WOMEN CR 2:29:12 BY TSEGA
BEIRUT (LIB, Nov 9): Around 40 000 people took to the streets to run the annual peace marathon here under beautiful conditions. After signaling the start of the race; Ethiopian distance legend Haile Gebresalassie along with Beirut Marathon Association President May El Khalil. In the male elite race; the athletes took off from the stating line under the guidance of pacemakers Issac Korir of Bahrain and Legese Adugna of Ethiopia. The pacemakers lead what started our to be a solid attempt on the course record hitting 5km in ; Half Marathon in 64:25 and 30km in 1:33:36; well under the course record pace. After a superb pacing job; the last 12km was left up to Fikadu Girma and Abdela Godana, both of Ethiopia to challenge each other for the win under increasing hot temperatures; it was evident that the warm temperatures took a toll on the athletes as paced slowed from 32km. After vomiting on the course; Fikadu Girma gathered himself to take the victory over his training partner Abdela Godana; in 2:12:28 to Godana’s 2:13:28. In the female elite race; debutante Muluhabt Tsega of Ethiopia; made good on her pre race promise of running the course record as she cruised to a quick 2:29:12 over the classic distance. Tsega took the race from start line to finish line; and never looked back; she was followed by Monica Jepkoech of Kenya in 2:30:49; both ladies were under the previous course record time set by 2011 champion Seada Kedir of Ethiopia; who again found herself on the podium in Beirut; finishing 3rd this year. From Hussein Makke.