World Record Holder Zersenay Tadese Leads Field For Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Lisbon Half-Marathon
October 2, 2014
LISBON, Portugal – October 2, 2014 – World record holder Zersenay Tadese headlines a world-class elite field on Sundaymorning at the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Lisbon Marathon & Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Vodafone RTP in Portugal on October 5, 2014. Eritrea’s Tadese will return to race in the city where he set the half marathon world record of 58 minutes, 23 seconds in 2010.
One of Lisbon’s two prestigious half marathons, the Portugal Half Marathon was rebranded as part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in 2012. Last year the event included a marathon for the first time, which was awarded an IAAF Road Race Gold Label, the highest certification in road running, by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
For the 2nd edition of the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Lisbon Marathon, organizers have made slight adjustments to the route and moved the marathon start time to 8:30 am, while the half marathon will start at 10:30 am on the Vasco da Gama Bridge. The marathon begins in the seaside city of Cascais, featuring a fast course with breathtaking views along the Atlantic ocean and through the beautiful gardens of Oerias, then runs back along the banks of the Tagus river, touring the heart of old Lisbon and finishing at Parque das Nações, the location of the 1998 World Exposition.
The elite field includes seven men who have run faster than 2:10:00, including Kenyan Philip Kimutai who has run sub-2:07 three times each of the past three years. Joining Kimutai will be his compatriots Lawrence Kimayo (2:07:01), Samuel Ndungu (2:07:04) and Robert Kwambai (2:08:48). The strong field puts Portugal’s All-Comers record of 2:09:46 in jeopardy.
Sunday’s top competitors also include Ethiopia’s Dereje Debele Tulu, who set his PR of 2:07:48 in route to winning the Duesseldorf Marathon last year; Ukraine’s Oleksandr Sitkovskiy, who won the Firenze Marathon with a personal best time of 2:09:14, which was also the second best performance by a European runner last year; Zimbabwe’s Cutbert Nyasango, a 2012 Olympic marathoner who set his PR of 2:09:52 finishing third at the Prague Marathon in May.
In the women’s marathon, defending champion Agnes Kiprop will look to bring her winning time last year of 2:31:15 more in line with her PR of 2:23.54. She’ll likely get her most serious challenge from Ethiopians Azalech Masresha (2:25.34) andAberu Mekuria Zennebe (2:26:07). Italy’s Emma Quaglia, who finished 6th in the marathon at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, is also in the field.
The half marathon field will be chasing Tadese’s world record of 58:23 and the course record of 1:00:19 set last year by Wilson Kiprop of Kenya.
Tadese’s list of career accomplishments over the 13.1-mile distance is impressive. The Eritrean has won the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships five times, broken the magical 60-minute barrier in the half-marathon an astonishing ten times, set the current IAAF world record at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon in 2010 and then won the next year in 58:30, which are still the two fastest performances in history.
Tadese will be challenged by three men with sub-60 minute personal bests: Stephen Kibet of Kenya (58:54), Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia (59:54) and Aziz Lahbabi of Morocco (59:25), winner of the prestigious Rome-Ostia Half Marathon in March. Italy’s Daniele Meucci, who won the European Championship marathon title, and Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan, the 2011 IAAF World Championships 10,000m gold medalist, will also be competing.
Sunday’s half-marathon features twelve men with sub-62 minute personal best times and seven women having run sub-71:00. The leading women’s entrant is two-time Olympian Nadia Ejjafinni of Italy, who owns the fastest PR in the field (1:08:27). Favorites among those aligned against her will be Ethiopian’s Godfay Afera (1:09:52) and Ababel Yeshaneh (1:09:54), along with Kenya’s Gorreti Jepkoech (1:09.35).
The event will welcome more than 22,00 runners with 4,800 participants from 72 countries around the world traveling to Lisbon. The event also includes a shorter distance Mini Marathon sponsored by EDP, which starts and finishes at the same location as the half marathon and allows for wider participation. The elite races will be broadcast live on RTP television and spectators can tune in around the globe to watch at http://www.rtp.pt/play/direto/rtp1.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Lisbon – Professional Field
As of Thursday, October 2, 2014
NAME, COUNTRY, PERSONAL BEST
Marathon – MEN
Philip Sanga Kimutai, KEN, 2:06:07
Lawrence Kimayo, KEN, 2:07:01
Samuel Ndungu, KEN, 2:07:04
Dereje Debele Tulu, ETH, 2:07:48
Robert Kwambai, KEN, 2:08:48
Oleksandr Sitkovskiy, UKR, 2:09.14
Cutbert Nyasango, ZIM, 2:09:52
Getachew Abayu Girma, ETH, 2:10.45
Solomon Tsege, ETI, 2:11:47
Carlos Silva, POR, Debut
Marathon – WOMEN
Agnes Jepkemboi Kiprop, KEN, 2:23:54
Azalech Masresha, ETH, 2:25.34
Aberu Mekuria Zennebe, ETH, 2:26:07
Emma Quaglia, ITA, 2.28:15
Visiline Jepkesho, KEN, 2.28:40
Elfnesh Melaku, ETH, 2:31.41
Half Marathon – Men
Zersenay Tadese, ERI, 58:23
Daniele Meucci, ITA, 1:01:05
Alexei Reunkov, RUS, 1:03:00
Stephen Kosgei Kibet, KEN, 58:54
Mosinet Geremew, ETH, 59:54
Goiton Kifle, ERI, 1:00:20
Yared Asmeron, ERI, 1:00:28
Geofrey Kusuro, UGA, 1:00:40
Fredrick Kipchumba Ngeny, KEN, 1:01:37
Teklemariam Medhin, ERI, 1:01:47
Ibrahim Jeilan Gashu, ETH, 1:01:47
Takumi Kiyotani, JAP, 1:02:15
Dai Nakahara, JAP, 1:03:04
Alex Oloitiptit , KEN, debut
Aziz Lahbabi, MOR, 59:25
Abderrahime Bouramdane, MOR, 1:02:40
Hermano Ferreira, POR, 1:01:24
Pedro Ribeiro, POR, 1:05:20
Yousef El Kalai, POR, 1:03:07
Paulo Pinheiro, POR, Debut
Half Marathon – Women
Nadia Ejjafinni, ITA, 1:08:27
Godfay Afera, ETH, 1:09:52
Gorreti Jepkoech, KEN, 1:09:35
Ababel Yeshaneh, ETH, 1:09:54
Purity Rionoripo, KEN, 1:10:40
Ana Dias, POR, 1:10:28
Sara Moreira, POR, 1:10:50
Doroteia Peixoto, POR, 1:14:51