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5 NOVEMBER 2006: ISTANBUL EURASIA MARATHON, TURKEY
Clear sky and light wind offered good racing conditions, after snow and heavy winds had buffeted the city the previous day writes Ian Ladborroke.
Faustin Baha led from the start, taking one pacer and Moroccan El Chardri with him. At 10km they were 45 seconds ahead of a huge group of African and East European runners. They went through halfway in 66 minutes with the leading trio nearly two minutes ahead. On the out-and-back section along the Bosphoros, after the pacer had finished his job, Baha went ahead and battled into the wind alone. At 30km he was still 1:40 ahead, but showing signs of tiredness. A chasing trio, led by Mindi Pukstas began to close, and at 37.5km the gap was only 40 seconds. Baha was finally caught at 39km and slipped back to 4th. Pukstas kept ahead of the others and broke the longstanding race record.
The women were paced through halfway in 1:14:10, a little fast for most on this tough course. Last year's winner Madina Biktagirova again prevailed in a new race record by over six minutes. The next four also broke the old record in a highly entertaining and impressive battle, with Mehtap Dogun setting a new Turkish record in fourth place.
MEN: 1 Mindaugas PUKSTAS LIT 2:12:52 2 Andrei NAUMOV UKR 2:12:59 3 Sergei LUKIN RUS 2:13:08 4 Faustin Baha SULLE TAN 2:13:25 5 John KIOKO KEN 2:14:09 6 Hillary KIPKERING KEN 2:14:17 7 Iaroslav MUSINSCHI MDA 2:15:06 8 Elias CHEBET KEN 2:15:47 9 Joseph YEGO KEN 2:16:30 10 John MALUNI KEN 2:16:35 WOMEN: 1 Madina BIKTAGIROVA RUS 2:28:21 2 Liliya YADZHAK RUS 2:29:22 3 Natalya VOLGINA RUS 2:30:07 4 Mehtap DOGAN TUR 2:31:13 5 Alina GHERASIM ROM 2:32:13 6 Malgorzata SOBANSKA POL 2:32:40 7 Mihaela BOTEZAN ROM 2:37:01 8 Tatyana ZHIRKOVA RUS 2:39:25 9 Nancy KIPRON KEN 2:40:13 10 Valentina POLTAVSKA UKR 2:40:42
5 NOVEMBER 2006: JOONGANG SEOUL MARATHON, KOREA
29-year-old Kenyan Jason Mbote scored his first big marathon win writes Mirko Jalava. Mbote bettered his personal best from Frankfurt last year by 27 seconds, and beat William Kiplagat's course record set last year by 24 seconds. It was only the second time that Mbote had dipped under 2:10.
He beat several more established runners: Paul Kirui, who had set a personal best of 2:06:44 in Rotterdam earlier this year, finished second. The next two finishers were also better-known Kenyans, and both set seasonal bests. Former Boston winner and Korean national record holder Lee Bong-Ju took fifth, while two-time London winner Abdelkader El Mouaziz was a long way adrift in sixth place.
The women's race was a domestic affair, won by Kim Hye-Kyong in a personal best of 2:40:36.
MEN: 1 Jason MBOTE KEN 2:08:13 2 Paul KIRUI KEN 2:09:05 3 Philip MANYIM KEN 2:09:35 4 Wilson ONSARE KEN 2:09:47 5 Lee BONG-JU KOR 2:10:49 6 Abdelkader EL MOUAZIZ MAR 2:13:28 7 James ROTICH KEN 2:13:35 8 Norman DLOMO RSA 2:14:17 WOMEN: 1 Kim HYE-KYONG KOR 2:40:36 2 Park MI-OK KOR 2:45:15 3 Kim MI-EUN KOR 2:52:44
5 NOVEMBER 2006: ATHENS CLASSIC MARATHON, GREECE
The 24th edition was run under a sunny sky but in cool temperatures writes Michalis Nikitaridis. Even so, the extremely tough course suppressed the winning times.
The victors received not only the traditional crowns of wild olive but also a prize of 6000 euros each, awarded by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias.
Henry Tarus showed patience as well as strength to win the men's race. Paul Lomol Lopio and Ben Chebet, who led the race to 39km, were eventually out manoeuvred by Tarus. Tarus made the decisive surge on the final downhill section of the course as the longtime leaders tired. He made up a deficit of about 300m and crossed the line at the Panathanaikos Stadium with 100m to spare. Ethiopia's Habtamu Bekele came through late to take third place while Chebet, who had led for so long, faded to a tired 9th.
Ioannis Kanellopoulos finished seventh overall to secure the Greek national title in his marathon debut. The 25-year-old first became known in 2003 when he won the European U23 10,000m title in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Another debutant, the former oarsman Dimitrios Theorikakos, was eighth overall and second finisher in the national championships.
The women's race was decided with less than 100m to go as three runners entered the stadium together. Japan's Chikako Ogushi found the strength to fend off her two Ethiopian challengers, Hatish Letay and Zinash Alemu. It was Ogushi's fourth marathon race, and her second this year, as she had finished sixth in Nagano last April in 2:40:00.
The Greek runner Eleni Donta took the national title, finishing fifth overall, and put an end to Georgia Ambatzidou's dominance. Ambatzidou had monopolised the national title from 2001 to 2005, with each of her five victories accomplished in the Athens Classic Marathon.
MEN: 1 Henry TARUS KEN 2:17:45 2 Paul Lomol LOPIO KEN 2:18:07 3 Habtamu BEKELE ETH 2:20:04 4 Marc SAINA KEN 2:20:18 5 Fujimoto DAIKUSE JPN 2:20:41 6 James SAINA KEN 2:21:18 7 Ioannis KANELLOPOULOS GRE 2:24:21 8 Dimitrios THEODORAKAKOS GRE 2:24:39 9 Ben CHEBET KEN 2:25:08 WOMEN: 1 Chikako OGUSHI JPN 2:40:45 2 Letay HADISH ETH 2:40:53 3 Zinash ALEMU ETH 2:42:02 4 Salomie Jetnet KASSA ETH 2:42:59 5 Eleni DONTA GRE 2:44:43 6 Tatyana MIRONOVA RUS 2:44:49
5 NOVEMBER 2006: UWI-SPEC HALF MARATHON, TRINIDAD
MEN: 1 Ernest KIMELI KEN 1:05:07 2 Zepherinus JOSEPH STL 1:07:45 3 Pamenos BALLANTYNE STV 1:07:47 4 Richard JONES TRI 1:09:44 5 Ronnie HOLASSIE TRI 1:10:07 6 Curtis COX TRI 1:11:45 7 Errol WILLIAMS TRI 1:12:29 8 Elvis TURNER TRI 1:16:01 9 Brian MAYNARD TRI 1:16:45 10 Clarence TOBIAS TRI 1:16:54 WOMEN: 1 Jemima SUMGONG KEN 1:12:08 2 Firaya SULTANOVA UKR 1:20:21 3 Shermin LASALDO TRI 1:30:35 4 Tonya NERO TRI 1:32:56 5 Ruth METIVIER TRI 1:33:35 6 Solange GRIFFITH TRI 1:35:49 7 Alika MORGAN TRI 1:36:34 8 Kerticha JOHN TRI 1:38:26 9 Leisl PUCKERIN TRI 1:40:38 10 Paulette LUCESS TRI 1:40:55
10TH NOVEMBER 2006: PHARAONIC 100KM, EGYPT
INDIVIDUAL: 1 Mahmoud DEHAISE EGY 8:19:46 TEAMS: 1 H.O CLUB ALEXANDRIA EGY 6:45:16 (Ahmed EL-MAGRABI, Ragab NADAR HASSAN, Ahmed MOSTAFA, Mohamed OSMAN) 2 ALEXANDRIA RUNNERS EGY 6:45:18 (Mohamed EL-MORSI, Mahmoud HASSAN, Farag AMER, Farid ABDALLA, Ahmed HUSSEIN) 3 COMBINED TEAM 1 7:37:45 (Darren HEDLEY GBR, Grubbs ALER USA, Ash GARRET USA, Leanne MORROW CAN, Hisham EL-TAIBE EGY) 4 COMBINED TEAM 2 7:37:45 (Mohamed EL-HAMAMY EGY, Mohamed ELSAWEY EGY, Franz WETZEL AUS, Mohamed ASHA JOR, Youssef NEAMEI JOR) 5 ANGLO-FRENCH TEAM 7:59:25 (Edward PRICE GBR, Daniel FAHY GBR, Jamal BAZZOUZ FRA, Gareth HIRD GBR, Scott JOHNSTON GBR) 6 ANGLO-AMERICAN TEAM 8:02:55 (Brian WILLIAMS USA, Brian SMITH USA, Berman AARON USA, Michael SWANSON USA, Hugh NICHOLSON GBR)
12 NOVEMBER 2006: MARATHON DE MONACO
MEN: 1 Wilfred CHESEREK KEN 2:17:21 2 Andrei BRYZGALOV RUS 2:17:50 3 Jacob KITUR KEN 2:18:55 4 Simon RIPIS KEN 2:20:18 5 Wepoghe Pius MNANGAT KEN 2:20:19 6 Sergei KALEDINE RUS 2:25:34 7 Xavier SABOURNIN FRA 2:26:56 8 Alexandre OLKHOV RUS 2:27:03 9 Alexandre KRISTIANIKOV RUS 2:27:31 10 Josephat ROTICH KEN 2:35:58 WOMEN: 1 Lena GAVELIN SWE 2:39:29 2 Olena SAMKO UKR 2:41:27 3 Krystina KUTA POL 2:45:39 4 Elena KOJEVNIKOVA RUS 2:47:13 5 Maria FEDOSSEEVA RUS 2:49:28 6 Ludmilla AFONIOUCHKINA RUS 2:51:14 7 Michelle LESERVOISIER FRA 3:08:30 10km race: MEN: 1 Zouhair OUERDI MAR 30:54 2 Diego FILLIPI ITA 31:31 3 Mustapha TANTAN FRA 31:49 WOMEN: 1 Alison BARNES GBR 37:03 2 Yolanda CEPLAK SLO 37:36 3 Magali NERENHAUSEN FRA 39:53
12 NOVEMBER 2006: GARDA TRENTINO HALF MARATHON, ITALY
MEN: 1 Kudama SHENTAMA ETH 1:04:08 2 Peter KIPLAGAT KEN 1:04:58 3 Sergei ZACHEPA RUS 1:05:08 4 Guilian BATTOCLETTI ITA 1:05:16 5 Rachid JARMOUNI ITA 1:06:04 6 Gianluca PASETTO ITA 1:06:21 7 John ROTICH KEN 1:07:03 8 Massimiliano INGRAMI ITA 1:07:27 9 Simone FAVARO ITA 1:08:00 10 Luca MOLINERI ITA 1:08:12 WOMEN: 1 Elisa DESCO ITA 1:14:58 2 Edi TURCO ITA 1:15:40 3 Vittoria SALVINI ITA 1:16:27 4 Paola FEDEZI ITA 1:17:24 5 Laura RICCI ITA 1:20:02 6 Daniela VASSALLI ITA 1:21:06 7 Cristina SCOMPARIN ITA 1:21:18 8 Sonia LOPES ITA 1:21:33 9 Hanna JONSON SWE 1:22:39 10 Sally GOLDSMITH GBR 1:23:17
19 NOVEMBER 2006: MARABANA MARATHON AND HALF, CUBA
In total 3180 runners participated, with 745 foreign runners coming from 76 countries. A relay event was incorporated within the half marathon race, in which 45 teams took part.
At 10.00 the previous day the nationwide "Maracuba" series of 4820 races over the distance of 4219.5m took place in which 2,356,021 people participated, including 19,550 handicapped participants.
MEN: 1 Henry Jaen ORTIZ 2.29.23 CUB 2 Isbel Milian ACOSTA 2.36.35 CUB 3 Yunier Fouman SANTIESTEBAN 2.40.36 CUB WOMEN: 1 Aracelis Lamout LUIS 3.15.12 CUB 2 Zenaida Alonso DIAMET 3.23.53 CUB 3 Daniela NUSSECK 3.24.56 SUI HALF MARATHON MEN: 1 Norber GUTIERREZ 1.06.41 CUB 2 Livan LUQUE REYES 1.06.57 CUB 3 Richar PEREZ COBAS 1.07.25 CUB WOMEN: 1 Mariela GONZALEZ TORRES 1.18.08 CUB 2 Yudileivis Castillo TUMBAREL 1.18.42 CUB 3 Dalin Belmonte TORRES 1.20.17 CUB
19 NOVEMBER 2006: TOKYO WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL MARATHON, JAPAN
Reiko Tosa ran away from 2000 Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi just after 31km writes Ken Nakamura. It was Tosa's third marathon victory. She had also won the 2004 Nagoya Women's marathon, which qualified her for the 2004 Olympic marathon in which she finished fifth. She had also been a close runner-up to Lidia Simon in the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton.
Conditions were less than favourable. Drizzle became steady rain by mid-race and the last half was also marred by a head-wind. Because Tosa did not break 2:26 she has no automatic qualification for the 2007 World Championships team, and has to await results from the Osaka Ladies and Nagoya Women's Marathons.
Takahashi finished a disappointing third. It was her first loss against another Japanese, her slowest time, and her lowest finishing place in a marathon since her 2:31:32 debut at the 1997 Osaka Ladies Marathon.
The race started fast, with Tosa sometimes leading the pack ahead of the pace makers Alevtina Ivanova and Olga Romanova. The first 5km, mostly downhill, was covered in a fast 16:29, only five seconds behind the record pace of 1999. The lead pack quickly dwindled to eight runners — Tosa, Takahashi, Zivile Balciunate (runner up last year), Olivera Jevtic (European silver medallist), Jen Rhines and Asha Gigi, plus the two pacemakers.
Akemi Ozaki, running her second marathon, caught up with the lead pack but Rhines, Jevtic and Balciunaite started to fall off the pace soon afterwards. Ozaki also started to fall behind, and ran most of the race between the lead and the chase packs.
After 20km, Gigi, who ran the Berlin marathon in September, was off the pace. At halfway Tosa and Takahashi were led through by Ivanova in 1:10:53. The rain was now steady and hopes of fast times further diminished as runners faced a headwind. Ivanova dropped out at 27km and the pace slowed further. At 30km Tosa and Takahashi were a minute ahead of Ozaki. "I did not surge at 31km," Tosa said after the race. Takahashi just fell away, as the splits confirm (3:29, 3:32 between 30-32km).
After 32km the gap quickly grew. Tosa covered the 30-35km section 42 seconds faster than Takahashi, and the race was over. From 35km, the runners must contend with the hill, and Takahashi was losing 20 seconds with each kilometre as Ozaki closed down, passing her with 3km to go.
In an interesting aside, Tosa commented: "Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. I think I gave him a good birthday present." She is the first married female runner in Japan to win a major marathon.
WOMEN: 1 Reiko TOSA JPN 2:26:15 2 Akemi OZAKI JPN 2:28:51 3 Naoko TAKAHASHI JPN 2:31:22 4 Olivera JEVTIC SER 2:33:11 5 Zivile BALCIUNAITE LTU 2:33:18 6 Mary PTIKANY KEN 2:34:31 7 Jennifer RHINES USA 2:35:37 8 Atsede BAYSA ETH 2:37:48 9 Maki KONO JPN 2:39:48 10 Yumiko MINATO JPN 2:40:36
19 NOVEMBER 2006: PALERMO INT'L MARATHON, ITALY
MEN: 1 Leonard K KIPYEGO KEN 2:13:34 2 Reuben C MUTUMWO KEN 2:15:35 3 Geoffry C RONO KEN 2:16:02 4 Jhon ROTICH KEN 2:19:13 5 Ben C CHESEREK KEN 2:19:32 6 James K CHEIBO KEN 2:25:40 7 Raphael K KIPLIMO KEN 2:31:06 8 Giuseppe FATONE ITA 2:43:48 9 Antonio GUZZO ITA 2:44:29 10 Angelo RUOCCO ITA 2:48:27 WOMEN: 1 Rosa ALFIERI ITA 3:10:35 2 Diana DRAGHICI ITA 3:26:46 3 Maurizia GIACOMOZZI ITA 3:36:31 4 Irene SOLMI ITA 3:40:00 5 Morena SCARAMELLI ITA 3:40:00 6 Sylvia TRAVAGLIONE USA 3:43:29 7 Giuliana AMATU ITA 3:50:16 8 Debora MERIGO ITA 3:50:22 9 Monica BIGLIOLI ITA 3:54:01 10 Cintia CATTELINI ITA 3:55:24
19 NOVEMBER 2006: MEDIA MARATHON QUITO - MITAD DEL MUNDO, ECUADOR
MEN: 1 Efrem AVILES ECU 1:04:57 2 Franklin TENORIO ECU 1:05:01 3 Herbieto LINARES ECU 1:06:48 WOMEN: 1 Judith LANDI ECU 1:16:39 2 Martha TENORIO ECU 1:17:39 3 Lorena ROSERO ECU 1:18:44
23 NOVEMBER 2006: ATLANTA MARATHON AND HALF, USA
MEN: 1 Maurits VAN DER VEEN NED 2:33:58 2 Scott P LOWE 2:38:10 3 Benjamin T CORONA 2:40:14 4 Mark COUGHLIN 2:44:35 5 Ken CSIPO 2:46:07 6 Timothy NIJAKOWSKI 2:53:30 7 Modesto ZEFERINO 2:55:38 8 Andy MEYER 2:56:18 9 Chuck JONES 2:57:23 10 Jonathan OBST 2:57:25 WOMEN: 1 Bethany HALL USA 3:20:09 2 Jessica MORRIS USA 3:22:04 3 Abby MATSON USA 3:22:18 4 Lauren GILES USA 3:26:46 5 Connie NELSON 3:27:08 6 Nancy ROLLINS USA 3:28:41 7 Brittney JETT USA 3:30:00 8 Wendy DONNAN 3:31:21 9 Sally J BROOKING 3:31:48 10 Susan MOSS 3:35:37 HALF MARATHON: MEN: 1 Michael GREEN USA 1:06:29 2 Belay TEKA-KOSSA 1:06:49 3 Jared NYAMBOKI 1:08:22 WOMEN: 1 Brandi POZNIAK CAN 1:19:54 2 Donna GARCIA 1:21:56 3 Kate E BRUN 1:25:25
24-26 NOVEMBER 2006: MALTA INT'L CHALLENGE MARATHON, MALTA
The Christmas lights might have been switched on earlier during the week, but it was a 27-year old Russian Konstantin Kochkin who really lit up Valletta's Republic Street writes Paul Grech.
He covered the total 'Challenge' distance of 42.2km, run in three consecutive daily stages of 11.2km, 6km and 25km in a cumulative time of 2:24, almost 10 minutes ahead of his opposition. "It isn't good enough to beat Dale Rixon's record of 2:15:49 way back in 1992," said race director Barry Whitmore, "but it is the fastest run we've seen in a long time."
"It is an excellent race and the scenery is very beautiful" said Kochkin. "The hills make it quite tough, particularly the final one that leads to the finish. So it is truly a challenge—but a nice challenge."
Four-time winner David Mansbridge, who finished third on the day (1:34:58) and second overall was visibly disappointed. "Perhaps age is catching up with me," he said.
An athlete with whom age doesn't seem to be catching up is Carol Walsh who, as expected, was the first woman in at the City Gate gantry at the end of the 25km and confirmed her overall victory. Walsh's inclusion was a surprise—she last took part in this race 13 years ago but she didn't regret her choice.
"I really enjoyed myself. At first I was a little bit apprehensive because you have to watch yourself when you're running three races in consecutive days. I used my experience and held back a little in the first two races," she said. Doreen Vella's second place—both in the final race and overall—was a surprise as she started the day in third. "It gave me something to aim for", she said. Carmen Hili, winner of the past four editions, finished third with a slow third stage. "I didn't feel good today although I don't really know why", she said.
MEN: 1 Konstantin KOCHKIN RUS 2:24:41 2 David MANSBRIDGE GBR 2:34:29 3 Terentiev STANISLAV RUS 2:35:09 4 Drew LANG MLT 2:36:23 5 Johann GALEA MLT 2:37:00 6 Stephen BORG MLT 2:37:20 7 Peter AZZOPARDI MLT 2:40:18 8 Jimmy SACCO MLT 2:40:41 9 Andrew GRECH MLT 2:41:38 10 Manuel SPITERI MLT 2:47:05 WOMEN: 1 Carol WALSH MLT 2:50:27 2 Doreen VELLA MLT 3:01:10 3 Carmen HILI 3:04:06 4 Paola VIGNANI ITA 3:20:24 5 Marica MICALLEF MLT 3:21:25 6 Caroline SCIBERRAS MLT 3:23:56 7 Hannah MCDONALD GER 3:32:22 8 Lyndsey GRIFFITHS GER 3:48:54 9 Marie HUNSTON GER 3:50:21 10 Coby GIJSBERS NED 3:52:58
25 NOVEMBER 2006: AIMS CHILDREN'S SERIES, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
The last of the three events in the AIMS Children's Series 2006 provided a curtain-raiser for the 6th Toyota Great Ethiopian Run 10km scheduled for the following day. The two events have things in common: a dramatic start and finish in the huge amphitheatre surrounding Meskal Square, Haile Gebrselassie as a committed race patron and a cast of thousands of enthusiastic participants.
The main differences to the parent event were of length and size. The children's course was 1200m in length, comprising a lap of Meskal Square and an out and back section up a testing slope. The size of the fields were limited in this inaugural event to a total of 3000 runners split into boys and gilrs and two age categories. The size of the competitors varied from tiny through small to medium. In the under 8's events some serious racing went on up front, but the tiny kids trailing in their wake ran the whole way.
As parents dashed from one side of the square to the other to catch the action the kids concentrated their efforts admirably; coming back into the Square for the long curving run-in to the finish they showed easy form and complete awareness of what was required. In the under 11's girls' race the first three finishers all ran barefooot. Further back the main bulk of finishers had to fight for position, as the numbers attracted did not allow for an unimpeded run for all.
After the finish line each participant was awarded a drink and a bottle, biscuits and a medal, as race officials ticked their T-shirts as a receipt. Gradually the Square filled up with kids basking in the sunshine, laughing and chatting with friends and sporting the spoils of their participation.
An awards ceremony was held at which the top three in each category received plaques from a trio of distinguished personages: Carolina Kluft, Sonia O'Sullivan, and race patron Haile Gebrselassie.
25 NOVEMBER 2006: SHANGHAI MARATHON FOR THE TORAY CUP, CHINA
MEN: 1 Paul KORIR KEN 2:15:25 WOMEN: 1 Xin ZHANG CHN 2:32:07
26 NOVEMBER 2006: 10KM CORPORE SAO PAULO CLASSIC, BRAZIL
MEN: 1 Mathew CHEBOI KEN 29:38 2 Kosgei K KIPLINO KEN 29:44 3 Franck CALDEIRA DE ALMEIDA BRA 29:50 4 Paulo R ALMEIDA PAULO BRA 29:55 5 Cosmers K KEMBOI KEN 30:03 6 Luis PAULO DA SILVA ANTUNES BRA 30:09 7 Luiz FERNANDO DE ALMEIDA PAULO BRA 30:15 8 Domingos NONATO DA SILVA BRA 30:28 9 Jose TELLES DE SOUZA BRA 31:14 10 Antonio PEDRO SILVA SALES BRA 31:24 WOMEN: 1 Ednalva LAURIANO DA SILVA BRA 34:41 2 Fabiana CRISTINE DA SILVA BRA 35:16 3 Maria ZEFERINA R BALDAIA BRA 36:26 4 Rosangela FIGUEREDO BRA 36:54 5 Maria L DOS SANTOS NASCIMENTO BRA 36:54 6 Maria L ALVES VIEIRA BRA 37:22 7 Simone ALVES DA SILVA BRA 38:10 8 Shirleide OLIVEIRA DE SOUZA BRA 38:20 9 Flaviana FERREIRA CHUNG BRA 39:07 10 Ana L DOS ANJOS CARCEZ-ANIMAL BRA 39:54
26 NOVEMBER 2006: TOYOTA GREAT ETHIOPIAN RUN 10KM, ETHIOPIA
Jiro Mochizuki photos
With race favourite Ibrahim Jeylan not starting it was Ethiopian 20km champion Deriba Merga who preserved the home nation's 100% record in the sixth running of Africa's largest 10km writes Elshadai Negash. In the women's race little-known runner Belaynesh Fekadu took a surprise victory over defending champion Genet Getaneh as both winners smashed the course record. Young Lyneth Chepkurui equalled Kenya's best-ever placing in this race as the 18-year old led for the final 2km but was unable to match Fekadu's finish.
A leading group of eight distanced themselves from the rest of the field with four Kenyans also vying for a chance to upset the form book. At 5km Tola took the initiative and his pace dropped two runners from the pack. Three more were left behind soon afterwards so that Tola led Merga and Eshetu Wondimu. Tola and Merga dropped Wondimu with 2km to go and Merga pulled clear with 500m to go. Henry Sugut, in ninth, was the fastest non-Ethiopian.
Belaynesh Fekadu shocked defending champion Genet Getaneh and race favourite Bezunesh Bekele to take an upset victory in the women's contest. Fekadu had finished 14th last year and started off by running behind a large leading group of nine runners. Only over the last 2km, when the pack dwindled to five runners, did she take command over the proceedings, moving behind leader Chepkurui with a kilometre to go and sprinting past the Kenyan with 500m to go.
MEN: 1 Deriba MERGA ETH 28:19 2 Tadesse TOLA ETH 28:22 3 Eshetu WONDIMU ETH 28:35 4 Tilahun REGASSA ETH 28:35 5 Kidane GEMECHU ETH 28:40 6 Wegayehu GIRMA ETH 28:45 7 Gadissa GURMU ETH 28:47 8 Tola BANE ETH 28:48 9 Henry SUGUT KEN 28:48 10 Demesew TSEGA ETH 28:50 WOMEN: 1 Belaynesh FEKADU ETH 33:03 2 Lineth CHEPKURUI KEN 33:08 3 Genet GETANEH ETH 33:14 4 Aheza KIROS ETH 33:25 5 Bezunesh BEKELE ETH 33:27 6 Emebet ETA'A ETH 33:33 7 Dire TUNE ETH 33:42 8 Ayelech WORKU ETH 33:47 9 Teyiba ERKESSO ETH 33:49 10 Makeda HAROUN ETH 34:05
26 NOVEMBER 2006: XXIII FIRENZE MARATHON, ITALY
Lorenzo Sampaolo photos
Pacemaker James Kutto seized his chance to win the 23th edition and smashed the course record in the process writes Diego Sampaolo. Vincenza Sicari scored a home victory in her first serious attempt over the distance.
The men's race started fast, with the first 10km passed in 30:07. Pre-race favourite Hicham Chatt, who ran an outstanding 2:07:59 last April in London, lost ground on the leading group and was forced to drop out after 15km. Six men formed the lead group which included Kenyan pacemaker Benjamin Kiptoo, Caliandro (who had the task to pace his teammate Ingargiola until halfway), Kutto, Ingargiola and Joel Saitoti. Kiptoo went through halfway in 63:53, 40 seconds faster than the time previously agreed.
Ingargiola and Kutto pulled away from the rest of the field after 25km (75:48). Running a 27th kilometre of 2:58, Kutto dropped Ingargiola by 10 seconds. At 30km the Kenyan upped the pace to increase his lead over the Italian to 24 seconds. He had started the race as a pacemaker, but now decided to continue to the finish. He kept a sub-3 minutes/km pace, clocking 1:45:54 at 35km (inside 2:08 pace).
Ingargiola and little-known Kenyan Joel Saitoti, who were dropped by 1:40 at 35km, engaged in a neck and neck battle for second place. Over the challenging final kilometres of the course inside the centre of the Tuscan city Saitoti faded and Kimeli Kenei came through to take third place—but Kutto's victory was never in doubt.
Vincenza Sicari was left out on her own at 30km when local favourite Gloria Marconi dropped out. Sicari and Marconi had battled together in the first half, passing 10km in 34:56. At halfway Sicari surged to drop Marconi by six seconds. Marconi dropped out after 30km when Sicari, who ran her first serious marathon after completing a test in Carpi last October in 2:37:00, was running at a 2:29 pace. Three kilometres later she slowed dramatically with liver problems but defended her lead to the end after building up a solid gap over Monica Carlin and Sigrid Valdre in the first part of the race.
A record 6,971 runners representing 54 countries started from the piazzale Michelangelo.
MEN: 1 James KUTTO KEN 2:08:41 2 Francesco INGARGIOLA ITA 2:12:18 3 Kenedy K KEMEI KEN 2:13:36 4 Joel SAITOTI KEN 2:14:00 5 Philip BIWOTT KEN 2:14:29 6 James T KIBOCHO FRA 2:14:38 7 Benjamin K KIPTOO KEN 2:16:08 8 Rachid KISRI MOR 2:18:18 9 Rachid AMUR KEN 2:18:40 10 Marcello CAPOTOSTI ITA 2:18:41 WOMEN: 1 Vincenza SICARI ITA 2:34:52 2 Monica CARLIN ITA 2:46:31 3 Sigrid VALDRE EST 2:49:19 4 Valentina DELION MDA 2:50:25 5 Giulia BELLINI ITA 2:51:13 6 Paola SANNA ITA 2:56:38 7 Margherita GROSSO ITA 2:57:35 8 Manuela BOSCHI ITA 2:58:13 9 Roberta MONARI ITA 2:59:10 10 Debora TORTORA ITA 3:00:35
26 NOVEMBER 2006: SEATTLE MARATHON AND HALF, USA
MEN: 1 Uli STEIDL USA 2:27:51 2 Andy MARTIN 2:29:08 3 Nick MERRILL 2:37:49 4 John BURKE 2:43:50 5 Craig MCMILLAN 2:45:08 6 Christopher DROZDA 2:48:30 7 Kelly FULTON 2:48:42 8 Seth BERNTSEN 2:49:28 9 Jeremy WATERS 2:50:44 10 Elliots BASSETT 2:50:59 WOMEN: 1 Trisha STEDL USA 3:01:36 2 Christine REHWALD 3:05:15 3 Ann ARMSTRONG 3:05:39 4 Annie THIESSEN 3:12:03 5 Marisa RUHTER 3:12:06 6 Kristin BAKER 3:12:54 7 Erin MOORE 3:13:42 8 Tauna JECMEN 3:17:40 9 Monica OCHS 3:22:54 10 Rebecca MARSHALL 3:24:32 HALF MARATHON: MEN: 1 Andy RAKESTRAW 1:12:57 2 John RIAK 1:13:26 3 James OCONNOR 1:13:40 WOMEN: 1 Rhea RICHTER 1:24:50 2 Jamie GIBBS 1:26:01 3 Marti REIMER-REISS 1:26:15
26 NOVEMBER 2006: CYPRUS APHRODITE HALF MARATHON, CYPRUS
The Half Marathon is run in Paphos, the legendary birthplace of Goddess Aphrodite. Runners came from all over the world and enjoyed the fine weather of 23°C and a cloudless sky. Many jumped into the Paphos Sea after the race. Zsolt Benedek's time was good considering the warm weather conditions. He had a close tussle with a number of Greek runners but managed to keep them at bay and eventually won with something to spare.
MEN: 1 Zsolt BENEDEK HUN 1:07:22 2 Theodoros ZACHOS GRE 1:07:36 3 Lambros ZARAGKAS GRE 1:07:58 4 Ioannis KANELLOPOULOS GRE 1:08:09 5 Marios TATSIS GRE 1:08:35 6 Michalis GELASAKIS GRE 1:09:16 7 Theofanis SKOUFIAS GRE 1:10:05 8 Dimitris THEODORAKAKOS GRE 1:14:19 9 George LOUKAIDES CYP 1:15:39 10 Michael KEENAN CYP 1:15:47 WOMEN: 1 Fabiola O RUEDA SUI 1:21:35 2 Paraskevi GRATSANI GRE 1:24:22 3 Deborah WEBB GBR 1:29:13 4 Emilia HRISTOVA BUL 1:34:50 5 Sue CARMICHAEL GBR 1:38:10 6 Sue ASHTON GBR 1:38:56 7 Susan MARTIN-CLARKE GBR 1:41:40 8 Anita EHRHARDT GER 1:46:58 9 Colleen ARNDT CAN 1:48:57 10 Andrea KIRCHMANN GER 1:48:59
26 NOVEMBER 2006: MARATHON OF LA ROCHELLE, FRANCE
Almost 8000 runners enjoyed almost perfect conditions for the 16th edition and were helped on their way by 1100 volunteers. Race favourites Hailu Abebe, Peter Biwott and Elijah Nyabuti passed through halfway in 1:05:35. At 35km Biwott escaped from Abebe and stayed ahead to the finish line. In the women's race Elizabeth Chemweno won the race for the second successive year.
MEN: 1 Peter BIWOTT KEN 2:14:01 2 Hailu ABEBE ETH 2:15:40 3 Elijah NYABUTI KEN 2:16:31 4 Alfred MASRI KEN 2:19:21 5 John NGENY KEN 2:19:48 6 David LAGAT KEN 2:20:10 7 Jackson RONO KEN 2:21:20 8 Samwel LIMO KEN 2:21:33 9 Mikola RUDIK 2:22:08 10 Przemyslaw ROJEWSKI POL 2:22:10 WOMEN: 1 Elizabeth CHEMWENO KEN 2:37:58 2 Leopoldina SILVEIRA FRA 2:42:39 3 Maria FEDOSEEVA RUS 2:46:52 4 Lidia VASILIEVSKAIA RUS 2:47:12 5 Murielle BRIONNE FRA 2:49:59 6 Florence SCARINGELLA FRA 2:54:19 7 Agnes CHELEGAT KEN 2:59:25 8 Karine SOMMIER FRA 2:59:36 9 Agnes DELEUME FRA 3:02:19 10 Julie CALICHARANE FRA 3:02:56
26 NOVEMBER 2006: MARATON DE SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN
MEN: 1 William SEREM KEN 2:16:20 2 Abraham CHELANGA KEN 2:18:32 3 Abraham AIYABEI KEN 2:21:42 4 Vitor Gonzalo GUIRAO ESP 2:26:17 5 Fernando Ramirez PEREZ ESP 2:27:56 WOMEN: 1 Angela DAWSON HOWE GBR 2:49:36 2 Amaia Arana ALDANONDO ESP 2:52:32 3 Josune Tercero MATEOS ESP 2:54:20 4 Leire Elosegi INSAUSTI ESP 2:54:37
26 NOVEMBER 2006: STANDARD CHARTERED BANGKOK MARATHON
At 02.00 on Sanamchai Road in front of the Royal Grand Palace the first group of marathon runners set off into the darkness and 23°C temperatures. These were runners who would spend more than five hours running (the limited time is seven hours). Everyone looked happy and enjoyed the race. A further 2,000 runners, aiming to go faster than five hours, started at 03.30. The elite competitors from Kenya, Ethiopia, Europe, and America ran together at the front. From 30km John Cheboi, the 2004 and 2005 champion and 23-year old Berhanu Tesfaye were out by themselves. It was Tesfaye who finally won the prize and the women's winner was Violetta Uryga.
The entire event attracted around 42,000 participants. Of these, there are about 3,500 marathon runners, 14,000 runners in 10.550km "quarter marathon" and 25,000 participants from more than 30 countries in the 5km Walk & Fun Run. Uniquely, almost all runners wore yellow T-shirts to celebrate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne, and this edition was known as the "Yellow Marathon".
MEN: 1 Tesfaye BERHANU ETH 2:28:02 2 John S CHEBOI KEN 2:28:11 3 Peter Kiprono RABURA KEN 2:28:22 4 Stephen LANGAT KEN 2:30:25 5 Gilbert KIPTOO KEN 2:30:59 6 Rik CEULEMANS BEL 2:31:08 7 Testaye Wordora JIRU ETH 2:33:35 8 Neals STRIK NED 2:33:39 9 John ROTICH KEN 2:37:23 10 Supit JANTHARAT THA 2:40:21 WOMEN: 1 Violetta URYGA POL 2:56:50 2 Sunisa SAILOMYEN THA 2:58:51 3 Pachree CHAITHONGSRI THA 3:01:21 4 Ketmanee SENAPHAN THA 3:03:43 5 Apasara PRASARTHINPIMAI THA 3:14:56 6 Lilian CHELIMO KEN 3:15:07
26 NOVEMBER 2006: LAKE KAWAGUCHI MARATHON, JAPAN
MEN: 1 Takaaki MUKAI JPN 2:22:33 2 Sohei UEKIBARA JPN 2:25:56 3 Kazunari SUZUKI JPN 2:26:36 4 Masayuki OTOKUNI JPN 2:28:24 5 Katsumi ASADA JPN 2:30:33 6 Yasuhiro KAWASAKI JPN 2:30:36 7 Teruyoshi IWASAKI JPN 2:33:12 8 Tetsuya WATANABE JPN 2:34:41 9 Yasunori YAMAMOTO JPN 2:35:03 10 Keigo NAKANE JPN 2:36:30 WOMEN: 1 Chihiro FUKUNAKA JPN 2:49:35 2 Chiemi OANA JPN 2:54:54 3 Yuen LEONG 3:05:03 4 Mariko OZAWA JPN 3:13:47 5 Itsumi INABA JPN 3:14:27 6 Miyoko MURAKAMI JPN 3:15:04 7 Yukari YASUDO JPN 3:19:00 8 Aki KOBAYASHI JPN 3:19:09
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