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The Week That Was January 7-13, 2008
January 15, 2008

Editor's Note: Our views on the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon and Elite Racing being sold were originally accidentally left out. They have been added here on page 2.

By LetsRun.com -Every Tuesday, we recap the major happenings in the running world from the previous week.

The Week That Was: Jan 7 - Jan 13: Week 2 of 2008
Edinburgh XC: Bekele over Tadese and Ritz Runs Well


Bekele Did Not Leave
With His Head Down This Time
Edingburgh, Scotland is the site of this year's World Cross Country Championships in March. But on Sunday it was the site of  the most competitive IAAF Permit XC Meet of the Year the BUPA Great Edinburgh XC Meet.

The meet featured Kenenisa Bekele and Zersenay Tadese going head to head for the first time since Tadese stunning upset of Bekele at last year's mayhem that was the World XC Champs in Mombasa, Kenya.

As much as we don't want to say it, Bekele is the best cross country runner ever (sorry John Ngugi and Paul Tergat). On Sunday he got a little redemption versus Tadese as he pulled away on the final lap to get the victory over Tadese.

And US fans should definitely be impressed by the fine running of Dathan Ritzenhein (whose best event in our mind is XC) and Jorge Torres. Ritz, in his first race since his fine showing at the US Olympic Marathon Trials, hung close to the leaders until the final lap and finished only 14 seconds back. Some on the message boards are trying to argue the pace was slow as it was only 4:50 pace. But clearly they know nothing about XC in the UK where the courses are notoriously slow. Bekele described the race as "very tough" and "fast." We'll take his word on it. In addition to Tadese and Bekele, Ritz was beaten by former world 5k champ Eliud Kipchoge, and 12:51 man Joseph Ebuya. Pretty good company to lose to in your first race since a grueling marathon.

1. K Bekele (ETH) 27:42
2. Z Tadese (ERI) 27:43
3. E Kipchoge (KEN) 27:43
4. J Ebuya (KEN) 27:43
5. D Ritzenhein (USA) 27:56
6. J Torres (USA) 28:14
*Recap

Emergence of the Next Paula Radcliffe?
On the women's side of things, Gelete Burka dominated. But the race may be remembered 20 years from now as the coming out party for Stephanie Twell. Twell is a two time European junior XC champ and has run 4:06 for 1500 and is only 18. However, being a promising female distance prospect in the land of Paula Radcliffe is an impossible task as the comparisons to an immortal are bound to crop up. 

Sure enough, earlier this month Twell faced the senior ranks at the Belfast International XC meet. Prerace, there were comparisons to Paula and then Twell went out and got smoked by a field that did not feature any African competitors. She was 47 seconds behind fellow Brit Haley Yelling.

Twell however supposedly has the "it" factor and is fiercely competitive. The 18-year old showed no affects of her subpar race in Belfast and took it to the competitors on Sunday. The competitors included World Champs Silver Medallist Vivian Cheruyiot, World Junior XC Champ Linet Masai, and Burka, a former world XC short course champ. But midway through the race, it was Twell in the lead. The youngster faded a bit the final laps, but she finished a very respectable 4th just behind Cheruyiot.  Hayley Yelling, who beat Twell by 47 seconds a week ago, this time was 17 seconds back.

However,  it's clear that Twell is about as legitimate of a prospect as one could possibly be for an 18-year old female not born in Africa or China. She has both speed (4:06 1,500 pb) and endurance (look at what she did in Saturday's race) - the complete package.

We're not sure if we should start to second guess ourselves for thinking it was a bit premature for her to ponder last month about what event she'll run in the 2020 Olympics?

This Week: Edinburgh XC Results
1. G Burka (ETH) 19:58
2. L Masai (KEN) 20:13
3. V Cheruiyot (KEN) 20:34
4. S Twell (GBR) 20:34
5. A Kalovics (HUN) 20:38
6. L Yelling (GBR) 20:40
H Yelling (GBR) 20:51

Last Week: Belfast Results
1. H Yelling (GBR) 21:20
2. K Butler (GBR) 21:26
3. D Byrne (IRE) 21:39
4. V Gill (GBR) 21:54
5. L Byrne (IRE) 22:00
6. S Twell (GBR) 22:07

*Post Race article on Stephanie Twell
*Race Recap

Tiberias Marathon: Leonard Mucheru Shines
The Tiberias Marathon may not ring much of a bell in the minds of people in the United States especially during a week when the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon ($100,000 in men's and women's Prize money), the Chevron Houston Marathon ($100,000 in Male and Female Prize Money + $60,000 in the US Half Marathon Champs), and even the Disney Marathon (no prize money, but hey it has the Disney name) were held.

Tiberias is interesting for a few reasons. According to
this blog, it's the only marathon in Israel (there used to be a Tel Aviv and Dead Sea Marathon, but we couldn't find any others currently in Israel so perhaps there really aren't any others). Tiberias is also held on a historical course around the Sea of Galilee.

But most importantly Tiberias is the marathon, Leonard Mucheru won last year, when he was known as Mushir Salim Jawhar, and was a Bahraini citizen.

After the race, when Mucheru was told he was the first Arab athlete to compete in Israel, Mucheru was honored. He told the Jerusalem post, he was "very proud" to have run in Israel, it was "a free country" and "people should live together in harmony".

He also added, "I hope to come back and compete next year."

Little did Mucheru know that his history making race and humanitarian comments would land him in a load of trouble. As you probably know, most Arab nations including Bahrain don't recognize Israel. So his act of kindness became an international incident. Mucheru was stripped of his international passport and for a while was a man without a country (as Kenya does not recognize dual citizenship so Mucheru lost his Kenyan citizenship when he switched allegiance to Bahrain). Fortunately, after international coverage of the incident, Kenya reinstated Mucheru's citizenship.

And as promised, Mucheru returned this year to the Tiberias Marathon. Not only did he win again, but he picked up $40,000. Tiberias has the most unique prize money structure we have ever seen, as the prize money is based on place and time. As a result of some great performances, it ended up being the richest marathon this weekend (in terms of prize money for a men's or women's field) as over $100,000 was given away in the men's race (and only $10,000 in the women's (the women's winner was only 2:39)). The prize structure for Tiberias is at the bottom of this article.

In a week when violence is ravaging Mucheru's country of Kenya, he gets a thumbs up for his humanitarian views. If everyone in his own country listened to what he said last year, "people should live together in harmony," things would be a lot better in Kenya.

Results and Unique Prize Structure of Tiberias Marathon Appear Below.

Continue: Click Here for Page 2 Of Week That Was (PF Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon, Rock N Roll Marathons Sold, US Half Marathon Champs, Chevron Houston Marathon, Ryan Hall, Craig Masback Says Goodbye, Brad Hudson, and More)

MEN -
1. Leonard Mucheru Maina, 2:10:32 $40,000
2. Kenneth Mburu Mugo, 2:10:37 24,000
3. Jackson Kipkoech Kotut, 2:10:57 16,000
4. Samuel Muturi Mugo, 2:11:15 12,000
5. Teshome Gelana Etana, 2:11:58 8,000
6. Yared Mekonnen Temesgen 2:17:50 500

Men:

Level 1 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:11:59h.

Level 2 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:12:44h.

Level 3 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:14:30h.

Level 4 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:17:00h.

Level 5 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:24:59h.

Level 6 prize is independent of the time achieved.

Women:

Level 1 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:28:59h.

Level 2 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:30:30h.

Level 3 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:33:00h.

Level 4 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:37:00h.

Level 5 prize will be awarded for a time faster than 2:48:59h.

Level 6 prize is independent of the time achieved.

Level 6

Level 5

Level 4

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Sum

Sum

Sum

Sum

Sum

Sum

Place

1,500

3,000

5,000

10,000

20,000

40,000

1

1,000

2,000

3,000

6,000

12,000

24,000

2

750

1,500

2,000

4,000

8,000

16,000

3

500

1,000

1,500

3,000

6,000

12,000

4

400

800

1,000

2,000

4,000

8,000

5

250

500

750

1,500

3,000

6,000

6

200

400

600

1,300

2,500

4,000

7

150

300

500

1,100

2,000

3,000

8

100

200

400

900

1,500

2,000

9

50

100

300

700

1,000

1,500

10

Continue: Click Here for Page 2 Of Week That Was (US Half Marathon Champs, Chevron Houston Marathon, Ryan Hall, Craig Masback Says Goodbye, and More)

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