Kenyan, Ethiopian athletes win 41st Istanbul Marathon

Kenyan Daniel Kipkore Kibet wins the men's title and Ethiopian Hirut Tibebuin wins women's at 41st Istanbul Marathon

Nilay Kar   | 03.11.2019
Kenyan, Ethiopian athletes win 41st Istanbul Marathon


Kenyan athlete Daniel Kipkore Kibet on Sunday won the 41st Istanbul Marathon men's title breaking the 42-kilometer (26-mile) track record. Ethiopian athlete Hirut Tibebu bagged the women's title in the run. 

Kibet finished the transcontinental race in 2:9:44. Ethiopian athlete Yitayal Atnafu Zerihun came second at 2:9:57 and Kenyan Peter Kwemoi Ndorobo third at 2:10:9.

Tibebu won the women's title finishing at 2:23:40 with Ethiopian athlete Tigist Abayechew trailing at 2:24:15. Kenyan Maurine Chepkemoi came third at 2:24:16.

Turkish athletes Polat Kemboi Arikan came sixth at 2:12:57 in the men’s title and Busra Nur Koku came eighth in the women’s title.

World's only intercontinental marathon starts in Istanbul

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 03: Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer pose for a family photo with athletes during an award ceremony within the world's only intercontinental marathon 'Vodafone 41st Istanbul Marathon' in Istanbul, Turkey on November 03, 2019. ( Erhan Elaldı - Anadolu Agency )

A total of 63 elite athletes joined the Vodafone 41st Istanbul Marathon, which started at 9 a.m. local time [0600GMT] from Istanbul's Asian side and ended in the European part of the city. The motto of the 2019 marathon is "Istanbul is yours. Don’t stop, run!"

The sports event has three categories -- 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) marathon, 15-km run (9.3-mi), 8-km (4.9-mi) FunRun as well as a wheelchair competition.

In the 15-km run, Kenyan athlete Mathew Kimeli won the men’s title, while the women's title was bagged by Ethiopia's Tsigie Gebreselama. 

Some 37,000 runners from 106 countries competed in the marathon, with 100,000 people attending the 8-km FunRun.

Wife of Paraguay's ambassador to Turkey Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta also joined the 15-km race.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency after the run, Celestina Diaz de Valdez said that it was her first time at the Istanbul Marathon and it was a "wonderful" feeling to cross to Europe from Asia.

She recalled that she previously joined the races in many countries such as Paraguay, Korea, U.S. and South Africa, adding that she also plans to take part in next year's Istanbul marathon.

Valdez is the first woman who competed in Istanbul's race from Paraguay.


Another athlete attending from Italy and competing in the Istanbul marathon for the third time, Claidio Mizii, 64, said: “It is a good competition in Turkey. The last race that I joined was in Chicago. It was cold there. Here the atmosphere is quite warm.”

In the FunRun, people attending the race enjoyed the good weather and Istanbul’s views on July 15 Martyrs' Bridge, formerly known as the Bosphorus Bridge. Some had a picnic on the bridge, while some others celebrated their birthday. 

Elders, families with babies and people with disabilities also enjoyed the race. 

Lutfiye Gokirmak, 79, using walkers in the run, said, “It was easy when I first started walking but I had difficulty in walking here on the bridge. I thank everyone for helping us live such a good day.”

The winners of the 2019 marathon in men's and women's categories earned $50,000 each. In the Turkish athlete's category, winners in both genders bagged 50,000 Turkish liras ($8,760) each.

The Istanbul marathon has been in the Gold Label Road Races list of the international governing body for athletics, the IAAF since 2012.

The champions in recent years such as Elias Kemboi Chelimo from Kenya (2015), Evans Kiplagat from Azerbaijan (2016), French athlete Abraham Kiprotich (2017) and Kenya's Felix Kimutai (2018) were also among the athletes, who competed to win the 2019 title.

In the women's category, Ethiopian Fatuma Sado, who came third in 2018 and famous Turkish athlete Elvan Abeylegesse, who ranked fifth in 2018, were also the favorites for the marathon.

In addition, the roller skate running made its debut in the Istanbul marathon. Detailed information about the sports event can be viewed on

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