Monday, April 14, 2008

Flora London Marathon 2008...

The Flora London Marathon 2008, part of the World Marathon Majors was held yesterday 13 April 2008 at Greenwich Park, London. The following are the respective report for the Men and Women Elite category extracted from Runners World.

Martin Lel Wins His Third London Marathon in 2:05:15
One hundrer years after the marathon distance was standardized as 26 miles and 385 yards at the 1908 London Olympics, the Kenyan Lel made an argument for his being the greatest current master of that distance as he joined Dionicio Ceron and Antonio Pinto as a three-time London Marathon titleist , outgunning Sammy Wanjiru by nine seconds in a course record of 2:05:15. "I was under pressure to do something today," realized Lel. "They asked for something and I gave something." He successfully defend his 2007 laurels; he also won in 2005. The race was actually on world record pace for about 20 miles. Abderrahim Goumri's third place was 2:05:30 was a Moroccan national record in the first marathon ever to have six men finish under 2:07. "To win this race you have to work extra hard," observed a happy Lel. "This is one of the best races I have done. Now I want to come back next year and make it three in a row." It's expected that Lel and Wanjiru will both be named to the Kenyan Olympic team. Lel is now the fourth fastest marathoner of all time behind behind Haile Gebrselassie, Paul Tergat and Sammy Korir on the world all time list.

Germany's Irina Mikitenko Upsets Zakharova And Wami At London Marathon
Mikitenko was a track runner who'd represented Kazakhstan in the 1996 Olympics; she has run 14:42 for 5000 meters. She later switched her allegiance to Germany and, in her marathon debut, finished second to Gete Wami in Berlin in 2007. On Sunday in London, in just her second sojourn over 26.2 miles, she accelerated away from former Boston and Chicago champion Svetlana Zakharova of Russia in the 24th mile to win by 25 seconds in 2:24:14. “I was in such good shape I knew I could do it,” explained Mikitenko, who became the first German winner of the London Marathon since Katrin Dorre in 1994. “I am so happy to win my first marathon and I know I have much more to show at this distance.” There was good news for Zakharova, too; after the race, she received a call from her Russian federation confirming that she'd be on her country's Olympic team for Beijing. Gete Wami, the World Marathon Majors champion, took a hard tumble at a refreshment station just before the 30k mark and may have lost as much as 30 seconds, but she recovered on Sunday to place third. Liz Yelling ran 2:28:33 for ninth place and may have earned a spot on the British Olympics team. "I'm delighted to break the two-and-a-half hour barrier, I'm not sure I ran the best tactical race," observed Yelling, "but I decided to just race and see how much I had."

Martin Lel (L) and Irina Mikitenko (R) winning the London Marathon 2008...

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