Excellent course record of Burkovska in debut

05.10.2009 World

Two of three aims of the organisers were fulfilled. The 86th International Peace Marathon of Kosice (the oldest in Europe) had record breaking participation of more than 5000 runners in all races.

Also Ukrainian Olena Burkovska in her debut improved the 20 years old course record (2:31:28 by Alena Peterkova in 1989) by 38 seconds with 2:30:50. Only the goal to improve the male course record (2:09:53 by Kenyan William Biama in 2007) did not happen as the winning Kenyan Jacob Chesire clocked life-time best of 2:10:59, the third best mark in the history of Kosice race (also faster was last year winner Dejene Yirdawe of Ethiopia 2:10:51) but was alone at the last nearly 20 km and struggled with the wind.

In sunny, but windy weather the pace was fast at first 5 km (14:55) followed by 30:27 at 10 km and 45:51 at 15 km what was 2:08:40 pace (by Kenyan pacemaker Elijah Tarus). At the half-mark stil stub 2:09 was possible with 1:04:18 and after 25 km when pacemakers faded the future winner took the lead but nobody really helped him. He was stil at sub 2:10 at 35 km (1:47:22) with more than 100 metres lead but could not increase his pace but still managed to and finishl 8 seconds ahead of his personal best 2:11:07 from Venice Marathon 2008 (was second). Chesire is 27 years old and completed his 6th marathon, his prize money will be 9000 E. „This was a great race for me, unfortunately nobody helped me after 25 km, I was fighting against the wind, otherwise the time would be under 2:10,“ said Chesire. Unkown Ethiopians in their first races outside their country from Haji Adilo coaching group achieved excellent times and life-time bests. Both are claiming they were running 2:15 and 2:16 in Addis Ababa. Shume Legese as second  2:11:36 and Kedir Kassa as third 2:11:39. Fourth Yusuf Songoka of Kenya clocked solid 2:12:51 and fifth Ketema Tadesse of Ethiopia 2:13:28. To complete top six by 3 Ethiopians and 3 Kenyans, Wilson Chelal was sixth in 2:14:24. In all cases best results for the positions 2-6 in the history of the race. First European was Belarus former European junior track medalist Stsiapan Rahautsou who debuted with 2:19:39 as 8th. Imrich Pastor won his third Slovak title in a row but was not satisfied with final time of 2:28:35 and 10th position.

In women race 4 Africans tried hard with the pace (1:15:22 at half-mark) but after 27 km Ukrainian debutant (28 years) Olena Burkovska speeded up the pace and increased her lead at 30 km to 100 m until 4:09 minutes at the end. She had so far 1:15:06 half-marathon best and for her this was a real break-through race. „I m not too surprised, I was specially preparing for this race. The others were not running consistently today, I really wanted a fast time,“ said the student of Farmacology in Kyiv who also has a five years old daughter Anna. She won int total 10 000 E (more than the best man) and said that she will use it to buy a new flat. Second 20 years old Ethiopian Radiya Adlo Roba improved in her 4th marathon the PB to 2:35:00. Third Kenyan Florence Chepkurui missed her PB by nearly one minute with 2:36:01. In next places Ethiopians followed in marathon debuts. Amelwork Fikadu 2:37:48 and Dihihinet Damsaw 2:48:03. Slovakian Ingrid Petnuchova finished as next (6th) in 2:57:28 and defended her national title from last year. In women races best times in the history for positions 1-4. Former Slovak prime minister Mikulas Dzurinda finished as 151th in excellent 3:22:08 at age of 54 years in his 24th marathon. Special guest was double olympic winner Waldemar Cierpinski who also run a leg in a special promotional relay and promised that he might come back next year and run the full distance at age of 60. Kosice are special for him as he run here his first international marathon in 1974 and also the last in 1985, but never won.

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