Marathons

Only a Marathon is a Marathon

Written by Press Release -Vienna City Marathon.

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Is the“Marathon” in the sense ofa running event 42,195 metres in length or merely 38 kilometres? Theanswer is: it depends on the sport you’re doing. In running there isexact measurement of courses throughout the world. Triathlon, on theother hand, allows deviations from the rules of up to ten per cent. Thatrepresents a shortening of the marathon distance of up to 4.2kilometres! “Triathlon courses cannot be counted as officially measureddistances unless the same procedures are carried out as for road races,”says Hugh Jones of AIMS, the Association of International Marathons andDistance Races. The Vienna City Marathon, an IAAF GoldLabel Road Race, points out that running performances in triathlons mustaccordingly be viewed relatively and the name “Marathon” should be positioned in the sport of running as a brandname.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), taking place October 16th, is Canada's premiere running event. For the fourth consecutive year, the STWM has been awarded a prestigious Silver Label by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). This designation makes the event one of only five internationally recognized IAAF Label marathons in North America, In 2010 the STWM was ranked as 6th fastest marathon in the world, 3rd fastest women’s race in the world and holds the record for both the fastest men's and women's marathons on Canadian soil (2:07:58 run last year by Kenneth Mungara & 2:22:43 by Sharon Cherop). 

New Champions Crowned at Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

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St. Paul, MN (October 2, 2011) - What started out as record-setting pace in the women’s race slowed shortly before the half-way point. The women were on pace to break the course record of 2:26:51 set by Zinaida Semenova (RUS) in 2001 and then tied by Irina Permitina (RUS) in 2004. But the back half of the course surprised women’s champion Yeshimebet Tadesse-Bifa, who finished in 2:28:24. “I had initially planned to run under 2 hours, 26 minutes,” Tadesse-Bifa said through an interpreter, “but I am grateful to have run in as much time as God allowed me to run. I was bothered by the headwinds throughout the race and the hills. Without the hills I would’ve broken the record. My training had prepared me to run faster than I did today.”

Frankfurt adds Ethiopian and Kenyan pace to women’s field

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Strong Ethiopian and Kenyan competitors havebeen added to the women’s field of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon, whichwill see its 30th edition on 30th October. MerimaMohammed, Mamitu Daska, Fate Tola and Agnes Kiprop will feature inGermany’ssecond major marathon race. Five weeks after theBerlin race, organisers of the BMWFrankfurt Marathon expect a record entry of about14,000 runners and similar high-class results as seen last Sunday in thecapital.

Yal Looking for Toronto Course Record

Written by Paul Gains (organisers) for the IAAF.

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Toronto, Canada - Like many of her Ethiopian compatriots Koren Yal’s success in marathoning has been fueled by a desire for a better life. The 24-year-old returns to Toronto for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on 16 October chasing a fast time and another hefty pay cheque.  


A year ago she finished fourth in this IAAF Silver Label Road Race with a personal best time of 2:24:32 but claims she is ready for more.  


“My fitness and preparation has been better than last year,” she says. “My target will be to run my personal best, under 2:24, but to do it everything depends on the weather conditions and if I have a good pacemaker like last year.”  


“I'm training daily under the supervision of my Ethiopian coaches, Gemedu Dedefo and Gebeyehu Berihun. They follow the technical advice and programs of an Italian coach, Gabriele Nicola.”  


Yal says that the summer months constitute the rainy season in Ethiopia and for that reason they sometimes skipped either the evening or morning training session. Still, she has been consistently running 160 to 170 kilometres a week. The training group includes Aberu Kebede, Aselefech Mergia, Tirfe Tsegaye and Atsede Habtamu. 


They do most of their training on the roads around Sabata and Sendafa at altitudes of roughly 2500m above sea level and sharpen up with speed training on the track inside the Ethiopian national stadium. Her 2011 form is apparent.  


Already this year Yal has competed in two marathons. On 16 January she won the Mumbai Marathon in a new course record of 2:26:56 earning $36,000 USD. Then on 10 April she finished third in Paris with 2:26:56. Though she is well travelled she can’t say she enjoys the experience.  


“Due to language problems (I speak little English) I have had a hard time traveling around the world,” she explains. “It was quite stressful, but now I've more experience and feel comfortable while traveling.”


“I'd like to point out I was lucky enough that I never faced problems as some of my athlete friends did and I never spent the night lost around the world, waiting for the next flight, simply because they were not able to communicate and ask for help.”  


Koren Jelela Yal grew up in a family of six children born to farmers in the Shewa area of Ethiopia. As a young girl she admired Derartu Tulu the two-time Olympic 10,000m champion and former London and New York Marathon winner.  


“I have two brothers and three sisters,” she says. “Nobody followed me into running, some are students and some are farmers.”


“Until now I did not win many races, not a top race. I hope I'll do it in Toronto and I'm ready to organise a nice party with family and friends to celebrate this achievement and share my joy with them.”  


Despite her young age Yal has much international experience. As a 20-year-old she represented Ethiopia at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya, finishing 19th in the senior women’s race. A year later, in Edinburgh, she finished 14th. But she realised that her future lay in road racing and not as a national team member.  


Being a full time athlete means there is little time for anything but training, physiotherapy and rest. Yal concedes she likes to watch television or read a book when there is time to do so. Spending time with friends is also high on her list of pastimes. And there is another priority in her life.  


“I'm engaged to Shumi Gerbaba (2:09:03 marathoner),” she reveals. “I believe he understands my condition and feeling as an athlete and this is great as life with an international level athlete is not always easy.”  


Gerbaba won the 2011 Stockholm Marathon and helps inspire his fiancé with his performances.  


Yal knows that the Toronto course is conducive to fast running and she will also benefit from the fact the race is three weeks later than in past years. If the competition develops, as it should, we can expect Yal to be in the thick of the battle. Could a course record be in the offing? That would be something that Koren Yal would surely enjoy.


Paul Gains (organisers) for the IAAF