2:13 on the weekend.” The world championships in Doha this fall are also on Coolsaet’s radar. “Worlds would actually be a great setup for the Olympics. If you finish well at worlds the points could qualify you for Tokyo. It will be very hot in Doha, which will be good training for Tokyo as well.”

Coolsaet is coming off his longest altitude stint yet. “Boulder was really great. I got good training in and I had great people to train with. My son liked it too–any time we did some technical mountain climbing he got really into it.”

(05/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Welcome to Canada’s largest and fastest marathon: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital, the top-notch organization of an IAAF event, the atmosphere of...

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Peres Jepchirchir and Mohammed Ziani, the winners in 2016, headline the fields for Saturday night’s Ottawa 10km

The elite women are given 3:40 head start over the elite men and the first across the line earns an extra CDN$2,000 in addition to the CDN$5,000 winner’s purse. It was Jepchirchir who held off Ziani in 2016.

Jepchirchir, who held off Ziani in 2016, is making her comeback since giving birth to a baby boy at the tail end of 2017. Whether she can find the form that carried her to a PB of 30:55 for the distance in 2015 as well as capture the 2016 world half marathon title is intriguing, but she started 2019 strongly with a 1:07:36 clocking at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon.

The expected competition will likely come from her compatriot Paskalia Kipkoech, the 2012 world half marathon bronze medallist who has a 10km PB of 30:57, and 20-year-old Ethiopian Gete Alemayehu, who ran 31:12 to win the Corrida Pédestre Internationale de Houilles in France last December.

The heat and humidity at the 2016 Ottawa 10k left Jepchirchir shattered at the finish and requiring brief medical attention. But the forecast calls for rain this year, possibly even a thunderstorm.

Ziani, who finished fourth last year, will be joined by compatriot Mohamed El Aaraby who ran 27:58 at the Valencia 10k earlier this year.

Kenya’s Moses Kibet, a former steeplechaser, will challenge the two Moroccans no doubt. Last June he won the La Corrida de Langueux in a personal best of 28:26, while more recently he finished second at the Jianzhen International Half Marathon in China in a PB of 59:58.

Major flooding in recent weeks along the Ottawa River has meant that the Ottawa Marathon course has undergone substantial changes. Still, the incoming international athletes are aware that the women’s (Gelete Burka 2:22:13 2018) and men’s race records (Yemane Tsegay 2:06:54 2014) are going to be tough to beat.

Pre-race favorite Tirfi Tsegaye was forced to withdraw earlier this week after picking up a hamstring injury, but her absence leaves an evenly matched group tasked with extending Ethiopia’s winning streak to 10 women’s marathon titles in Ottawa.

Shuko Gemeno, Abeba Gebremeskel, Bethelhem Moges and Tigist Girma are all capable of victory. The latter keeps improving in leaps and bounds though her personal best is still ‘just’ 2:26:44. The winner will earn CDN$30,000.

(05/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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Morocco’s Mohammed Ziani and Tigist Girma of Ethiopia beat the rain and cold weather to take top honours at the Guangzhou Marathon

The 25-year-old Mohammed Ziani emerged victorious from a four-man battle to claim his first marathon title clocking 2:10:44, 43 seconds shy of the course record set by compatriot Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015.

It was the third marathon for Ziani, who clocked 2:13:40 to finish fifth in Guangzhou last year. The race began in rainy and cold conditions with the temperature of about 45F degrees.

A leading group of six, including two pace-setters, brought the field through 10km in 30:28 and 20km in 1:00:57. The pacers stepped off the course at 25km and 30km respectively.

The other four leaders, including Ziani, Tsegay Tuemay of Eritrea as well as Ethiopian duo Gadisa Shumie and Balew Derseh, remained together until they passed 40km in 2:03:59.

After a series of unsuccessful mini-breaks in the following kilometers, the quartet were still shoulder-to-shoulder until they reached the final kilometer.  

Tuemay was the first to fade away while Ziani broke away to build a lead of several meters.  Shumie sped up in the last 10 meters but his effort were in vain as he clocked the same time as Ziani did but had to settle for second.

The 20-year-old Derseh finished third in 2:10:53 in his marathon debut. Flomena Cheyech of Kenya, the fastest entrant in the women’s race, stayed in the leading pack in the early stages but quit the title contest after 15km.

The race was then dominated by two Ethiopians, Girma and Zinash Debebe, who led together from 15km to 35km, before Girma pulled away to notch the convincing 2:26:44 victory.

The 25-year-old Girma improved her personal best by 2:16 but her winning mark is still shy of the 2:25:12 course record set by fellow Ethiopian Rahma Tusa last year.

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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