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• SPAIN / Juzdado wins the City of Barcelona Marathon
On March 16th in Spain the "City of Barcelona Marathon" presented defending champion (2:12.07) Benjamin Rotich from Kenia attacking in the second half. This made sense in that Kenyans had won for the past six years. But 1994 European Champs bronze medalist and twice Tokyo winner Alberto Juzdado conducted his own running clinic over the final 10k to win in 2:10.53 to Rotich's 2:12.30. Andorran Toni Planas finished third in 2:14.25, with James Kariuki (Kenia) fourth in 2:17.17 and Daniel Komen (also from Kenia) fifth in 2:24.02. Due to stomach problems Xavier Caballero dropped out at 36k. Moroccan Whabbi Kenza trains in Perpignan, France. Her first marathon attempt turned out well, as Kenza dominated the women's division in 2:38.36 in front of Oxana Kuznicheva's (Russia) 2:40.47. Spanish hopeful Teresa Pulido dropped out at 30k. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• ITALY / Marco Gozzano in the desert
In April, from the 4th to the 14th, Marco Gozzano will take part with two Moroccan brothers Mohamed and Lachen Ahansal, as Gemma Run Team for Peace, in the "Marathon Des Sables", the extraordinary sporting celebration that involves athletes coming from all parts of the world. The athlete, an Italian Forest Corps' agent, has played for the Italian National Team 12 times in various specialities - from cross-country to track race contests and then to the marathon - and he has won the World Team championships, in Athens in 1995 (World's Cup). The sponsor Gemma has chosen to support the "Marathon Des Sables" because this initiative, in such a difficult moment for the whole world, takes even a deeper meaning: to support the dialogue between nations, even though culture, religions and social-economic considerations are diametrically opposed. Gozzano and the other members of the Gemma team are going to enter the "Marathon des Sables" with good chances to win either in the individual classification or in the team one.
• ILLINOIS (USA) / America's most scenic urban marathon
On Memorial Day weekend, Sunday May 25, run Chicago's beautiful lakeshore by participating to the "Chicago Lakeshore Marathon". The first wave or runners starts at 6:00 am in Burnham Park by McCormick Place. Registration is half-way to the cap of 2500 runners and building momentum, so runners are encouraged to enter to ensure a spot (and you can enter online at www.lakeshoremarathon.com). One of only three Illinois marathons and the State's only spring marathon, the event embraces environmental sustainability as a goal. This May, the event plans to distribute atleast 4000 trees to participants and Chicago Public School children. Join the organizers in promoting better health, education and sustainable environmental practices this Memorial Day weekend. The "Chicago Lakeshore Marathon" is a people's marathon designed for runners to feel the connection between the world's most dramatic skyline and the natural wonders of Lake Michigan. The "Chicago Lakeshore Marathon" is a grass roots, running event that does not offer prize money or solicit the participation of elite athletes. It is a people's marathon. The course is incredibly scenic and a predominantly flat, 26.2 mile through the Chicago Park District's famed Burnham, Grant and Lincoln Parks. The "Chicago Lakeshore Marathon" is both Usa Track & Field and Association of International Marathons and Road Races certified and as such is a Boston Marathon Qualifier.
• IRELAND / Coleman wins the Ballycotton 10 miles
On a March 10th amidst gale force winds in Cork, Dubliner Noel Berkeley was going for his fifth-straight and seventh title of the "Nike Ballycotton 10 miles". The breezes were stiff enough that even a 5.20 fourth mile by Berkeley was enough to cast off the third of six challengers having been together from the beginning of the third mile. After a 24.42 half, the trio at 6 miles turned back to home with the winds at their backs, Berkeley leading England's Enfield AC's Andy Coleman and Cian McLoughlin. Coleman and Berkeley had raced before with a win apiece, yet were also aware of McLoughlin's kick. After several failed attempts at breaking away Berkeley again took the initiative with just 800 meters remaining. But Coleman - whose mother comes from Allihies in West Cork - jumped the defending champ from 500 meters out and claimed a 49.52 to 49.58 victory. McLoughlin and Cathal Lombard crossed third and fourth. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• ITALY / Triathlon in the island of Sardinia
The heart of Sportstar Triathlon is represented by its founders Riccardo Caruso and Sonya Smith. Riccardo e Sonya met in Oregon in 2001 while taking a sports sponsorship class from the Masters of Business Administration program at the University of Oregon in Eugene. After working together on a project for the United States Olympic Committee they worked together organizing the "Prefontaine Classic" and the Grand Prix IAAF, which is a premiere U.S. track and field event and one of the top 10 track and field events in the world. Riccardo was the overall organizing director of the event and Sonya directed the communications and marketing aspects. Upon returning to the wonderful Italian island of Sardinia in 2002, Riccardo and Sonya created Sportstar Triathlon to offer professional marketing for the advancement of sports. Riccardo's years of experience in Italian triathlon matched with the temperate climate of Sardinia, were ideal conditions for developing sucessful sports initiatives. These concrete features provide the foundations for an event that will grow for years to come. As a result, they created "Sardinian Man", the first half Ironman in Sardinia. To compliment the "Sardinian Man", the "Sardiniathlon" was also created. The "Sardiniathlon" was then developed in conjunction with the cycling association Mari & Monti, an organization created in 1997 that promotes cycling along the coast of Sardinia. The founder, current president and promoter Tonino Scarpitti, brings passion for cycling to more than 500 cyclists. Scarpitti was quick to suggest the idea of uniting forces with Sportstar. With the experience of Tonino, Riccardo and Sonya, a week of triathlon for athletes and their supporters will be offered this April 20-27, 2003.
• CYPRUS / Allan Fotheringham sets the pace and wins the race
The strong wind, before and during the races failed to depress the enthusiasm of the six hundreds runners to run in the "Cyprus SpiderNet Pafos Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km Road Race" which was organised on Sunday March 2, 2003. The number of participants indicated the big impact of the event, as most of the runners came from abroad. There were runners from 20 different countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Israel, Sweden, Austria, Argentina, Finland, Holland, Norway, Switzerland. The route took the runners from the Pafos Mediaeval Fort Square, along the sea front road through Pafos. The Uk runner Allan Fotheringham won the marathon finishing in a time of 2:54.55. Mathew Stephenson also from Uk was second in 2:56.56. Seidel Susanne of Germany clocking 3:25.42 won the women's race with Tuija Lehtonen (blind runner) and Sari Koivu from Finland in second place with a time of 3:32.11. The Briton Christopher Brown with a time of 1:09.03 won the half marathon. Joerg Bunert from Germany was second in 1:10.36. The German athlete Birgit Schwers with the time of 1:20.14 won the ladies' race with runner up Sabine Hofer from Austria in 1:23.26. The male winner of the 10km Road Race was the Briton athlete Ian White with a time of 35.40 and female winner was the Uk lady Deborah Webb with the time of 41.26. The "Tsada Village Run", which was organised on Tuesday March 4th, was a huge success. More than 150 overseas participants enjoyed the 7,500 kilometers run which followed a course that wound in and around the village. The male winner was the Uk runner Andy Watson with a time of 27.35 and the ladies race was won by German Birgit Schwers in 31.34. All finishers were awarded with a bottle of local wine whilst event and age group categories were awarded medals. After the completion of the running event the Tsada school children performed folklore dancing and all participants were given the opportunity to sample local wines and local dishes prepared by village families.
• FINLAND / New course record at the Tulip Run
On March 23rd in Turku, Finland, the "Tulip Run" - 10 kilometers - is conducted in an area with many tulip greenhouses. Jussi Utriainen, who two weeks earlier set a national 20k road record at the "Alphen 20km", broke his own hilly "Tulip Run" course record of 30.20, set three years ago, with a 29.40. Trailing in second and third were Marko Vaittinen in 31.48 and Pasi Mattila in 31.54. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• ITALY / Stramilano 2003 celebrates its 32nd edition
On Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of April, the 2003 edition of the "Stramilano" event will take place. The well-known running festival will traditionally propose a series of events which will feature not only athletes and champions as its protagonists but also simple sports enthusiasts, sports amateurs, families, schools, young people and children. In the rich program boasted by the 2003 edition of "Stramilano", all those who are passionate about sport and movement will not only have the possibility of running and challenging record times but also the possibility of walking and strolling. This is an ideal occasion to spend an enjoyable and healthy day in the company of your friends that will certainly benefit your wellbeing and your physical form. "Stramilano" 2003 celebrates its 32nd edition. Since 1972 this is one of the events that has the largest number of participants in the world. Every year over 50,000 people adhere to a collective, spontaneous and social ritual that transforms the city into the home of walkers and runners for one day. This event seems to liberate a desire for celebration and movement which is a feeling that is common to everyone ≠ both men and women, no matter what their age, social class, customs, cultures or countries of origin may be. The success of "Stramilano" lies in the willingness of all the participants to be protagonists and actors in an event that represents their tastes, lifestyles and current and common concepts: a desire for sport, movement and wellbeing, a desire for friendship, fraternity and a city that opens its doors to everyone. Last year 94 countries of the world were represented in the competition. This event also represents the desire that is present among people to lessen pollution and value pedestrians and people in general more. There is a desire for celebration, good humor and it is an ideal connection point between the large metropolises of the world such as New York, Paris, London, etc. where similar events enjoy the same attention and success. This year once again all the events will be represented by the "Ai fil gud" motto ("I feel good, I am healthy") which will accompany both the new and traditional initiatives. The top athletes will compete on Saturday afternoon the 5th of April on the customary route that measures 21,097 kilometers (half-marathon) and which is situated in the city centre, this route is where the world record for distance was obtained (Paul Tergat, Kenya, 59.17). On Sunday morning the 6th of April the participants will be able to choose between three routes measuring 21,097 kilometers, 15 kilometers and 6 kilometers ("Stramilanina").
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