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Luis E. Arribas
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O. Atakan Tekin
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• BRAZIL / Blumenau Marathon
Once again the beautiful German settled town of Blumenau received runners from all over Brazil for the 18th edition of its marathon. The nice weather (12 degrees Celsius this year) and flat course makes this marathon one of the favorite among runners. Besides, the best thing about running in a small town is that you can feel the race's atmosphere since it seems that everyone in town that weekend is a runner. This year the winners were Elson Alex Gracioli (2:17.27) and Rosa Jussara (2:46.41). There were aid stations each 3k serving water, plus two serving fruits and more two serving isotonics. Source: www.copacabanarunners.net
• COLORADO (USA) / Win two trips to the Durango Marathon
Matt Kelly, event director at the "Durango Marathon", recently presented an online giveaway to help spread the word about the inaugural edition of the race, that will be held on October 13, 2002. "We'll be giving away great prizes from our sponsors every week until the marathon and the grand prizes are two trips to the Durango Marathon, including airfare, hotel and race entry". All you need to do to participate to this drawing is to click on www.durangomarathon.com/contest to register to win.
• BELGIUM / New backward running world records
On June 28, 2002 in Brussels, Stefaan Sonck, president of the Brusselse Atletiekvereniging, organized the second edition of a backward running meeting. The distances the fifty participants could choose from were 200 metres (for young people), 400 metres (for adults) and for the first time in the world a 4x100 metres backwards. This last race had a big success, with three world records: men (- 40 years old), men (+ 40 years old) and women. In addition to this also a new world record on the 200 meters was estabilished. These competitions took part in a beautiful track and field stadium in the South of Brussels and were opened to everybody: young people and adults, men and women. The National Flemish Televison (VRT) was present and will air a 6 minutes reportage in September. New world records: 200 metres backwards (children): Anthony Mus (12 years old) in 53,40; 400 metres backwards (adults): Sam Loeys in 1.34,90; 4x100 metres backwards (men - 40 years old): Chris Van San, Vladimir Escajadillio, Bart Spegelaere and Bart de Vos in 1.24,58; 4x100 metres backwards (men + 40 years old): Stefaan Sonck (45 years old), Luc Vits (44 years old), Peter de Winter (47 years old) and Jos Cammaerts (47 years old) in 1.23,75; 4x100 metres backwards (women): Hilde Meesters, Stephany Baxter, Annmieke Demaeghdt and Edith Grollé in 1.48,79.
• CANADA / Get ready for the Vancouver International Marathon
With a total of 10,551 participants in 2002 (3792 finishers in the marathon and 4835 finishers in the half), the "Adidas Vancouver International Marathon" is one of the most important event of British Columbia. The next edition will be held on Sunday May 4, 2003 on a mostly flat, paved scenic course through one of the world's most beautiful cities. The start will be given from the Plaza of Nations. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 male and female marathoners, and to the first sub 2:18 male & sub 2:40 female. Other events related to the race are the Heart Health & Wellness Expo (free seminars, cooking & health displays, and more; May 1-3), the Boat Cruise (May 2), and the all new Pasta Party (May 3).
• CZECH REPUBLIC / Kenyan number 8 wins 8th Prague Marathon
Wearing the number 8, the Kenyan runner Henry Tarus won the 8th annual "Prague International Marathon" with a time of 2:11.41. He won by a clear margin: the defending champion, Tanzania's Andrew Sambu, came in second, overtaking at the finish, with a time of 2:12.00, the third-place Josef Chebet from Kenya finished with 2:12.01. Tarus praised the improved Prague course: "It was a fantastic race. I trained well for this. My manager advised me to run in Prague and when the offer came, we accepted it immediately". Tarus' manager accompanied him the entire length of the course and signalled to him to prepare an attack in the 38th kilometre. A pack of runners alternated in the top positions throughout the course - Kenyans Chebet and Tarus, Alemahyeu Simretu Assefa of Ethiopia and Ramos. Last year's winner, Andrew Sambu, maintained approximately sixth position throughout. Roughly four kilometres before the finish Tarus pulled ahead, with Sambu behind; the Kenyan increased his lead substantially. In the Czech Championship, run as part of the marathon, Jiri Wallenfels took first place in 2:25.52, as favourite and defending champion, Jan Blaha, failed in the last kilometre. The top female, Franca Fiacconi, surprised everyone: after leading the women, she dropped out in the first third of the race. First place went to the Russian, Alvetina Ivanova, with 2:32.24; Judit Nagy from Hungary came in second, finishing in 2:35.30; and third place went to Alla Zadorozhnaya of Belarus, with 2:38.56. The favourite, Jana Klimesova, won the Czech Championship for the women. The start of the race was, once again, a thrilling moment as over 3100 runners started from Prague's scenic Old Town Square, accompanied by the lively music of the Serenade's Brazilian drum band, Batucada Rio Reno. This was another record attendance for the event, with the largest increase (15%) in foreign runners. The starting shot was fired by Petr Svoboda, who scored the Czech national ice hockey team's gold medal-winning goal in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. An hour after the start of the marathon, Czech actor Petr Rychlý started the fun runs: amongst the field of participants were leading political figures from the Czech Government. Many other celebrities were on hand to take part in the race day festivities, including: Dana Zátopková, Olympic champion and wife of Emil Zátopek, the most famous Czech runner and Olympian; Prague Mayor Jan Kasl and the internationally acclaimed Czech singer, Karel Gott. The President of "Prague International Marathon", Carlo Capalbo, presented the Czech Initiative for Asthma with a cheque for 50,000 Kc, from the proceeds of the marathon.
• MALAYSIA / Saberkas International Run postponed to July 21
The "Saberkas International Run" 2002, will be held in the bustling town of Sibu, the "Gateway City" to the central region of the state of Sarawak in Malaysia, and has been postponed to July 21, 2002. Last year, the event was held in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak and it attracted over 4000 runners from throughout Malaysia, and foreign countries including Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, and Thailand. Since 1996, the "Saberkas International Run" has been an annual event in the tourism calendar of Sarawak. This run is organised in conjunction with the birthday celebrations of Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak (Chief Minister of Sarawak), Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri, and Haji Abdul Taib Bin Mahmud. This year in Sibu, the course of the 21 kilometre run will bring runners through the main boulevards of Sibu offering the opportunity to sense the dynamism of Sibu to the finish line at the new Sibu Town Square, reputedly the most spacious town square in Malaysia. There are a total of 200 cash prizes valued at RM45,000 to be won, plus lucky draws.
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