Monday, November 5, 2007

Islanders on the Run - Last Weekend in Athens, Greece

As reported earlier, Father Gerard Chaisson was training for the Athens Marathon.

2,224 (Place) 2651(Bib) CHAISSON GERARD Male (45-49) 1992 (Male Division Place) 4:35:31 (Finish Time) 4:34:04 (Chip Time)

There was also another Islander in the race:
1,235 (Place) 4460(Bib) BARTLETT ANDREW Male (35-39) 1137(Male Division Place) 4:00:38(Finish Time) 3:59:10(Chip Time)

3407 Total Runners Full Results

Congratulations !
Athens Marathon

Race records fall in Athens Marathon
Sunday 4 November 2007

Athens, Greece - In ideal weather conditions (cloudy in the first stages and light raining at the last Kms) around 4750 runners today ran the 25th edition of the Athens Classic Marathon from the village of Marathon to Athens' 1896 Olympic Marble Stadium.

On the notoriously tough course, Kenya's Benjamin Korir Kiprotich clocked 2:14:40 setting a race record, dominating the men's race ahead of a group of Kenyans, while Russia's Svetlana Ponomarenko verified the pre-race forecast by winning the women's race in 2:33:19, which also smashing the women's race record.

The jubilee edition of the Athens Classic Marathon saw a huge increase in runners compared to last year when there was a total of slightly over 5000 athletes. Adding all races this year the figure was up to 7950. Among them were 4750 marathon runners. Abel Anton, Spain's marathon World Champion from Athens 1997 and Seville 1999, took the opportunity to take part in the 10km race.

Men's Race

The beginning of the mens race brought few surprises, as a group of about ten runners took the lead and gradually broke away from the rest of the field with veteran Italian Migidio Bourifa attempting to create a consistent pace for the leaders.

From the very early stages Bourifa was accompanied by Kenyans Kiptanui Kimutai, Frederick Cerono, Cheruyiot Kipkurui, David Kimutai Kosgei, Benjamin Korir Kiprotich, Michael Cimpchir and Henry Tarus, the winner of the race last year, and the Japanese runner Kazunari Yoshitomi.

Just before the middle of the race at the 20th kilometre point, where the race starts going uphill, the Kenyans decided to change the situation. Accelerating they attacked and Bourifa who was unable to follow them as was Japanese runner who also gave ground to the Kenyan pack. Halfway was passed in 68:07.

As usually the downhill stages of the race decided the winners. The first attempt was made by Kiprotich who tried to overtake the others during the 30th kilometre, but Henry Tarus, Michael Chimpchir, David Kimutai Kosgei and Hosea Kiptanui Kimutai, never fell back enough for him to feel at anytime secure in the lead.

Kiprotich, who was third in Brecia this year (2:10:43 PB), made another, this time decisive move at around 35km and this time kept the margin he garnered until the finishing line, winning in 2:14:40, a race record in the 1896 Panathinaiko Stadium.

Hosea Kiptanui Kimutai who had tried to counter-attack when the winner made his move, finished second with 2:15:03, while defending champion Henry Tarus placed third in 2:15:57. Michael Cimpchir followed with 2:16:52, while Kosgei Kimutai was fifth, 2:17:12.

"I had tried to get away earlier. But then I decided to relax a bit more and let the others catch me again. I was sure that I would win the race," said the 29-year-old Kiprotich. "I will now prepare for a big spring marathon. And it is my aim to run a time between 2:07 and 2:08."

Women's Race

Russia's Viktoryia Zuyeva attempted to take the lead from the beginning of the race, with Ethiopia's Zinash Alemu, third in Athens Marathon last year, Kenya's Sisay Measo, the winner of the race in 2005, and the pre-race favourite, Russian compatriot Svetlana Ponomarenko also in contention.

But with just 5km gone, Ponomarenko was already starting to show that the early challenge was of no concern to her, as she began to break away and ran home for what was an easy win. The 37-year-old Russian who last year won marathons in Dallas, USA and Frankfurt, Germany, ran unchallenged almost all the race and won with a new race record of 2:33.19.

"The weather was fine for me. I would now like to qualify for Beijing next year," said Ponomarenko.

Japanese Chihiro Tanaka was second with 2:41:01, though she was under some pressure from Greece's Magdalene Gazea who achieved the third place and the national title with a personal best of 2:41:31. With this time Gazea now has the standard for the Beijing Olympic Games.

Greek National Championships

A 35-year-old runner, Georgios Karavidas was the surprise winner of the national championships, leaving behind all the favourites. Karavidas clocked a personal best of 2:23:51 to claim his first ever national title and took 10th place overall. Dimitrios Theodorakakos won the silver medal and Lambros Zaragas the bronze.

In the women's race behind Magdalene Gazea, Magdalene Karimali took second place and Georgia Ambatzidou was third.

Michalis Nikitaridis and Jörg Wenig for the IAAF


1. Benjamin Korir Kiprotich 2:14:40
2. Husea Kiptanui Kimutai 2:15:03
3. Henry Tarus KEN 2:15:57
4. Michael Chempchir 2:16:52
5. David Kimutai Kosgai KEN 2:17:12
6. Frederick Cerono KEN 2:17:47
7. Kazunari Yoshitomi JPN 2:19:14
8. Willie Chruyiot Kipkurui KEN 2:19:29
9. Mathew Serem Kipchogei KEN 2:19:45
10. Georgios Karavidas GRE 2:23:51
11. Dimitrios Theodorikakos GRE 2:24:18
13. Labros Zaragas GRE 2:31:07
14. Ioannis Hamodrakas GRE 2:32:46

1. Svetlana Ponomarenko RUS 2:33:19
2. Chihiro Tanaka JPN 2:41:01
3. Magdalene Gazea GRE 2:41:31
4. Magdalene Karimali GRE 2:46:14
5. Sisai Arsenti Measo 2:46:43
6. Georgia Ambatzidou GRE 2:49:58
7. Viktoryia Zuyeva RUS 2:53:38
8. Chepkoro Chemareg Losiatak KEN 2:54.21
9. Æinash Alemu ETH 2:54:53
10. Êonstantina Stefanopoulou GRE 3:01:22

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