Yirdawe wins Kosice, Pavey Wami and Kebede take Bupa Great North Run, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder

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The marathon season has started! Berlin's world record last weekend was the beginning of the fall racing season. I had just left San Jose's RnR half marathon when I got a minute with Josh Rohatinsky, training well for ING New York and Adam Goucher, who also ran RnR half marathon. Adam gave us an update on Kara Goucher, saying her training is going well and speaking highly of Josh's training as well. Adam is not racing a fall marathon: he will stay running hard this fall until New York and then a break. Kara won the Mediatronic Ten Miler, the US champs today, in a weather challenged 53:16-Kara ran seven miles of the race by herself! Other notable finishers in the Mediatronic Ten Miler was one Alberto Salazar who ran under 68 minutes for ten miles.

Bank of America's Chicago Marathon is coming up this coming weekend, October 12 with a very strong field, as usual! If you are a race director, running store owner or running industry insider, do not forget to rsvp at the B of A/RN Chicago Race Industry Reception!

Yirdawe 2:10:51 in strong wind

KOSICE (SVK, Oct 5): Thirty-years old Ethiopian Dejene Yirdawe dominated the 85th International Peace Marathon in Kosice, East Slovakia. The oldest marathon in Europe was staged today in cold weather (8-10 degrees) and in strong winds (partly up to 8 m/s), but there was no rain as the day before. Yirdawe speeded up the pace after 24th km and even the pacemaker David Makori was not going with him as he was faster than the required 3:05 per km. Yirdawe ended his solo successfully after 2:10:51 what is his personal best and second best ever in the history of the event after last years course record 2:09:53 by Kenyan William Biama. The Ethiopian was competing in his third marathon (2:11:08 last year in Dublin and 2:14:11 this year in Tempe) and achieved the third Ethiopian male win in Kosice after such legends like Abebe Bikila (1961) and Demissie Wolde (1969). In close finish of Kenyans three came within eight seconds. Second place for Jonathan Kibet who clocked his second best ever 2:12:23 beating Joseph Mutiso to third (2:12:25) and Sammy Rotich to fourth (2:12:31, who missed his PB only by 26 seconds). The winner won 12 000 Euro for the first place. "It was great race for me, without the wind I think I would be able to run under 2:09," he was quoted. Top four times were included into top 6 of all-time in Kosice. The city course (2 laps) proved to be fast, first sign already back in 1997 at IAAF World Half Marathon Championships when for first time one hour was broken at this event. Top three women registered new personal bests. Winning Kenyan Selina Chelimo in her fifth marathon achieved 2:34:23 what is the third fastest in the history of the event. It was also first Kenyan female win here. Second and third Ethiopians debuted well in difficult windy conditions. Firehiwot Dado clocked 2:37:34 and junior Radiya Adlo (born 1989) 2:39:21. Fourth Kenyan Eunice Korir achieved 2:42:34, but she hoped for her first sub 2:40. For the female winner the prize money was 6000 Euro.

Slovak Champions were Imrich Pastor (he was also best European) as ninth (2:26:05) and defended his title and surprisingly Ingrid Petnuchova (as 6th) who improved to 2:48:23 (6th best Slovak women all-time). In total more than 4000 runners competed in all races and categories from 34 countries.

Results

Men: 1. Dejene Yirdawe, ETH 2:10:51 PB (12 000 E), 2. Jonathan Kibet, KEN 2:12:23 (5000), 3. Joseph Mutiso, KEN 2:12:25 (3000), 4. Sammy Rotich, KEN 2:12:31 (2000), 5. Benson Cheruiyot, KEN 2:15:56 (1000), 6. Hussan Adelo, ETH 2:16:21 (600), 7. Joseph Lagat, KEN 2:16:46 (500), 8. Philip Bandawe, ZIM 2:24:13 (200), 9. Imrich Pastor, SVK 2:26:05, nat. champion (150), 10. William Kiptoo, KEN 2:26:09 (100)

Wom: 1. Selina Chelimo, KEN 2:34:23 PB (6000), 2. Firehiwot Dado, ETH 2:37:34 PB (debut, 2500), 3. Radiya Adlo, ETH 2:39:21 PB (debut, junior, 1500), 4. Eunice Korir, KEN 2:42:34 (1000), 5. Mariya Butakova, BLR 2:46:15 (500), 6. Ingrid Petnuchova, SVK 2:48:23 PB, nat. champion (300), 7. Ivana Martincova, CZE 2:49:24, 8. Nataliya Lehonkova, UKR 2:53:06, 9. Valentina Delion, MDA 2:53:46, no more finisher under 3 hours

Ethiopian double: Wami and Kebede

NEWCASTLE (GBR): Olympian Jo Pavey despite a superlative display failed by just two seconds from becoming the first British runner since Paula Radcliffe five years ago to win the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday. Informs the event website. Pavey in a close finish to the world's biggest half marathon, looked as if she might snatch victory when edging a few strides ahead in the final mile but found herself thwarted by the African pair of Gete Wami and Magdalene Mukunzi. The Ethiopian clocked 1:08:51 ahead of Kenyan 1:08:52 and Pavey 1:08:53. The Briton now feels she can be ready to make her debut over the full marathon distance, the eventual aim being to have a first child and then compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Wants to run next the New York City Marathon. Tsegay Kebede made it an Ethiopian double with a runway win in the men's race and although running solo for almost the last nine miles, posting a world class time of 59:45. "I thought I could have ran faster," said the 21-year-old Olympic marathon bronze medallist who only emerged into world class stature when winning last year's Paris marathon. Gebre Gebremariam his fellow countryman was a distant runner-up in 1:01:29 holding off Abdi Abdirahman the USA Number one by four seconds. Last year world marathon champion Luke Kibet was fourth (1:01:34) with best European Martin Fagan of Ireland sixth in 1:02:20 and Spanish Chema Martinez eight 1:03:31.

New course record in Koln

KOLN (GER, Oct 5): Despite rain and cold the favorite Sammy Kurgat of Kenya clocked new course record at 12th Koln Marathon with 2:10:01. He improved the former mark of James Rotich 2:10:22 from 2004 by 21 seconds. No European achieved top ten position, with other Kenyans clocking 2:10:34 for second (Daniel Too) and 2:11:17 for third (Thomas Chemitei). Also sub 2:12 for fourth Joel Kemboi with 2:11:54. Ethiopian Robe Tola Guta registered 2:29:36 to beat the home favorite Luminita Zaituc (will be soon 40) who achieved excellent 2:29:58. Third another Ethiopian Alem Ashebir Gebreezgi got 2:39:06. Here the course 2:27:27 of Angelina Kanana from inaugural year remained. German Sabrina Mockenhaupt won in preparation for Frankfurt Marathon the half marathon in great PB 1:08:51. With this time she equalled the European Leading time 2008 of her teammate Irina Mikitenko who achieved the same in April in Paderborn. In total 26 000 runners competed in all events.

OTHER RESULTS

BRUSSELS (BEL, Oct 5): Home runner Rik Ceulemans won the Brussels Marathon in 2:19:31. It was his second win here after 2004, but four years ago he was faster clocking 2:17:22.

BUDAPEST (HUN, Oct 5): Hugarian runners were winners of 23rd Budapest Marathon and both also took the national titles. Gyorgy Rezesffy achieved 2:24:18 and Judit Nagy 2:45:30. In total 12 900 runners participated.

BREGENZ (AUT, Oct 5): Austrian marathon champions were Christian Pflugl in 2:23:30 and Ursula Bredlinger 2:49:06 in sunny, but windy conditions.

ZAGREB (CRO, Oct 5): Bosnian record holder in marathon Djuro Kodzo defended the title at the 17th Zagreb Marathon in new event best and his PB 2:16:44. Russian Tatyana Perepelkina was the best woman (2:44:05).

MINSK (BLR, Oct 4): Winners of National Festival of run "Jazyl ten" (Old roads) in the main category at 10.2 km were Volha Kravtsova with 34:31 ahead of Nastasia Padalinskaya (34:52) and Nastasia Starovoytova (35:43). Men winner Stepan Rahavtsev achieved 29:31. The best runners collected 1.5 mil. Belarusian Rubles (about 700 USD), the total prize money was 8.9 millions (about 4250 USD).

OTHER NEWS

KINGSTON (JAM): Several members of Jamaica's 2008 medal-winning Olympics team were on Saturday honoured in a special ceremony and awarded with the country's fifth highest national honour, the Order of Distinction, Commander and Officer Class. In a classic 45-minute-long exercise witnessed by scores of excited Jamaicans, athletes Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Melaine Walker, Dwight Thomas, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Danny McFarlane and Bridgitte Foster-Hylton were honoured. Informs Jamaica Observer. Bolt, Powell and Campbell-Brown were bestowed with honours in the rank of Commander, and their colleagues in the rank of Officer. Also honoured were president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) Howard Aris; Glen Mills, coach of Usain Bolt; 1976 Olympic 200m gold medallist and consultant in the preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Donald Quarrie, who were awarded the Order of Distinction Commander Class (CD) for their service to track and field and their contribution to the athletes' success.

The appreciative crowd, clad mostly in the green, yellow and black of the Jamaican flag which filled the stands to see the athletes, cheered and screamed to their hearts' content, many calling out to the athletes as if they were lifelong friends.

GOTEBORG (SWE): Former Olympic winner in triple jump Christian Olsson made an interesting comeback last Friday. But it wasn't as a triple jumper, but as a thrower: 11.62 (SP) - 47.75 (JT) - 32.23 (DT) - 27.29 (HT). He participated in a "Castorama"-competition, a late autumn tradition in Sweden consisting of all the four throwing events. Christian won this particular competition involving his training group.

WASHINGTON (USA): On the Day of German Unity, October 3, 2008, the German Ambassador to the USA, Dr. Klaus Scharioth, received representatives of the organising committee of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics berlin 2009™ (BOC), as well as the top American athletes Bryan Clay, LaShawn Merritt, Shalane Flanagan, and Alan Webb in his residence in Washington, DC.

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