Ethiopia’s Amane Gobena couldn’t capture the course record at the 37th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, but she did fulfil her role as favourite and defended her title on Sunday (15).
Gobena arrived in the Turkish city with the specific aim of chasing the course record of 2:27:25, set back in 2010 by her compatriot Ashu Kasim Rabu, but had to settle for the win in 2:31:58, more than three minutes adrift of her winning time 12 months ago.
A distant second was her fellow Ethiopian Zerfie Limeneh Tadese, who crossed the line in 2:40:53, with Turkey’s Meryam Erdogan third in 2:46:42.
The men’s race was won by Elijah Chelimo in 2:11:17.
“I think I did the best I could today but it was sometimes hard to concentrate (being out on his own alone). If I come back next year, I hope to do better,” reflected the 31-year-old Chelimo, who finished his 28th marathon in a long career over the distance which stretches back to 2004
The Istanbul race was his third triumph, but his first for six years, following victories in the 2007 Rome Marathon and 2009 Sao Paulo Marathon.
Evans Kiplagat was second again, after also finishing as the runner up two years ago, with this year’s Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon winner in April crossing the line in 2:12:51.
Silah Limo completed an all-Kenyan men’s podium when he finished third in 2:14:02.
more to follow