2011 Honda LA Marathon: Course Record: Geneti runs 2:06.35, Deba runs 2:26.34, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

Thumbnail image for Geneti_Markos1-Carlsbad10.JPGMarkos Geneti, 2010 Carlsbad 5,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

2004 World Indoor Champs bronze medalist at 3,000 meters and 2005 World Champ participant at 1,500 meters, Markos Geneti has always had leg speed. But today, he showed that he has the endurance, and guts to risk it all. Today, Markus Geneti took the lead early from course record holder Wesley Korir and just kept running. Geneti passed the women, who had a lead of 17 minutes three seconds (part of the $100k gender challenge), just passed the 20 mile mark. His country person, Buzenesh Deba, took Geneti's move as inspiration, to move past Amy Hastings, a US marathoner, who was on a roll, leading most of the Honda LA Marathon. Hastings was not done, and fought back, never giving up. Deba went by Hastings at 22 miles and won the race, in her personal best (after nine marathons) of 2:26.34. Hastings held on to run a 2:27:03 for second place.

But it was Markos Geneti's day! Taking $100k for the Gender Challenge, $25k for the win, and a new Honda, Markos Geneti showed that speed sure helps, even when one is cross flooded streets in Brentwood!

Kenya wins 6 out of 8 gold medals, but Merga gets the main one
PUNTA UMBRIA (ESP, Mar 20): It was nearly as big Kenyan festival as last year in Poland. But the main men´s race at 39th IAAF World CC Championships was won by Ethiopian Diamond League winner Imane Merga. Kenya got 11 medals (6-3-2), last year it was all 8 golds and in total 13 medals. Ethiopia was better than in 2010 with 2-4-1. Third Uganda 0-1-2 ahead of USA 0-0-2 and Japan 0-0-1, in total five countries getting podium places. This time no medal for Eritrea (last year 2 silvers). Best European placing was the 14th position of Briton Charlotte Purdue in women race, best European teams in two cases Great Britain fifth in junior girls and women races. In comparison to 2010 again fifth team position was the best, but in Bydgoszcz Hilda Kibet achieved better individual position for Europe (10th in women one). Merga won at 12 km in 33:50 with Kenyan Paul Tanui winning the battle for the silver medal and arriving at the finish two seconds in arrears of Merga 33:52. Vincent Chepkok, last year's second fastest man over 5000m, was third in 33:53 while the team gold medal was clinched for Kenya, when Mathew Kisorio finished fourth in 33:55. Kenya's team triumph means that they have now won for the last six years and 24 out of the last 26 years. Ethiopia was second over Uganda.  Two other points worth mentioning are that Eritrea's 2010 silver medallist Teklemariam Medhin finished 14th after being part of the leading pack during the first third of the race while the first European across the line, getting plenty of cheers from the appreciative 20,000-strong crowd was Spain's Ayad Lamdassem as 16th (35:12). Best European team Spain (8th). Vivian Cheruiyot in battle of two world champions beat Linet Masai in women 8 km (24:58-25:07). US Shalane Flanagan at the end beat Ethiopian co-favorite Meselech Melkamu (25:10-25:18). Flanagan is the first non-African medalist in this event since 2004. Kenya over Ethiopia in teams and US third from Bahrain and Great Britain as best European squad. Charlotte Purdue was European leading finisher in 14th place (26:03). World champion at 1500 metres Maryam Jamal was 23rd (26:39) and Euro winner at the same distance Nuria Fernandez just one place behind as 24th (26:39 too). Geoffrey Kipsang was nobody's favourite to win the junior race, after finishing fourth at his own national trials last month, but the 18-year-old Kenyan showed what a difference a month of dedicated preparation can make with a stunning display of gun-to-tape front running and 22:21 at 8 km. Thomas Ayeko was surprise Ugandan silver winner (22:27) with Patrick Mutunga third (22:32). Isaiah Koech who broke indoor junior bests this year was 10th (23:10). Best European Briton Jonathan Hay as 39th (24:35). In teams Kenya over Ethiopia and Uganda, with GBR best European as 10th. Faith Chepngetich sprinted to victory in the junior women's event a sparkling sprint under a brilliant sun (6 km in 18:53). A year ago, the barefoot runner lost the individual bronze medal to team-mate Purity Rionoripo in the final sprint to the line. This time, she again went barefoot. Ethiopian pair Genet Yalew and Azemra Gebru were behind her (18:54 for both). Ethiopia regained the team title (only team title for them this year)  from Kenya and Japan. Also here Great Britain was best from Europe: Emilia Gorecka individually (15th, 20:03) and the team as fifth.  Individual winners in the senior men's and women's races earned $30,000, and the top senior teams received $20,000. With help from IAAF.

World junior record for Sirmais
SOFIA (BUL, Mar 20): Cold weather and blowing wind continued also on the second day of 11th European Cup Winter Throwing in Sofia. The top highlight was new javelin world junior record by Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais (18) with 84.47 m. Former mark of Andreas Thorkildsen was 83.87 from 2001. It was a nice technical first effort of the young athlete, who beat the favorite Ukrainian Oleksandr Pyatnitsa (81.96) and another junior, Russian Valeriy Iordan (79.49 pb). Sirmais was sixth in world all time junior list before Sunday with 82.27 m. "My mother said that I can throw my best when the weather is cold (today in Sofia the temperature was 7ºC). I felt very relaxed and I took all my efforts in the first attempt. It was precise technically and my dream came true. I expected that record, I prepared very well for the contest. Andreas Thorkildsen is my favorite and I'm very happy that I could beat his best junior result. I aim to win gold at junior championships in Tallinn this summer," said the new record holder. After a foul in her first attempt the former world record holder Tatyana Lysenko bettered with each of her next four throws to snatch the victory with season best (73.70). Although European champion Betty Heidler promised on Sunday that she will throw over 75 m, the contest didn't start properly for her. All her six efforts were over 70 m, but she was not pleased with the surface of the circle and best of 72.71. The younger of two sister Marghiev - Zalina - won the bronze for Moldova with her first effort (71.96). In the U23 contest the twice world and European junior and youth champion Bianca Perie of Romania had only one valid throw (67.38) in second round, but it was enough for victory over world junior champion from Moncton Britain Sophie Hitchon (64.16). The battle between Bosnian Hamza Alic and Portuguese Marco Fortes was thrilling with both making their bests in fourth round of shot put and only 3 cm separated Fortes from the victory: 20.18 vs. 20.21 of Alic. In the U23 javelin Ukrainian record holder Dmytro Kosynskyy lead the contest with 79.90 in his first effort until fifth round when Turkish record holder and Medditeranean champion from 2009 Fatih Avan made his big strike - 80.19 - new national record for men. Russian Olesya Korotkova won women discus (60.20) over Romanian favorite Nicoleta Grasu (59.44). In the U23 competitions Yekaterina Strokova was the best in discus for Russia (55.56) and Siarhei Bakhar in shot put for Belarus (18.29). Team titles in senior categories for men of Russia (ahead of Ukraine and Italy) and women of Germany beating Russia and France. In the U23 categories men of Ukraine won ahead of Russia and Finland and in women summary Hungarian women over Ukraine and Russia. With help from Aleksandar Vangelov.

Goumri and Guta
SEOUL (KOR, Mar 20): Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri fighted with heart in rain and chilly weather to win the 82nd Seoul International Marathon in 2:09:11 to get 80 000 USD first place prize money. Home runner Jeong Jin-Hyeong was second in PB of 2:09:28 ahead of Russian Oleg Kulkov who posted European leading of 2011 and equalled his best 2:10:13. Title defender Kenyan Sylvester Teimet did not finish the race. Robe Guta of Ethiopia won the women's race in 2:26:51, ahead of China's Wei Yanan 2:27:13 and South Korea's Chung Yun-Hee in 2:32:26. Fourth Gladys Tejeda posted new national record for Peru 2:32:32. Former world champion Lidia Simon of Romania who planned to run last Sunday in Nagoya was a non-finisher. 2010 winner Amane Gobena was only 10th in 2:37:31. Organizers say about 14,750 people took part in the race.

Tadese close to his WR
LISBON (POR, Mar 20): Five times IAAF world champion in different events Zersenay Tadese showed excellent shape at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon with attacking his own world record set in the same race a year ago (58:23). In his splits 14:01 and 27:42 at 5km and 10 km he was close to world record pace, but little behind. The Eritrean track olympic medalist was for most of the race alone and clocked second fastest ever 58:30 against the wind. Kenyan John Mwangangi was second (1:00:30) and Silas Sang third (1:00:38). Best European was home runner Luis Feitera as 11th (1:04:18). Ethiopian Berlin and Rotterdam marathons winner and former World Half Marathon medalist from 2009 Aberu Kebede clocked 1:08:28 to win the women category. Second Portugal´s Ana Dulce Felix achieved 1:08:33 what is new national record and European leader of 2011 at the distance. Third Kenyan Grace Momanyi in her fourth half-marathon for first time dipped under 1:10 with 1:08:41.

Dado hattrick
ROMA (ITA, Mar 20): Women winner achieved higher quality time at 17th Roma Marathon as Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia posted 2:24:13, it was her life-time best, second best ever at the race and third win here in a row. She was running last meters without shoes to remember the legendary Abebe Bikila at Rome Olympic Games 1960. Second and third were also Ethiopian runners, Goteitom Haftu in 2:26:21 (career best) and Haile Kebelush 2:27:39. Italian Rosaria Console was fifth as best European in good quality 2:29:15 (her best is 2:26:45 from Berlin 2009). Kenyan surprise male winner was Dickson Chumba in his third marathon. He improved so far with every race, now his best stands at 2:08:45. Last year winner Siraj Gena was second (2:09:21) and another Ethiopian Abdulahi Dawit Shami third (2:09:42). "I worked as a gardener before I starting running in 2008 under the guidance of Italian coach Claudio Berardelli in Kapsabet," said Chumba for IAAF. No male European clocked under 2:20. No less than 14,000 runners started the race, while about 85,000 runners took the streets to take part in the 4Km Fun Run, informs IAAF.

Impressive Geneti
LOS ANGELES (USA, Mar 20): Ethiopian Markos Geneti won in 2004 world indoor bronze at 3000 m and in 2005 represented his country at the World Championships in Helsinki in the 1500 m. On Sunday he debuted in marathon and won the 26th LA Marathon in superb course record and second fastest of the year 2:06:35. It is also 6th best marathon debut ever and 15th best course record (third best in USA behind Chicago and Boston). And that all happened despite cold weather and heavy rain.  Geneti won 25 000 USD and a 2011 Honda Insight EX Sedan, plus 100 000 USD for the gender bonus after passing the women before the 20-mile mark. Second Kenyan Nicholas Kamakya 2:09:26 ahead of team-mates Laban Moiben 2:13:12 and title defender and previous course record (2:08:24 in 2009) holder Wesley Korir 2:13:23. Bizunesh Deba, also from Ethiopia, won the women's division with a time of 2:26:34, her life-time best. It was her 9th marathon since 2009 and all were completed in the USA. Second Amy Hastings debuted at age of 27 in excellent 2:27:03. Third another Ethiopian Mare Dibaba clocked 2:30:25. Russian Yulia Arkhipova was fifth (2:33:55). NBC local writes that the race started at Dodger Stadium on nearly-dry pavement, but soaking rain and driving winds developed a half hour into the race. There was ankle-deep water in Brentwood, and cold, wet winds lashed the finish line. Spectator turnout along the route, from Dodger Stadium to downtown Los Angeles, and then west to Santa Monica, was significantly lower than in years past, no doubt due to the weather. Some 25 000 runners participated.

World leader for a junior
LUGANO (SUI, Mar 20): Fast walking races at the Lugano Trophy, 9th Memorial Albisetti (EA Walking Permit) in Switzerland. Chinese 18-years old junior world record holder at 10 km Wang Zhen clocked world leading and third fastest ever 20 km for a junior 1:18:37. Second Chu Yafei improved to 1:18:38 and third Chen Ding to 1:19:39. Fourth best non-Chinese was Tunisian Hassanine Sbai with new national record 1:20:19. Fifth best European Ireland´s Robert Heffernan (1:20:54) ahead of Ukrainian Nazar Kovalenko (1:21:34). Interesting to note the 19th place of Spanish veteran and former 50 km world champion Jesus Angel Garcia (1:24:35). Asiang Games winner Liu Hong was the best woman at 20 km in 1:29:29, meet record. Second Russian Tatyana Sibileva 1:30:37 ahead of another Chinese Gao Ni 1:30:46 (personal best). Ana Cabecinha of Portugal was fourth (1:31:08) and Czech Zuzana Schindlerova improved her best to Daegu qualifier 1:32:10.


READING (GBR, Mar 20): Kenyan wins at 29th Reading Half-Marathon with 16 000 participants. Simon Kasimili clocked 1:03:08 ahead of Edwin Kipyego 1:03:09. In women standings Edith Chelimo 1:11:22 ahead of Briton Liz Yelling 1:12:00.

VICENZA (ITA, Mar 20): Kenyan Paul Koech won the 11th Stra Vicenza Del Palladio 10 km in 29:47. Giovanna Epis of Italy was the home women winner (34:21).

PISTOIA (ITA, Mar 20): Daniel Kipkirui achieved 1:03:23 to win the 24th Half Marathon di Pistoia. In women race Kenyan Lucy Wambui achieved 1:11:56.

LEON (ESP, Mar 20): Doha world indoor medalist at 3000 m Sergio Sanchez debuted here in the half-marathon with 1:05:02 win.

VIRGINIA BEACH (USA, Mar 20): US Chris Erichsen improved to 2:18:24 in winning the Shamrock Marathon here. 28-years old Michelle Suszek from Nevada was the best woman in 2:43:35.

CHENGDU (CHN, Mar 20): Two interesting results from second day of Chinese National GP indoor meet in women events. Doha world indoor finalist Zheng Xingjuan cleared 192 in the high jump and Li Yanmei registered 14.16 in the triple jump.

BUENOS AIRES (ARG, Mar 19): South American record holder Jennifer Dahlgren achieved 70.90 in women hammer here.

MONTE CARLO (MON, Mar 20): To continue the philosophy of the Marathon across three countries, the Fédération Monégasque d'Athlétisme with the assistance of the Principality of Monaco, the Italian city of Ventimiglia, the French cities of Menton and Roquebrune Cap Martin, have developed the Monaco Run a race line along the seaside and its breathtaking scenery, with a departure from the center of Ventimiglia in Italy and a finish at the heart of the Principality of Monaco on the Port Hercule, for 23.8 km. This time with a start in one country, a second crossed and the finish in a third, the runners have really done a unique race in the world. Organizers are informing in a release. Moroccan Tarik Marnhaoui won in 1:18:52. On the women side Italian Ornella Ferrara was the best in 1:30:43. In the 10 km new course record 29:38 for Lahcen Amguil.

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