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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Waterfront marathon will finish at Occupy Toronto protest - The Globe and Mail

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), is Canada's premiere running event. Photo: Scotiabank - The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), is Canada's premiere running event. Photo: Scotiabank | Scotiabank
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Waterfront marathon will finish at Occupy Toronto protest

Toronto— Globe and Mail Update
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The drama of Sunday’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will be a skirmish on the downtown streets in the financial district -- not among those geared up for the Occupy Toronto protest but among those clad in running shoes, seeking a spot in the London Olympic Games, says Alan Brookes, race director for the downtown Toronto running fixture.

The finish line for the 42.195-km race is set for King and Bay Streets, which also happens to be Canada’s financial centre and ground zero for the protest. The name sponsor of the 22,000-runner sold-out races -- marathon, half-marathon and 5 km run -- is one of Canada’s major financial institutions.

But the ingredients won’t boil over into violence, Brookes said.

“Last weekend, when the major marathon was in Chicago, so was the Occupy Chicago protest, and nothing happened to upstage the race,” Brookes said Friday, Toronto Waterfront officials welcomed a ceremonial flame from Marathon, Greece.

“The security forces dealt with everything in Occupy Chicago last weekend. People peacefully co-existed and recognized everyone’s democratic right to have their voices heard,” he said. Pamphlets and literature was distributed, but Brookes said he was not aware of any acts of violence.

The Toronto area marathons are known as fund-raisers and profile-raisers for social-needs organizations. “We’re friends of social causes,” he said.

This year, Waterfront Marathon runners will collect some $3-million for 164 charities including Nellie’s Women’s Shelter, women’s assault help lines, food banks, Amnesty International and Matthew House for refugees. Brooks said its the charities’ opportunity to be seen and create awareness “and clearly the protestors have a similar goal. The marathon flame is burning here to promote world peace and the spirit of democracy that comes from Greece. We hope that the protesters can convey their message tomorrow [Saturday].”

There is $150,000 prize money and a number of international Olympicteam places at stake. Runners from 50 countries are taking part, some with Olympic berths almost closed.

Kenyan star Kenneth Mungara, 38, returns to this IAAF Silver Label race seeking a fourth consecutive victory in Toronto after 2010’s win in a course record 2:07:58. His compatriot, Nixon Machichim - 4th last year in 2:08:22 - will challenge.

“The course is not really flat but its good,” Mungara said in an interview. “I feel good. You can’t say how fast you can go, it depends on the pacemakers. I can’t push then if they go slow. I have to save my energy until they leave, then I push it on my own... They may cost a lot of money but they do a lot of the job. They cook the race. I can’t cook, I take it to the table.”

Athletics Kenya already has announced world champion Abel Kirui and world record holder Patrick Makau have been given two of the three spots for the Olympics.

A strong Canadian representation, seeking London Olympic singlets is led by Guelph’s Reid Coolsaet (2:11:23), his Speed River Track Club teammate, Eric Gillis (2:12:08) and Dylan Wykes (2:12:39). Coolsaet’s time from a year ago gives him an advantage. Unless Gillis, Wykes and the absent Simon Bairu can run faster than his best time, he will be representing Canada at London 2012.

“I’ll have a shot at it [breaking the 36-year-old Canadian native mark of Jerome Drayton], but a lot depends on the weather. If it’s windy, I’ll have to go with a different plan,” he said.

“The rain isn’t so much a problem -- a heavy rain might bog things down and make the shoes heavy. But a light rain is actually refreshing.”

The women’s race features Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba, who holds the Ethiopian national half marathon record of 1:07:13 -- the eighth fastest woman in history at that distance. Last year she ran 2:25:27 at the Frankfurt marathon demonstrating her potential at the classic distance. She is not short of confidence.

“I am expecting to run between 2:22 and 2:23 if I have a good pacemaker,” she declares. Her compatriot, Koren Jelela Yal is pushing for a similar time. She ran 2:24:33 in Toronto a year ago and won the steamy hot Mumbai marathon in January in 2:26:56. She comes to Toronto in the best shape of her life.

“My target will be to run my personal best, under 2:24, but, to do it, everything depends on the weather conditions and if I have a good pacemaker, like last year,” she said.

Folks from the Guinness Book of World Records will be in Toronto also to follow the performances of Britain’s 100 year old Fauja Singh who set eight age-group world records Friday and hopes to be the first centenarian to finish a marathon. He has appeared in the adidas “Impossible is Nothing” advertising campaign, making the humble ex-farmer in a yellow turban something of a celebrity.

Canada’s own master’s competitor, Ed Whitlock, will attempt to break his world record for 80 year olds on Sunday. He ran 3:25:43 at the Rotterdam Marathon in the spring. That’s fast enough for a man half his age to qualify for the Boston marathon.

Ethiopian Gebissa wins Carpi Marathon, Ethiopia, more sports, StarAfrica.com

By: AK
14/10/2011 09:07 GMT

Ethiopian Gebissa wins Carpi Marathon

Ethiopian distance runner Deribe Gebissa won the 24th edition of the Maratona d’Italia Memorial Enzo Ferrari held last Sunday in Carpi, Italy.

Gebissa finished the race from Maranello to Carpi in a time of 2:32:22.

She finished ahead of Italian Eliana Patelli (2:36:18) and Russian Venera Sarmosova (2:36:50) in that order.

Gebissa becomes the first Ethiopian to win the ultimate in the annual since its inception in 1988.

Compatriot Gezu Belete Mekonen finished third in the men’s category after clocking 2:10:34.

Kenyan Nicolas Kurgat won the race in 2:08:36 ahead of compatriot Betram Keter, who finished at 2:09:27.

The Marathon is held in memory of Enzo Ferrari, founder of Italian Sports Car company, Ferrari, sponsors of the race.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mosop breaks Chicago Marathon course record

CHICAGO: Kenya’s Moses Mosop won the Chicago Marathon in a course record and Russian Liliya Shobukhova completed an unprecedented hat–trick of victories in impressive style here on Sunday.

Both champions pulled away to post emphatic victories, Mosop clocking 2’05:37 to beat the previous course record of 2’05:41 set in 2009 by the late Sammy Wanjiru.

Shobukhova, too, made it look easy as she won in 2’18:20. Only England’s Paula Radcliffe has ever run faster.

Liliya Shobukhova

Mosop led a Kenyan sweep of the men’s podium. Wesley Korir was second in 2’06:15 and Bernard Kipyego third in 2’06:29.

Ethiopia’s Bekana Daba (2’07:59) and American Ryan Hall (2’08:04) completed the top five.

Mosop came into the race saying his training had been hindered by a sore Achilles tendon. There was no sign of it as he powered through the final third of the race.

“Yesterday I didn’t think I was in good shape,” Mosop said. “I’m very happy about the job I did today.”

Shobukhova’s 2’18:20 made her the second–fastest performer ever behind Radcliffe, who holds the three fastest women’s marathon times.

That includes her world best of 2’15:25 and a 2’17:18 posted at Chicago in 2002.

“I’m unbelievably happy,” said Shobukhova, 33. “It’s something special.”

In addition to seizing a slice of Chicago history, Shobukhova might have secured her 2012 Olympic berth.

Russia’s athletics federation will select their team based on the two fastest times posted between Sept 1 and the end of 2011.

“I’m overwhelmed right now,” said Shobukhova. “You’re happy. You’re excited. You’re shocked.”

Ethiopia’s Ejegayehu Dibaba was second in 2’22:09 and Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi third in 2’24:38.

The race for non–elite field – more than 37,000 runners lined up for the start – was marred by the death of a 35–year–old man who collapsed during the race.

The runner from North Carolina collapsed on the course about 500m from the finish line. Medical personnel were able to get his heart beating again but he died about two hours after he was attended to at the race.

Medical officials and authorities refused to identify the man.

“We extend our condolences and thoughts and prayers to the family,” race director Carey Pinkowski said.

Four years ago, a Michigan man who had a heart condition died during the race, and organisers had hoped that improvements in emergency strategy, additional medical aid stations and increased water distribution points would avoid any repeat of that tragedy. – Agencies