Ethiopians topple Ottawa Marathon course records today
Rob Watson and Lioudmila Kortchaguina top Canadians
26, 2013 ÛÒ OTTAWA ÛÒ A highly competitive elite
field and cool weather helped shatter course records at this morningÛªs Ottawa
With a time of 2:08:04, 28 year-old
Ethiopian Tariku Jufar crossed the finish line shaving more than one minute off
the Ottawa Marathon 2:09:12 course record set last year by Kenyan Laban Moiben.
In an almost neck and neck finish, Jufar was followed by 24-year-old Kenyan Luka
Rotich a mere seven seconds later in 2:08:11. Rotich entered the race as a
pacer, but with his job completed he moved on to secure the raceÛªs second
ÛÏThe race was an intense one,Û says Manny
Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator. ÛÏRotich paced Jufar to the 35K mark. At
about 39K, Jufar surged ahead with a very fast sub 3-minute pace, placing him
in contention for a marathon record on Canadian soil. Slowing down in the final
stretch, he still secured the course record with Rotich just behind him.Û
In all, four Ethiopians finished in the top
10 this year, with five Kenyans and a talented Canadian rounding out the field.
Vancouver-based Rob Watson was registered
for the 10K distance, but switched to the marathon Friday backed by an 11th
place finish in Boston in April. With a time of 2:18:33, he handily won this
yearÛªs Canadian Marathon Championships.
Ethiopians also dominated the womenÛªs elite
field, with six placing in the top 10 and the winner slicing more than two
minutes off the 2009 course record of 2:27:41. Twenty-seven-year-old Yeshi
Esayias of Ethiopia ran with a pack of a half-dozen women for most of the race
to finish at 2:25:30 ÛÒ smashing her own personal best time by 30 seconds. Esayias was followed by fellow Ethiopians
Misiker Mekkonin, 25, with a time of 2:25:44 and Sechale Delasa, 21, with
2:27:31. All three finished ahead of the
old course record.
ÛÏSimilar to yesterdayÛªs 10K distance, the
performance of this yearÛªs elite women in the marathon distance was very strong,Û
says Manny Rodrigues.
Finishing eighth overall among women,
Thornhill, Ontario resident Lioudmila Kortchaguina, 41, finished with a time of
2:33:10 to be the first Canadian to cross the finish line and win the Canadian
Marathon Championships. She was also the first master-level athlete to finish
the race. Korthaguina has placed first among Canadian women at the Ottawa
Marathon a total of six times since 2002.
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About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
The 2013 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed close to 44,000 participants
in seven races, including the Marathon, the Half-Marathon, the 10K, HTG Sports
5K, 2K and Y Kids Marathon. The Ottawa Marathon and Ottawa 10K are both
designated Silver Label IAAF events by the International Amateur Athletic
Federation (IAAF). Run Ottawa, the organization behind the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, is dedicated to promoting the sport
of running and enhancing the health and well-being of our community by
organizing distinctive world-class and local races, and managing an active,
membership-based running club. Information: www.runottawa.ca.