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22 March 2021, 10am

Israeli race not announced in advance

Hula Valley Marathon

by Helmut Winter

As precautionary hygiene measures the event had not been announced in advance and was limited to an elite field of a 20 male runners and one female, Lonah Saltpeter.

Along with three pacemakers a 10-man group reached 10km in 30:40 where two of the pacers withdrew. The group reached halfway in 1:04:06 and it was only after 30km (1:31:37) that they split up as Maru Teferi, together with Girmaw Amare and Godachaw Belachaw, broke away.

The three of them had a lead of 25 seconds at 40km and this increased dramatically in the final kilometre as victory was fiercely contested. Teferi ran 6:17 for the final 2195m to win the race in 2:07:44, a Europe-leading time foor 2021. Teferi came to Israel from Ethiopia as a 14-year-old and has recently increased his level of performance considerably. Close behind him the two marathon debutants Girmaw Amare and Godadaw Belachew finished in 2:07:50 and 2:07:54 respectively.

Lonah Salpeter was the only female participant to complete a successful test run over the full marathon distance. She passed 10km in 33:53 and halfway in 1:11:31 and recorded a negative split of 1:11:06 for the second half. Her final time was 2:22:37, third fastest of the season and a Europe-leading time.

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