Kenyans leave mark on Istanbul Half Marathon
More than 5,000 athletes from almost 65 countries competed in the race organized by Spor Istanbul, a sub-company of the Istanbul Municipality.
Against the backdrop of the city’s landmarks on the historic peninsula, runners competed in the categories of a 21-kilometer Half Marathon and 10K race.
Starting from Yenikapı, where the bus stops are located, the route continued through the coastline and ended at the starting point.
Rodgers Kwemoi, a 25-year-old athlete, clocked 59 minutes and 15 seconds to smash the track record in the highly contested Half Marathon.
Other Kenyan athletes, Daniel Mateiko and Emmanuel Bor, followed Kwemoi in the elite category, with 1 hour 05 seconds and 1 hour 20 seconds, respectively.
In the elite women’s category, 32-year-old Kenyan athlete Hellen Obiri came in first with 1 hour, 4 minutes and 48 seconds, leaving her rivals behind.
She was followed by Ethiopian athlete Tsehay Gemechu, who finished the race in 1 hour, 5 minutes and 52 seconds, and Kenyan Vicoty Chepngeno, who took 1 hour, 6 minutes and 58 seconds.
Turkish athletes Ramazan Özdemir finished the race with a time of 1 hour 4 minutes and 2 seconds, while Yasemin Can reached the finish line with a time of 1 hour 7 minutes and 67 seconds in the women’s category.
Unlike the Half Marathon, Turkish athletes dominated the 10k race.
In the 10k races, Alihan Yılgın ranked first with a time of 32 minutes and 56 seconds, Uğur Kemal Derin was second with a time of 33 minutes and 14 seconds, and Bedri Şimşek was third with a time of 33 minutes and 24 seconds.
After the races, local officials presented awards to the top athletes.
Those who did not participate in the races also showed great interest in the event area established in Yenikapı; various activities entertained Istanbul residents who wanted to enjoy a sunny weekend.
The fun did not end at the event area and continued with performances held at Dans Fabrika, a venue in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district.
The Istanbul Half Marathon achieved the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Gold Label for road races in 2017, boasting one of the smoothest and fastest routes in the world.
With its unparalleled view of Istanbul’s Golden Horn, the Half Marathon offers the opportunity for each runner to perform at his or her best with its zero-altitude track.