Kenyan, Ethiopian athletes win 41st Istanbul Marathon

Kenyan, Ethiopian athletes win 41st Istanbul Marathon

ISTANBUL-Anadolu Agency
Kenyan, Ethiopian athletes win 41st Istanbul Marathon

Kenyan athlete Daniel Kipkore Kibet wins the 41st Istanbul Marathon men's title by breaking the 42 km Istanbul Marathon track record while Ethiopian athlete Hirut Tibebu wins women's title at the intercontinental Istanbul Marathon on Nov. 3.

A total of 63 elite athletes joined the Vodafone 41st Istanbul Marathon, which started at 09.00 am local time from Istanbul's Asian side and ended in the European part of the city.

Sponsored by world-famous British telecommunication conglomerate Vodafone, the sports event has three categories -- 42.2-kilometer (26.2 miles) marathon, 15-km run (9.3 mi), 8-km (4.9 mi) FunRun as well as a wheelchair competition.

The runners from 106 countries competed in Nov. 3's race as thousands of people are also attending the 8-km FunRun.

The finish line is located in the historic Sultanahmet Square on the city's European side. The motto of the 2019 marathon is "Istanbul is yours. Don't stop, run!"

Running across the bridge 15 years in a row
Running across the bridge 15 years in a row

The winners of the 2019 marathon in men's and women's categories will earn $50,000 each. In the Turkish athlete's category, winners in both genders will bag 50,000 Turkish liras ($8,760) each.

The Istanbul marathon has been in the Gold Label Road Races list of the international governing body for athletics, the IAAF since 2012.

The champions in recent years such as Elias Kemboi Chelimo from Kenya (2015), Evans Kiplagat from Azerbaijan (2016), French athlete Abraham Kiprotich (2017) and Kenya's Felix Kimutai (2018) are running to win the 2019 title.

In women's category, Ethiopian Fatuma Sado, who came third in 2018 and locally famous Turkish athlete Elvan Abeylegesse, who ranked fifth in 2018, are the favorites for the marathon.

In addition, the roller skate running made debut in Nov. 3's Istanbul marathon. 

Some 37,000 runners from 106 countries competed in the marathon, with 100,000 people attending the 8-km FunRun.

Wife of Paraguay's ambassador to Turkey Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta also joined the 15-km race.

Celestina Diaz de Valdez said that it was her first time at the Istanbul Marathon and it was a "wonderful" feeling to cross to Europe from Asia.

She recalled that she previously joined the races in many countries such as Paraguay, Korea, U.S. and South Africa, adding that she also plans to take part in next year's [2020] marathon.

Valdez is the first woman who competed in Istanbul's race from Paraguay.