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4 MARCH 2012: LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON, JAPAN

After pacing the race last year Samuel Ndungu won commandingly in his debut performance, writes Ken Nakamura. On Japanese soil only Sammy Wanjiru's 2:06:39 is faster, when he won Fukuoka in 2007. Behind him Henryk Szost set a new Polish record.

Ryo Yamamoto surprised with a three-minute improvement, to finish fourth and first Japanese. Along with Arata Fujiwara, who was the first Japanese in last week’s Tokyo Marathon, Yamamoto is likely to be selected for the London Olympics. With the Olympic team berth on the line, the race for the first Japanese changed twice in the last 5km of the race. Hiroyuki Horibata, led at 35km, but was passed by Kentaro Nakamoto at 38km. Behind him Yamamoto was gaining steadily and caught the fading Nakamoto on the track with 400m to go. Of the top 10 finishers, nine set either personal bests or contested their marathon debut.

A huge pack of fifty-five runners passed 10km in 30:12 and around forty were still together passing through halfway in 1:03:38. The pace picked up after 25km and Ndungu emerged as leader of an eight-man pack after 29km as they headed home into a headwind. The 25-30km split was the fastest of the race (14:51), but Ndungu only began to open a gap on the others after 31km.

MEN (ONLY):            
1  Samuel NDUNGU                  KEN  2:07:04
2  Henryk SZOST                   POL  2:07:39
3  Abdellah TAGHRAFET             MAR  2:08:37
4  Ryo YAMAMOTO                   JPN  2:08:44
5  Kentaro NAKAMOTO               JPN  2:08:53
6  Tomoyuki MORITA                JPN  2:09:12
7  Takashi HORIGUCHI              JPN  2:09:16
8  Masashi HAYASHI                JPN  2:09:55
9  Takeshiro DEKI                 JPN  2:10:02
10 Ernest KEBENEI                 KEN  2:10:04

4 MARCH 2012: TREVISO MARATHON, ITALY

MEN:
1  Michael Kasis CHEMCHIR         KEN  2:15:06
2  Peter Nabei KWALIA             KEN  2:15:43
3  Kari Stein KARLSSON            ISL  2:18:53
4  Jason MAYEROFF                 USA  2:27:40
5  Cristiano FAVARO               ITA  2:33:50
6  Alessandro GALIZZI             ITA  2:35:47
7  Roberto TORNABENE              ITA  2:36:09
8  Domenico LORENZON              ITA  2:36:15
9  Federico BORDIGNON             ITA  2:36:17
10 Claudio COSTI                  ITA  2:36:26

WOMEN:
1  Daniela CIRLAN                 ROM  2:39:20
2  Monica CARLIN                  ITA  2:54:36
3  Francesca MARIN                ITA  2:55:35
4  Monia CAPELLI                  ITA  2:59:32
5  Elena SIMSIG                   ITA  3:01:54
6  Genny FRATINI                  ITA  3:04:10
7  Daniela SCUTTI                 ITA  3:04:46
8  Rosanna SARAN                  ITA  3:06:27
9  Analisa MINESSO                ITA  3:06:49
10 Federica POESINI               ITA  3:09:29

4 MARCH 2012: SAO PAULO INT'L HALF MARATHON, BRAZIL

MEN:
1  Joseph APERUMOI                KEN  1:01:38
2  Marilson Gomes DOS SANTOS      BRA  1:01:46
3  Paulo Alberto ALMEIDA          BRA  1:02:31
4  Stanley Kipchirchir KOECH      KEN  1:02:53
5  Giovani DOS SANTOS             BRA  1:02:59
6  Luis Fernando DE ALMEIDA       BRA  1:03:03
7  Damiao Ancelmo DA SILVA        BRA  1:04:23
8  Jose Marcio LEAO DA SILVA      BRA  1:04:30
9  Gilmar Silvestre LOPES         BRA  1:04:44
10 Solonei Rocha DA SILVA         BRA  1:04:48

WOMEN:
1  Pasalia CHEPKORIR              KEN  1:12:29
2  Erika Abril SUAREZ             BRA  1:13:14
3  Cruz Nonata DA SILVA           BRA  1:13:25
4  Sueli Pereira SILVA            BRA  1:14:35
5  Jackline CHEMWEK               KEN  1:15:48
6  Marily DOS SANTOS              BRA  1:16:00
7  Rosangela Pereira FARIA        BRA  1:16:22
8  Sally Jepkemboi KORIR          KEN  1:16:37
9  Edielza Alves DOS SANTOS       BRA  1:18:44
10 Maria Zeferina BALDAIA         BRA  1:19:07

4 MARCH 2012: SEMI MARATHON DE PARIS, FRANCE

MEN:
1  Stanley BIWOTT                 KEN    59:44
2  Bernard KOECH                  KEN  1:00:06
3  Reuben LIMAA                   KEN  1:00:57
4  Raji ASSEFA                    ETH  1:01:13
5  Getu FELEKE                    ETH  1:01:59
6  Moses MOSOP                    KEN  1:02:00
7  Ladan WANJIKU                  KEN  1:02:18
8  Peter KURUI                    KEN  1:02:46
9  Hillary KIPCHUMBA              KEN  1:02:55
10 Bernard KITUR                  KEN  1:02:56

WOMEN:
1  Pauline NJERI                  KEN  1:07:55
2  Peninah ARUSEI                 KEN  1:08:12
3  Sarah JEPCHIRCHIR              KEN  1:08:34
4  Netsanet ABEYO                 ETH  1:09:10
5  Sosena TEKLE                   ETH  1:14:34
6  Zenash GEZMU                   ETH  1:16:34
7  Maria Lopez DE TEJADA               1:17:47
8  Myriam LAMURE                       1:22:26
9  Svetlana NIKITINA                   1:25:24
10 Claire CHICOUENE               FRA  1:25:35

4 MARCH 2012: LALA MARATHON, MEXICO

Photos: Inge Johnson & Alan Brookes

Hilary Kimaiyo's 2:08:17 performance last year set the bar high, but the 24th edition had a palpable buzz that built all week in Torreon. Erick Monyeye emerged victoriously, but it was the Mexican performances and the fiesta atmosphere that dominated. Five Mexican men ran under the 2:15 Olympic standard. On the women's side Marisol Romero and Karina Perez fought out a thrilling duel to see who would join Medai Perez in the Mexican Olympic team.

The desert town sits at 1000m altitude in fertile irrigated land where the dairy conglomerate Grupo Lala, which stages the race, runs a thriving international business. Their race thrives too, with a cap of 4500 entries and female participation which this year reached 20 percent. Cool conditions favoured fast times, but the men's race was tactical from early on. A group of five Kenyans and seven Mexicans passed halfway in 1:05:56, but split up after 25km, with Oscar Ceron the only Mexican among a Kenyan trio of Monyeye, Isaac Kimaiyo, and Joseph Mutinda. Ceron slipped back as Monyeye began to assert himself, eventually taking charge in convincing style from 33km.

In contrast, the women's race left the drama to the final stages. Six were clear as early as 10km and by halfway (1:16:52) four remained: Angelica Sanchez, Romero, Perez and Genoveva Jelegat. By 25km Sanchez was slipping back, but at 35km the lead trio were still stride for stride. Romero only managed to break away over the final 2km as they circled the beautiful Bosque Venustiano Carranza park.

There were matadors and bulls running, mimes, stilt-walkers, packed grandstands and wedding proposals at the finish line as Mexican marathoners celebrated a day of peace, joy and friendship amidst the violence that has so shaken their country.

MEN:
1  Erick MONYEYE                  KEN  2:10:40
2  Isaac Kemboi KIMAIYO           KEN  2:12:35
3  Daniel de Jesus VARGAS         MEX  2:13:06
4  Joseph MUTINDA                 KEN  2:13:21
5  Arturo Malaquias DELGADO       MEX  2:13:31
6  Jose Antonion URIBE            MEX  2:13:46
7  Oscar Mateo CERON              MEX  2:14:24
8  Juan Carlos ROMERO             MEX  2:14:47
9  Christopher TOROITCH           KEN  2:15:37 
10 Jose Amado GARCIA              GUA  2:15:52

WOMEN:
1  Marisol Guadalupe ROMERO       MEX  2:31:15
2  Karina PEREZ                   MEX  2:31:30
3  Genoveva JELEGAT               KEN  2:31:37
4  Angelica SANCHEZ               MEX  2:40:22
5  Paula APOLONIO                 MEX  2:43:35
6  Judith RAMIREZ                 MEX  2:44:37
7  Agnes JEPCHUMBA                KEN  2:51:15
8  Yuliana NAVARRO                MEX  2:53:03
9  Maria Judith NOYOLA            MEX  2:56:02
10 Maria del Rocio NAVARRO        MEX  2:56:12

 

4 MARCH 2012: LAS TERRENAS 10km, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

MEN:
1  Toribio Rosa PICHARDO               32:05
2  Edwin DUVAL                         32:20 
3  Juan Odalis ALMONTE                 32:27
4  Francisco VAZQUEZ                   33:43
5  Eddy RAMOS                          34:23
6  Antonio DE LA CRUZ                  36:06
7  Eduardo DISLA                       36:34
8  Angel POLANCO                       38:45
9  Victor LAGARES                      39:13
10 Ezequiel Balbuena AM                39:20

WOMEN:
1  Johanna JOSEPH                      40:03
2  Jeifi Sobeida VARGAS                43:05
3  Ophelie HAMON                       43:44
4  Cristina MATOS                      45:33
5  Martiza Robles TINEO                54:21
6  Ana HIDALGO                         55:01 
7  Alejandra GOMEZ                     55:08
8  Nolwen MASSON                       55:14
9  Raquel BASQUERO                     56:30
10 Julieta JAVIER                      57:09

5km
MEN:
1  Jairo HERNANDEZ                     16:35
2  Edwin RODRIGUEZ                     18:18
3  Jimmy CASTILLO                      18:33

WOMEN:
1  Vicky MARTINEZ                      24:40
2  Madi BURNS                          27:15
3  Stephanie HALL                      27:15

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6-9 MARCH 2012: 100km DEL SAHARA, TUNISIA

Thomas Wittek who won the last edition before last year's cancellation because of the "Arab Spring" took up where he left off by winning the first 23km stage through the 30m dunes of the Saharan Erg, although time gaps were slight and it was more of a tactical win. Alice Modignani, winner of the Chott Marathon extreme, won today's leg ahead of Fabiola Spinelli, winner of the 100km of the Namib Desert.

Many runners stayed in the restaurant tent because of the heavy winds and rain during the night. Almost nobody slept, but the weather abated and at 10:30 the sun came out in time for the start of the 16km second stage. Massimo Camozzi came in 10 seconds ahead of Thomas Wittek. Alice Modignani won again but the Englishwoman Jennifer Hands came through into second place.

The traditional night stage followed, 7km around the camp at Bir el Ghif. The full moon made the snaking lights of the athletes' headlamps even more fascinating.

The tough Marathon stage was held after a night of temperatures as low as -4°C, but this was easier to bear than the normal high temperatures during the race. Spain's Juan Antonio Alegre won the race but Thomas Wittek came in close behind to hold on to the overall lead. Alice Modignani extended her lead and finished 12th overall.

During the night, a storm from the north brought cold wind and rain and continued during the race to make the going hard on this 21km stage. The rain did at least harden the sand slightly, making it a little easier to run on the dunes. Alegre tried to attack and although he won the stage and moved up to second overall, Wittek kept him close enough to keep his overall lead. Alice Modignani ran out a clear winner with Jennifer Hands maintaining her second placing.

                            stage 1 stage 2 stg 3 stage 4 stage 5  total
MEN:
1  Thomas WITTEK       GER  1:46:43 1:03:32 30:24 3:30:36 1:45:46  8:37:01
2  Juan Antonio ALEGRE ITA  1:54:32 1:06:42 30:32 3:39:52 1:42:47  8:44:25
3  Massimo CAMOZZI     ITA  1:48:54 1:03:21 34:15 3:36:45 1:44:25  8:47:40
4  Gianluca CICCHELLA  ITA  1:50:36 1:04:45 29:10 3:42:44 1:45:03  8:52:18
5  Andrea DE PAOLA     ITA  1:59:43 1:06:06 29:46 3:46:17 1:51:16  9:13:08
6  Claudio BONAITI     ITA  1:55:08 1:07:49 31:09 3:53:57 1:51:21  9:19:24
7  Peter KLOOSTER      NED  1:54:17 1:06:08 31:56 3:56:17 1:52:50  9:21:28
8  Rudolf SHOEPF       ITA  1:56:57 1:08:33 31:11 3:53:44 1:53:27  9:23:52
9  Markus RATH         GER  2:05:22 1:08:32 29:58 3:59:52 1:52:06  9:35:50
10 Gianluca BARBERO    ITA  1:54:24 1:05:55 29:58 4:20:43 1:46:04  9:37:04
                           
WOMEN:                     
1  Alice MODIGNANI     ITA  2:09:23 1:14:07 37:13 4:09:32 2:06:35 10:16:50
2  Jennifer HANDS      GBR  2:32:00 1:20:33 41:02 4:34:13 2:09:51 11:17:39
3  Claudia GERLING     GER  2:32:48 1:22:16 37:17 4:40:03 2:10:25 11:22:49
4  Antonella RIVA      ITA  2:30:10 1:21:43 40:47 4:43:32 2:09:19 11:25:31
5  Valeria BIANCHI     ITA  2:31:17 1:24:21 39:24 4:47:28 2:18:56 11:41:26
6  Rossana PIERANTONI  ITA  2:26:17 1:23:09 45:40 5:05:35 2:25:11 12:05:52
7  Lucia CANDIOTTI     ITA  2:39:06 1:29:44 40:04 4:57:01 2:20:24 12:06:19 
8  Nadja BRECHT        GER  2:29:15 1:26:13 39:03 5:08:24 2:27:15 12:10:10
9  Cristina OGNIBEN    ROM  2:31:06 1:24:45 39:36 5:08:24 2:31:11 12:15:02
10 Yvette MAHRER       DOM  2:26:58 1:23:36 40:15 5:21:18 2:26:00 12:18:07

Top

9 MARCH 2012: 13th ANTARCTICA MARATHON

100 runners from 12 countries were buffeted by 60kph winds and wind chill of -20°C during the race, held on King George Island, off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Near-blinding snow squalls hit as runners passed Artigas, the Uruguayan scientific research base, near the marathon turn point at the western end of Collins Glacier. "Typical for an Antarctic summer day." said Boston-based tour organiser Thom Gilligan. Terrence Bell took an early lead in the men's race, but three women contested closely until 37km, when Brooke Curran surged to the front and went on to win. Four Chilean research base personnel, who had been spared the rough two-day crossing of the Drake Passage on the Russian icebreaker Akedemik Loffe, dominated the men's half marathon.

MEN:
1  Terrence BELL                  AUS  3:07:58
2  Robert KRZAK                   POL  3:27:08
3  Grant HARRELL                  USA  3:38:08

WOMEN:
1  Brooke CURRAN                  USA  4:36:53
2  Camille NELSON                 USA  4:40:37
3  Toni WILSON                    USA  4:50:35

HALF MARATHON
MEN:
1  Christian PRAT                 CHI  1:46:13
2  Manual BARRTA                  CHI  1:47:38
3  Luis REYES                     CHI  2:04:25

WOMEN:
1  Heather BURKE                  USA  2:27:53
2  Danielle NICHOLAS              AUS  2:32:10
3  Heidi RICHARDSON               USA  2:40:25

Top

11 MARCH 2012: VENETO BANCA LAGO MAGGIORE HALF MARATHON, ITALY

1800 runners enjoyed sunny conditions and stunning views across the lake from the course between Verbania and Stresa. The men's race was a duel between Ethiopian Belaye Bedede and Kenyan Edwin Kipyego. By halfway the two were clear and alternating the lead, until approaching the finish Bedede edged away for a 12-second winning margin. Jemima Jelegat was a clear winner in the women's race with a new course record – almost three minutes faster than Joyce Chepkirui's winning time last year. Second and third place finishers, Alice Mogire and Magdalene Mukunzi also bettered the previous record.

MEN:
1  Belaye BEDEDE                  ETH  1:00:59
2  Edwin KIPYEGO                  KEN  1:01:11
3  Charles WAWERU                 KEN  1:02:18
4  Michael MUTAI                  KEN  1:02:19
5  Jackson MUNYAO                 KEN  1:03:40
6  Clinton PERRET                 AUS  1:03:41
7  John KIPSANG                   KEN  1:03:51
8  Juan David Orozco SANCHEZ      ITA  1:11:57
9  Marco BETASSA                  ITA  1:12:04
10 Daniele NOVELLA                ITA  1:12:04

WOMEN:
1  Jemima JELEGAT                 KEN  1:08:35
2  Alice MOGIRE                   KEN  1:10:11
3  Magadelene MUKUNZI             KEN  1:10:44
4  Biratu LEGESE                  ETH  1:12:41
5  Mary WANJOHI                   KEN  1:13:48
6  Oksana SIMONOVA                UKR  1:16:30
7  Sladjana PERUNOVIC             MNE  1:17:07
8  Mona STOKHECKE                 GER  1:17:22
9  Monika OBERLIN                 SUI  1:20:46
10 Viviana VELLATI                ITA  1:22:40

11 MARCH 2012: ASTA 10km INT'L DE TAROUDANT, MOROCCO

Nobody would have expected such a competitive race to be staged at Taroudant — one of the most ancient historical cities in the south of Morocco. With more than 1000 participants, an international field with some of the world's top road runners, warm but not too warm conditions, and great spectator attendance: everything required for a top road race was in place.

The results showed that both men and women performed to the highest international level: Ahmed Baday even setting a world leading time.

MEN:
1  Ahmed BADAY                    MAR  27:56
2  Simon CHEPROT                  KEN  27:57
3  Hafid CHANI                    MAR  28:30
4  Jonas CHERUIYOT                KEN  28:41
5  Mourad EL BENNOURI             MAR  28:50
6  Khalid SAADDEN                 MAR  28:53
7  Jawad LAARISS                  MAR  28:56
8  Ataly YIRSAW                   ETH  29:00
9  Reuben INDONGO                 NAM  29:03
10 Noureddine BOUCHMAMA           MAR  29:08

WOMEN:
1  Amare MEKASHA                  ETH  31:47
2  Agnes BARSOSIO                 KEN  31:50
3  Winnie JEPKEMBOI               KEN  32:02
4  Rkia EL MOKIM                  MAR  33:43
5  Marina PETROVA                 RUS  34:03
6  Aziza ALAOUI SELSOULI          MAR  34:11
7  Salima CHARKI                  MAR  34:18
8  Alexandra JAWOR                POL  35:05
9  Khadija EL AARIBI              MAR  36:07
10 Hanane TOURCHI                 MAR  36:48

11 MARCH 2012: NAGOYA INT'L WOMEN'S MARATHON, JAPAN

Photo: Kazuo Tanaka/Agence SHOT

Although the contest for places on the Japanese Olympic team was the main focus Albina Ivanova-Mayorova stole the show writes Ken Nakamura. It was the first edition the race as a mass participation event with 15,000 women runners.

Running in the second pack until halfway Mayorova made up a 90 second deficit in the next 14km and then ran away from the top Japanese. Naoko Takahashi ran 2:22:19 here in 2000, but Mayorova's time is on a changed course.

Of the top nine runners, all under 2:28, Mayorova, Nakazato, Ito and Miyauchi set personal bests. Two all-time greats, Lidia Simon and Catherine Ndereba, did not fare well finishing 19th and 22nd.

Noguchi ran ahead of the pacemakers at times but around 17km the Athens Olympic gold medallist began to lose contact. By 20km she was eight seconds adrift. By halfway (1:11:30) seven runners — Yoshimi Ozaki, Remi Nakazato, Yukiko Akaba, Yoko Shibui, Misaki Katsumata, Mai Ito and Yoko Miyauchi — and one pace maker were left in the lead pack. However, as the pace stayed sluggish, Noguchi, who was 24 seconds behind at 25km caught the leaders at 29km. At 32km Ozaki tried to break the pack and Noguchi, Shibui and Akaba all seemed to be in trouble.

Mayorova was steadily gaining on the leaders. Soon after 35km (1:59:41) she passed them, breaking up the pack in the process. Only Ozaki, Nakazato and Ito were able to follow her. Ito drifted back after 36km and soon Ozaki and Nakazato were also left behind, perhaps concentrating on the battle for Olympic selection. They passed 1km to go together and 200m behind Mayorova, but with the Nagoya dome in sight and 500m to run Ozaki surged away.

WOMEN (ONLY):
1  Albina MAYOROVA                RUS  2:23:52
2  Yoshimi OZAKI                  JPN  2:24:14
3  Remi NAKAZATO                  JPN  2:24:28
4  Yoko SHIBUI                    JPN  2:25:02 
5  Mai ITO                        JPN  2:25:26
6  Mizuki NOGUCHI                 JPN  2:25:33
7  Olena SHURKO                   UKR  2:25:49   
8  Yukiko AKABA                   JPN  2:26:08
9  Yoko MIYAUCHI                  JPN  2:26:23
10 Misaki KATSUMATA               JPN  2:28:01

11 MARCH 2012: KYOTO MARATHON, JAPAN

MEN:
1  Jyunichi USHIYAMA              JPN  2:26:21
2  Yuki MURATO                    JPN  2:26:50
3  Kosuke MURATA                  JPN  2:27:23
4  Koji TANIGUCHI                 JPN  2:27:52
5  Jyun IMADA                     JPN  2:28:42
6  Yasuhide MORI                  JPN  2:29:27
7  Hikaru IDEGUCHI                JPN  2:29:31
8  Yoshifumi YAMADA               JPN  2:30:56
9  Yasutomo TAKENAKA              JPN  2:31:08
10 Jyun KOIZUMI                   JPN  2:31:17

WOMEN:
1  Reiko KOBAYSHI                 JPN  2:48:47 
2  Rie SATO                       JPN  3:09:38
3  Maya IINO                      JPN  3:11:43
4  Chie KIKOKU                    JPN  3:12:07
5  Mitsuko NUMATA                 JPN  3:12:08
6  Saki YAMASHITA                 JPN  3:14:23
7  Yoshimi SHITAKA                JPN  3:15:01
8  Kumiko MURASAWA                JPN  3:15:39
9  Ritsuko WATANABE               JPN  3:17:56
10 Katsuyo MIYAMOTO               JPN  3:18:09

11 MARCH 2012: SIHANOUKVILLE ANGKOR BEER INT'L HALF MARATHON, CAMBODIA

The first edition attracted 1100 runners from 21 countries.

MEN:
1  Viro MA                        CAM  1:23:37
2  Chanthan SVAY                  CAM  1:27:57
3  Theourn KANG                   CAM  1:30:13
4  Sopheak PHAN                   CAM  1:30:17
5  Yann DEFOND                    FRA  1:32:47
6  Peo HOK                        CAM  1:34:30
7  Sross KHUT                     CAM  1:34:30
8  Sam EOWMb SAT                  CAM  1:35:09
9  Hideki MIYAZAKI                JPN  1:36:22
10 Juergen SCHUSTER               GER  1:38:12

WOMEN:
1  Clementine TAMOUIDE            FRA  1:42:59
2  Pip MINER                      AUS  1:50:26
3  Laura WATSON                   GBR  1:51:08
4  Berenice Olmedo VALENCIA       MEX  1:58:27
5  Tara AIRD                      GBR  2:06:49
6  Kosal KEO                      CAM  2:08:26
7  Elizabeth NEWMAN               AUS  2:14:09
8  Yi WEI                         USA  2:18:13
9  Caroline HERBERT               GBR  2:18:30
10 Lois WOODWARD                  GBR  2:18:31

10.5km RACE
MEN:
1  Buntet HENG                    CAM  43:42
2  Phally POV                     CAM  44:46
3  Debenath CHRISTIAN             CAM  44:50

WOMEN:
1  Robin MARZ                     USA  48:45
2  Nicole HOAGLAND                USA  51:00
3  Kila REI                       CAM  1:00:20

Top

16 MARCH 2012: JERUSALEM MARATHON, ISRAEL

Nearly 15,000 runners fought driving rain and strong winds in the second ever marathon held in the Holy City. Hundreds of police were deployed to provide security along the course, part of which ran through annexed Arab east Jerusalem, and 4,000 Israeli soldiers also ran in a special race along the route. No amount of security could have protected runners from the cold and wet weather. A wave of freezing rain swept over runners as they awaited the 7am start. It was bitterly cold throughout, with driving rain, strong winds and hailstones pounding the runners as they fought their way up Jerusalem's notorious hills. A thousand runners completed the full marathon, 4000 ran the half, and 10,000 joined the 10km race. A total of 1500 foreign runners participated, representing more than 50 countries from as far away as Trinidad and Tobago and Indonesia.

Starting from the Knesset, Israel's parliament, the route took runners up and down several hills, through the walled Old City and areas of east Jerusalem, including the biblical Mount of Olives. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the rest of the world. Palestinians wanted east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state.

"No training in the world could prepare you for the terrain of Jerusalem and the hills," said Noella Pio Kivlehan, a first-time marathon runner from Ireland who completed the race in just under six hours. "There was really good camaraderie among those of us who were among the stragglers. It really helped me when things got difficult."

MEN:
1  David TONIOK                   KEN  2:19:52
2  Gudeta BIRATU                  ETH  2:22:42
3  John MUTAI                     KEN  2:23:31
4  Lemma Mosfin HAILU             ETH  2:24:38
5  Tirfea Taye BABEKER            ETH  2:25:27
6  Lemma Siyum DEBELE             ETH  2:26:36
7  Jemal Hussen ADEM              ETH  2:27:14
8  Kilonzi Andrew KIMANTHI        KEN  2:29:18
9  Raymond KIPKOECH               KEN  2:32:29
10 Cyprian KIOGORA                KEN  2:32:39
 
WOMEN:
1  Mihret ANAMO                   ETH  2:48:38
2  Khamila KHANIPOVA              RUS  2:49:20
3  Alena VINITSKAYA               BLR  2:50:33
4  Arsedi Sissay MEASSO           ETH  2:55:19
5  Bikila Merga WOLDESEMAYAT      ETH  3:07:13
6  Olena BILOSHCHUK               UKR  3:12:31
7  Wilma VAN ONNA                 NED  3:21:06
8  Elsemieke DE VOS               NED  3:21:55
9  Katarina RONNGREN              SWE  3:31:41
10 Moran SHABTAI                  ISR  3:38:35

HALF MARATHON
MEN:
1  Onesmus SEREM                  KEN  1:05:55
2  Feyisa LEMA                    ETH  1:06:03
3  Alex SAEKWO                    KEN  1:06:41

WOMEN:                        
1  Etalemaha HABTEWOLD            ETH  1:19:17
2  Kalikidan BALCHA               ETH  1:19:46
3  Or CARMELI                     ISR  1:32:49

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17 MARCH 2012: SUNTRUST ROCK 'N' ROLL USA MARATHON

MEN:
1  Michael WARDIAN                USA  2:26:35
2  Scott ALLEN                         2:36:05
3  Benjamin EMMANUEL                   2:38:24
4  Philippe ROLLY                      2:41:34
5  Richard VELAZQUEZ                   2:42:25
6  Daven OSKVIG                        2:45:58
7  Patrick HEARN                       2:46:50
8  Mark NEFF                           2:47:29
9  Ryan SAMUEL                         2:48:02
10 Karsten BROWN                       2:48:21

WOMEN:
1  Meghan BISHOP                  USA  3:01:40
2  Sylivia BAAGE                       3:11:25 
3  Bethany SACHTLEBEN                  3:13:50
4  Noalig MONTAGNON                    3:15:05
5  Patricia SOUMOFF                    3:16:13
6  Esther KENDALL                      3:19:16
7  Sarah MOORE                         3:19:25
8  Ashley DUERR                        3:20:45
9  Keelin WELLOT                       3:21:08
10 Elizabeth BLEUER                    3:21:56

HALF MARATHON 
MEN:
1  Ricky FLYNN                         1:06:39
2  Germessa MERGESSA              ETH  1:07:57
3  Paolo NATALI                        1:08:07

WOMEN:
1  Askale MERACHI                 ETH  1:16:52
2  Tiringo GETACHEW               ETH  1:20:42
3  Lisa Thomas                         1:22:17

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18 MARCH 2012: SEOUL INT'L MARATHON, KOREA

Wilson Loyanae took advantage of cool conditions to break the course record by over a minute. He had run his previous personal best of 2:09:23 in Gyeongju last October.

A 12-strong lead group went through 10km in 29:45 and 20km in 59:46. Even at 35km there were still nine runners together, before Loyanae made his bid for victory and started to build an increasing winning margin. The first three to finish broke the old course record.

Tadese Feyse led the women's race from the start. A lead group of four passed through 10km in 34:00. By 20km it had become three, and when Flomena Chepchirchir dropped back before 30km it briefly became a contest between Feyse and Askale Magarsa, but after 35km Feyse pulled away to win. Behind them Serena Burla came through after a cautious start to inprove her personal best by almost seven minutes in third place.

MEN:
1  Wilson LOYANAE                 KEN  2:05:37
2  James Kipsang KWAMBAI          KEN  2:06:03
3  Eliud KIPTANUI                 KEN  2:06:44
4  Philip Kimutai SANGA           KEN  2:06:51
5  Felix Kipkemboy KENY           KEN  2:07:31
6  Charles Munyeki KIAMA          KEN  2:07:41
7  Jairus Ondora CHANCHAIMA       KEN  2:07:43
8  Yonas KIFLE                    ERI  2:08:51
9  William Chebon CHEBOR          KEN  2:10:27
10 Edwin Kangogo KIMAIYO          KEN  2:10:29

WOMEN:
1  Tadese FEYSE                   ETH 2:23:26
2  Askale Tafa MAGARSA            ETH 2:25:29
3  Serena BURLA                   USA 2:28:27
4  Sung Eun KIM                   KOR 2:29:53
5  Hellen Wanjiku MUGO            KEN 2:30:01
6  Ines MELCHOR                   PER 2:30:04
7  Tatiana FILONYUK               UKR 2:30:11
8  Yun Hee CHUNG                  KOR 2:30:34

18 MARCH 2012: MARATONA DI ROMA, ITALY

The men's race was on course record pace until 30km, but the pace slowed in the last 7km due to strong win, writes Diego Sampaolo. Luka Kanda nonetheless improved his previous best of 2:08:40. Pre-race favourite Hellen Kimutai ran to form to win the women's race.

The men's race set off fast, passing 10km in 29:49. Still fast at halfway (1:03:06) the course record was well within reach at 30km with six in contention (1:29:56). With pacemaking over Kanda and Samson Barmao attacked, Kanda starting to pull away after 32km. Although he slowed after 35km he was not challenged as the record slipped out of his reach. His was the third fastest timnwe run in Rome.

The women's race set off at a 2:26 pace for the first 5km, although favourite Hellen Kimutai was 25 seconds behind the lead group of Ethiopians. Kimutai gradually pegged them back over the next 10km and they went through halfway in 1:13:34. Ashete Bekele pulled ahead before 30km with Kimutai in 4th at 30km and up to 3rd by 35km, where she lagged Bekele by 1:07. By 40km she was only 16 seconds adrift and surged past for a confident win. She had previously finished third in 2000 and second in 2007.

12,688 runners crossed the finish-line in Via dei Fori Imperiali breaking the all-time record for the Rome Acea Marathon.

MEN:
1  Luka Lokobe KANDA              KEN  2:08:04
2  Samson Kiprono BARMAO          KEN  2:08:52
3  Demssew Abebe TSEGA            ETH  2:10:47
4  Tadese Tolesa AREDO            ETH  2:11:05
5  Gedefa BIHANU                  ETH  2:11:30
6  Negesse Shumi EENDESHAW        ETH  2:12:14
7  Festus Kiprotich LANGAT        KEN  2:13:50
8  Reta KABTAMU                   ETH  2:13:51
9  Endale TEKILEAB                ETH  2:14:13
10 Tiruneh Workneh TESFA          ETH  2:15:28

WOMEN:
1  Hellen Jemaiyo KIMUTAI         KEN  2:31:11
2  Ashete Dido BEKELE             ETH  2:31:23
3  Marina KOVALYOVA               RUS  2:31:53
4  Makida Wordofa ABDELA          ETH  2:32:11
5  Gebregziabher Mehari RAHASET   ETH  2:33:42
6  Ehitu Kiros REDA               ETH  2:34:05
7  Alemtsehay Mesfin DEMSE        ETH  2:34:22
8  Gadise Fita MEGERSA            ETH  2:35:04
9  Maria MCCAMBRIDGE              IRL  2:36:37
10 Ayantu Dakebo HAILEMARIAM      ETH  2:37:39

18 MARCH 2012: LIMASSOL MARATHON GSO, CYPRUS

MEN:
1  Ahmet KAZAHOUM-JEBEL           CYP  2:29:32
2  Michael KEENAN                 CYP  2:41:20
3  Manolis SIFAKIS                GRE  2:44:23
4  Raphael IGRISIANU              GER  2:46:43
5  Piotr SAWICKI                  POL  2:47:07
6  Janez KUHAR                    SLO  2:52:16
7  Robert CELINSKI                POL  2:57:15
8  Charalambos IOANNU             CYP  2:57:30
9  Maciej RAKOWSKI                POL  3:01:47
10 Daniel HAYES                   CYP  3:03:59

WOMEN:
1  Yulia KHAZOVA                  RUS  2:47:32
2  Irina PANKOVSKAYA              RUS  2:51:18
3  Yiota ANDREOU                  CYP  3:27:49
4  Emily TSETANOVA CHISTOVA       CYP  3:29:06
5  Claire NICHOLSON               RSA  3:45:40
6  Maria AVRAAMIDOU               CYP  3:47:02
7  Ioulia KANNAVA                 CYP  3:51:41
8  Ria VAN DAM-DE HAAN            NED  3:53:52
9  Savva LAMBROU                  CYP  3:54:08
10 Sophie SMITH                   GBR  3:54:29

HALF MARATHON
MEN:
1  Dmitriy POLYANSKIY             RUS  1:08:52
2  Igor POLYANSKIY                RUS  1:09:33
3  Juergen LEY                    GER  1:22:44

WOMEN:
1  Alina Adriana VOICULESCU       CYP  1:15:42
2  Irina SHULGINA                 RUS  1:21:02
3  Anna CELINSKA                  POL  1:22:49

18 MARCH 2012: STANDARD CHARTERED STANLEY MARATHON, FALKLAND ISLANDS

The 8th edition of this most southerly certified marathon offered the usual challenging conditions with wind speeds of up to 60kph and the temperature as low as 3°C. To top it off, there were heavy rains later on in the day. A record number of 58 runners took part in the individual race and a further 18 teams competed in the relay. A total of 23 international runners travelled to Stanley to take part in the event, including eleven from Argentina, six from Japan, five from the UK and one from Switzerland.

The first three in the men's race were quite close, and all under three hours. Claudia Camargo set a new course record in the women's race. His Excellency, The Governor Mr. Nigel Haywood, officiated at the start of the race before himself running and completing the race in a time of 3:42.14. He then presented the prizes. The proceeds from the race totalling over US$12,500 will be donated to Standard Chartered Bank's nominated charity, Seeing is Believing.

MEN:
1  Robert HARDEN                  GBR  2:52:39
2  Eric KINYANJUI                 KEN  2:54:51
3  Pablo URETA                    ARG  2:56:16
4  Alastair WILKIN                GBR  3:02:22
5  Lee PATTISON                   GBR  3:12:36
6  Marcelo DE BERNARDIS           ARG  3:16:36
7  Martin COLLINS                 GBR  3:21:46
8  Kenneth THOMAS                 GBR  3:22:08
9  Anton WOLFAARDT                RSA  3:23:26
10 Kris WOODLEY                   GBR  3:35:41
                                  
WOMEN:                            
1  Claudia CAMARGO                ARG  3:12:13
2  Carolina ROSSI                 ARG  4:11:02
3  Marina MORO                    ARG  4:11:44
4  Daisy PELTON                   GBR  4:32:15
5  Lisa-Jane JONES                GBR  4:37:07

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25 MARCH 2012: EDP HALF MARATHON OF LISBON, PORTUGAL

Photo: Victah Sailer

Zersenay Tadese won a hat-trick victory, but more than a minute slower than his previous two efforts, writes Antonio Fernandez. High expectations were partly dashed by warm weather — up to 23°C — and moderate winds. Tadese took charge from the start, with John Mwangangi, also second last year, tracking him — but they were never on world record pace. "I couldn't run as fast as last year because I had a flu, and that affectd me", said Tadese after the race. Rui Silva, the first Portuguese, finished in fourth place. "I ran almost alone to finish with a personal best" he said.

In the women's race Shalane Flanagan, 2008 Olympic 10000m bronze medalist, finished 80m ahead of Kenyan Diana Chepkemoi who lowered her personal best to 1:09:08. Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka — who lives in the south of Portugal finished fifth, ahead of first Portuguese Ana Dulce Felix, who finished second last year in 1:08:33. She explained: "Last year I was preparing for the Vienna Marathon (a month later). This year [I am] focused on the Olympic marathon [in August] so I ran slower."

More than 38,000 runners crossed the 25 de Abril bridge over the Tagus, in the popular Half Marathon and 8km fun run — but the few dozen elites start separately on the north side of the river to avoid the "drop" coming off the bridge, which would render performances invalid for records.

MEN:
1  Zersenay TADESE                ERI    59:34 
2  John MWANGANGI                 KEN  1:00:44
3  Lucas ROTICH                   KEN  1:01:00
4  Rui SILVA                      POR  1:02:40
5  Gilbert MASAI                  KEN  1:02:40
6  Titus MASAI                    KEN  1:03:07
7  Dickson MARWA                  TAN  1:03:09
8  Yared ASMEROM                  ERI  1:03:43
9  Manuel DAMIAO                  POR  1:03:56
10 Sammy KIGEN                    KEN  1:04:11
                                  
WOMEN:                            
1  Shalane FLANAGAN               USA  1:08:52
2  Diana CHEPKEMOI                KEN  1:09:08
3  Margaret MURIUKI               KEN  1:09:21
4  Peninah ARUSEI                 KEN  1:10:24
5  Jelena PROKOPCUKA              LAT  1:10:37
6  Rita JEPTOO                    KEN  1:10:50
7  Ana Dulce FELIX                POR  1:11:18
8  Alice MOGIRE                   KEN  1:11:24
9  Lornah KIPLAGAT                KEN  1:12:19
10 Nadia EJJAFINI                 ITA  1:12:41

25 MARCH 2012: ZURICH MARATO DE BARCELONA, SPAIN

MEN:
1  Julius CHEPKWONY               KEN  2:11:14
2  Japhet Kipchirchir KORIR       KEN  2:11:31
3  Willy Kimutai KANGOGO          KEN  2:11:34
4  Samuel Wolde GEBREMICHAEL      ETH  2:11:47
5  Ivan BABARYKA                  UKR  2:11:48
6  Peter Kiplagat SITIENI         KEN  2:11:49
7  Paulo Roberto DE ALMEIDA       BRA  2:11:51
8  Jose Carlos Hernandez CABRERA  ESP  2:11:57
9  Wilfred Kipkosgei MURGOR       KEN  2:12:03
10 Elijah Kiprono KEMBOI          KEN  2:12:15

WOMEN:
1  Emily SAMOEI                   KEN  2:26:53
2  Biruktait Eshetu DEGEFA        ETH  2:29:52
3  Elena Espeso GAYTE             ESP  2:30:52
4  Berhane DIBABA                 ETH  2:33:03
5  Aroa Merino BETANDOR           ESP  2:55:03
6  Amaya Carretero ZULAICA        ESP  2:58:33
7  Felip VAN CAUWENBERGHE         BEL  2:59:05
8  Nuria Sierra MARIN             ESP  3:00:06
9  Martha HALL                    GBR  3:00:57
10 Mireia Sosa PEREZ              ESP  3:01:28

25 MARCH 2012: FERRARA MARATHON, ITALY

MEN:
1  Pietro CABASSI                 ITA  2:35:34
2  Andrea BERNABEI                ITA  2:36:39
3  Alberto FELLONI                ITA  2:37:06
4  Poalo MASSARENTI               ITA  2:37:11
5  Manolo MONTEVECCHI             ITA  2:41:16
6  Marco SERASINI                 ITA  2:41:26
7  Reinhold POTOTSCHINK           AUT  2:42:29
8  Francesco TORNATI              ITA  2:45:13
9  Martino MASSIGNANI             ITA  2:46:19
10 Maurizio AMMIRATA              ITA  2:46:43

WOMEN:
1  Ilaria ZACCAGNI                ITA  2:58:28
2  Ingrind NIKOLESIC              SRB  2:58:51
3  Aleksandra FORTIN              SLO  3:00:01
4  Federica POESINI               ITA  3:03:41
5  Ulrike STEIDNIG                AUT  3:08:25
6  Serena CAGNONI                 ITA  3:15:14
7  Marina ZANARDI                 ITA  3:15:35
8  Angela LATORRE                 ITA  3:16:50
9  Federica PASQUELLI             ITA  3:19:30
10 Maris TALV-LAUGREN                  3:20:10

25 MARCH 2012: INT'L NOVI SAD HALF MARATHON, SERBIA

MEN:
1  Darko ZIVANOVIC                SRB  1:05:38 
2  Andelko RISTICEVIC             SRB  1:09:57 
3  Milos MILOVANOVIC              SRB  1:14:58 

WOMEN: 
1  Ana SUBOTIC                    SRB  1:16:45 
2  Marijana Cegar LUKIC           SRB  1:28:02 
3  Ksenija BUBNJEVIC              SRB  1:29:10

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30 MARCH 2012: TEL AVIV MARATHON, ISRAEL

MEN:
1  Sammy TOO                      KEN  2:15:15
2  Henry Kipkirui CHUMBA          KEN  2:16:59
3  Feyera Gemeda DADI             ETH  2:17:36
4  Alemu Dabessa GEMENE           ETH  2:17:42
5  Josphat Kipkemboi RONO         KEN  2:21:17

WOMEN:
1  Abebe Tola EDA                 ETH  2:38:27

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31 MARCH 2012: HERVIS PRAGUE HALF MARATHON, CZECH REPUBLIC

Atsedu Tsegay ran away from defending champion Philemon Limo after 15km in cold and windy conditions to record a world-leading 58:47 and win by a margin in excess of 400m. The 20-year old bested Limo's course record by almost a minute. "In my next race, I would like to try and break the world record" said Tsegay, who ran only 24 seconds slower than Zersenay Tadese's current mark. He improved his previous effort, from Rabat a year ago, by nearly 2.5 minutes.

The women's race was also decided at 15km when Joyce Chepkirui eased away from defending champion Lydia Cheromei and Gladys Cherono. She improved her best by nearly two minutes and Cheromei's course record by 30 seconds.

This race attracted almost 11000 starters, the biggest ever field for a mass race in the Czech Republic.

MEN:
1  Atsedu TSEGAY                  ETH    58:47
2  Henry KIPLAGAT                 KEN  1:00:01
3  Philemon LIMO                  KEN  1:00:03
4  Josphat BETT                   KEN  1:01:01
5  Sentayehu MERGA                ETH  1:01:02
6  Kenneth Kiprop KIPKEMOI        KEN  1:01:24
7  Geoffrey KANYAJUA              KEN  1:01:52
8  Dawid WOLDE                    ETH  1:02:19
9  Daniel Kinyua WANJIRU          KEN  1:02:32
10 Erick KIBET                    KEN  1:02:33

WOMEN:
1  Joyce CHEPKIRUI                KEN  1:07:03
2  Lydia CHEROMEI                 KEN  1:07:26
3  Gladys CHERONO                 KEN  1:08:18
4  Rose CHELIMO                   KEN  1:11:35
5  Tetiana GAMERA                 UKR  1:12:15
6  Lyudmila KOVALENKO             UKR  1:13:35
7  Lemelem BERHA                  ETH  1:13:50
8  Aki ODAGIRI                    JPN  1:14:57
9  Esther Wanjiru MACHARIA        KEN  1:15:36
10 Alena SAMOKHVALOVA             RUS  1:16:01

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