Kenyan, Ethiopian athletes clinch titles at 37th Istanbul Marathon
DHA PhotoKenyan and an Ethiopian athlete have come first at the 37th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon on Nov. 15, as thousands of Istanbulites have enjoyed the opportunity to cross the Bosphorus Bridge combining the Asian and European continents on foot.
Kenyan Elias Kemboi Chelimo and Ethiopian Amane Gobena runners won the men’s and women’s race, respectively, while a Turkish athlete came to the stage at third place, the first time for 20 years.
The 37th Istanbul Marathon, with this year’s theme of “End Violence Against Women,” started at 9 a.m. on the Asian continent of Istanbul and finished on the European side of the city.
Chelimo finished the race with the time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 13 seconds, as the runner up Evans Kiplagat, also a Kenyan, finished with 2 hours, 12 minutes, 47 seconds. Men’s third place was also achieved by a Kenyan, Silah Kipkemboi Limo, as he came in at 2 hours, 13 minutes, 57 seconds.
Chelimo, who received $50,000 for finishing first, said his timing was a little short of a record but he was happy to have done his best.
“I missed the record with a small difference but I tried to do my best,” Chelimo told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Gobena came in first in the women’s competition at 2 hours, 31 minutes, 54 seconds, while Kenyan runner Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno came in second with 2 hours, 40 minutes, 50 seconds.
Meryem Erdoğan, the third place winner of the race, finished the marathon at 2 hours, 46 minutes, 38 seconds, thus marking the first Turkish athlete to make it to the podium in the last 20 years.
Bekir Karayel, who was the best scoring Turkish athlete at the marathon, came in sixth.
The weather conditions affected the race as well, said Karayel, adding that “there was strong wind in the last 14 kilometers and that had negatively affected the performance.”
The marathon hosted not only some of the world’s most elite athletes but also thousands of people who wished to challenge themselves by running the 42-kilometer and 195-meter-long race, along with the other two 15 and 10-kilometer races.
Citizens who did not wish to run but rather have a nice time walking over the Bosphorus Bridge opted for the “Public Run,” a track around 8 kilometers on which people cycled or even sat down while on the bridge and had a little snack.
Commenting on this year’s theme, İsmail Özbayraktar, the general manager of the Istanbul Municipality’s Spor A.Ş., said the country had seen the worse example of violence against women.
“While we run for the love of Istanbul, we will also say stop violence against women,” said Özbayraktar.