Shetema and Negede win inaugural Haile Marathon

Haile Marathon logoThe following is a news release written by Richard Nurerkar following the inaugural Haile Gebrselassie Marathon.
Hawassa, Ethiopia — Former Berlin Marathon second placer Gudisa Shentema produced a controlled performance to win the 2013 Haile Gebrselassie Marathon in Hawassa, southern Ethiopia earlier today.

Shetema was the star athlete in the field, coming into the race with a PB of 2:07:34 (Paris, 2007), and led the race for the entire second half. In the end he bided his time until the final 200m to kick clear from Tekalegn Kebelo to win in a time of 2 hours and 15 minutes and 23 seconds.

“It wasn’t the prize that brought me here,” said Shentema at the finish, “but Haile’s name. He is our inspiration. I’ve raced him many times [including in Berlin in 2006 and Dubai in 2008] and I came here for the honour of claiming the title of the first Haile Marathon winner.”

In the women’s race, the first three athletes are all members of the Senbeta training group under Negash Dube. Almaz Negede won in a time of 2:39:50, just over a minute outside her previous best of 2:38:09 from the 2012 Bucharest International Marathon.

Both male and female winners collected 100,000 birr ($5,500) for their victories, the biggest ever prize for a road race in Ethiopia. Continue reading

DOES COMPETITION HELP OR HURT A RECORD EFFORT?

At 22 miles - Kimetto & Mutai pulling free of Kitwara

Chicago at 22 miles – Kimetto & Mutai pulling free of Kitwara

Make no mistake, in foot racing like war it is axiomatic that the best laid plans rarely survive the instant of engagement.  That is also why in today’s Kenyan dominated world of elite marathon racing the competition isn’t limited to a specific race.  Instead, as many of today’s giants train together or in close proximity in the Rift Valley crucibles of Iten and Eldoret, competition stretches between and among races, as well.

And so, as we exit today’s TCS Amsterdam Marathon and head toward November 3rd and the ING New York City Marathon, the field there will not simply be competing against one another for the five-borough title, and/or the World Marathon Major cycle title.  No, 2011 New York champion and course record holder Goffrey Mutai and the lads will be competing against what has just transpired in Berlin, Chicago and Amsterdam over the last month and a half.  In fact, it was Wilson Kipsang’s world record in Berlin which spurred his sometime training mate, Geoffrey Mutai, into supposing that a sub-2:05 is possible in New York given the conditions. Continue reading