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O. Atakan Tekin
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• FINLAND / Finnish Half Marathon Champs
During the April 26th Finnish Half Marathon Champs in Pyhäselkä, Francis Kirwa - now eligible to compete - Jussi Utriainen and Jari Matinlauri began quickly. Soon Kirwa and Utriainen were alone, then in the last 500 meters Kirwa kicked to victory. Kirwa was clocked in a personal best 63.45, with Utriainen second in a 63.50 (personal best), and Jukka Kekisalo passed Matinlauri for third, the pair timed in 65.36 and 65.58. Maria Söderström was the favorite in the women's race, but 20-year-old Minna Myllykoski pulled away from her over the last 5k lap to a 76.45 (personal best) to 77.04 win. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• AUSTRALIA / Three world-famous landmarks in one event
Entrants in the 2003 "Sunday Telegraph 10km Bridge Run" will have a famous icon in their sights with the Sydney Opera House announced as the new finishing point. New South Wales Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreation Sandra Nori said the announcement meant that the State Government's legacy event to the "best Olympic Games ever" would now incorporate the three famous landmarks showcased to the world in 2000. Ms Nori said the Olympic legacy event - the "Flora Sydney Marathon" incorporating the "Sunday Telegraph 10km Bridge Run" - would also offer runners a third option this year, the "Flora Sunday Telegraph Half Marathon". "The half marathon will follow a similar route to the marathon, closely following the famous blue line and finishing at Sydney Olympic Park, alongside the burning flame of the Olympic cauldron" she said. "All three runs will cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge". The event - the only community road race that closes the bridge to traffic - will be held on Sunday, September 14 as part of the celebrations surrounding the Sydney 2000 Olympics opening ceremony. "The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Olympic Park were the three key venues shown to the world during the Olympics" Ms Nori said. "It is fitting that they now feature in the New South Wales Government's legacy event. The event embraces two key elements of the Olympic Games - sport and tourism. Last year the event attracted 10,000 Australian and international entrants. Already, one-third of the received entries are from overseas runners representing 13 countries" Ms Nori said. "With the inclusion of the Sydney Opera House as the 10k finishing point, this is one of the world's most spectacular community sporting events". Event organisers, Frontiers Group Australasia in partnership with Athletics Australia, said there will be post-race celebrations at both finishing venues. "The post-race entertainment is as much a part of the event as the thee runs because it adds to the sense of occasion and celebration" said Event Director Graeme Hannan. "After the 10k runners finish at the Opera House, they will be ushered to the Royal Botanic Gardens where there will be entertainment, refreshments and a corporate marquee village. Similarly, the marathon and half-marathon runners will be able to join in the annual Olympic anniversary celebrations at Sydney Olympic Park. Again, it is all about recapturing the spirit of the Sydney Olympic Games, which was both a sporting event and a party". The new course for the "Sunday Telegraph 10k Bridge Run" is from North Sydney Oval, down Miller Street to the Pacific Highway, across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Cahill Expressway, then Macquarie Street, Art Gallery Road, Mrs Macquaries Road and back down Macquarie Street to the Sydney Opera House finish. Entries online at www.sydneymarathon.org.
• MOROCCO / A race for women in Casablanca
The Moroccan Association of Sport and Development will organize, under the Patronage of her Highness the Princess Lalla Meryem, the 5th annual Women's Running Race "Run for Fun" Sunday, May 11th, 2003 in Casablanca, a course of 10 kilomters. This event is unique in Africa and the Arab world alike, and attracted the participation of 10,000 women between the ages of 15-75 years old. The race not only captures the eyes of Moroccans around the country, but also the attention of leading sports personalities from around the world. In 2001, His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco gave the start of the event. In 2002, the start was launched by Edwin Moses, Olympic 400 meters champion and president of the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation; Michael Johnson, multiple World and Olympic champion and double record holder in the 200 meters and 400 meters; and Formula 1 champion driver Emmerson Fittippaldi. Despite the participation of world class runners from Kenya, Joyce Chepchumba and Tegla Loroupe, plus Tanzania's Restituta Joseph, a Moroccan runner, Zhor El Kamch, took first place to the cheers of a home crowd three consecutive times.
• BRAZIL / Corpore Running Festival attracted more than 8000 runners
Corpore Running Club presented the runners with races of distances for all tastes: 6 kilometers, half-marathon and marathon. This running festival was a success bringing together more than 8000 runners on the streets of São Paulo. The shorter race, "6 Km Corpore Exército Brasileiro", had Luiz Carlos Fernandes (17.59) and Maria Lucia Alves Vieira Moraes (21.46) as winners. The 4th edition of half-marathon race had more than 3500 runners and the winners were Frank Caldeira de Almeida (1:04.52) and Rosangela Raimunda Pereira (1:15.58). The best news for the runners was the first edition of the "Corpore São Paulo City Marathon". The race, consisting of two loops over the half-marathon course, had Willian Salgado Gomes (2:20.43) and Maria Salete Scheneider Herld (2:54.49) as winners. The weather conditions weren't good, since the runners had to face a heavy fog. However, the marathoners counted with a great structure with 20 water stations, 12 aid stations with isotonics and 3 aid stations with food. Source: www.copacabanarunners.net
• ARGENTINA / Maratón Internacional Bariloche
On May 4, 2003 the "Maratón Internacional Barloche" will be held in Patagonia. The start will be given at 10 am from the Punto Panorámico. Rich prizes are available for the first arrived and for all participants that will be completing the event in less than five and a half hours. The event will also feature a 10 kilomters race. The marathon is organized by the Comision Organizadora Maratón Bariloche 2003 and presented by the Confederación Argentina de Atletismo.
• CANADA / Joseph Nderitu wins the Montreal Half Marathon
On April 13th on the Ile Notre-Dame in Montreal, the "Adidas Montreal Half Marathon" was won by Joseph Nderitu (Kenia) in 64.00, with Mustapha Bennacer less than 2/100ths of a second behind in 64.01, Joseph Kamau (Kenia) third in 64.06, Djamel Boukhari fourth in 66.53, and Danny Tshindid fifth in 66.57. Lioudmila Kortchaguina (Russia) topped the women's list in 74.24, with Isabelle Ledroit a distant second in 77.33. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• BRAZIL / Inaugural edition of the Maratona das águas
The inaugural edition of the "Maratona das águas" (The Waters Marathon) was held on March 23, passing through the "waters circuit" composed of four cities: Amparo, Monte Alegre do Sul, Serra Negra, Lindóia and águas de Lindóia. The "waters circuit" is a beautiful area with many natural water fountains and is a famous tourist destination. The course is beautiful, but at the same time hilly and challenging. And, due to the hot weather, the conditions were even harder for the 318 marathoners that took part in the race. The winners were João Alves de Souza, in 2:47.31, and Leone Justino, in 3:03.53. Source: www.copacabanarunners.net
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