Moroccan athlete Khalid Lablak and Kenyan Ednah Kimaiyo were the top winners in Sunday’s maiden edition of the International Oliver Trees Marathon (Marathon-Des-Oliviers-Sfax) in Tunisia, North Africa.
The main events of the marathon (42.195 km) and half marathon (21.097) took place yesterday in the forest of Olives Menzel Chaker after Saturday’s preceding races which saw the children and women alike take to the race tracks.
Lablak won the elite full Marathon race for men in a time of 2:14:38 ahead of Ethiopian Alemayehu Geletu Deksisa who was second in a time of 2:16:05 and the Frenchman Larbi Es Sraidi 2:24:40 came in third place.
In the female category, Kenyan Kimaiyo Ednah (2:40:49) won ahead of the Moroccan Hannane El Bajjoui (2:56:56) and Ethiopian Muluemebet Amene (3:09:55).
After the race, Kimaiyo told AthleticsAfrica.Com she is pleased with her performance despite a little complaint about the weather.
“I am pleased to finish winner in the first edition of Sfax marathon, its not easy for me because of the weather but I tried hard and so I won the race."
The 25-year old Beijing 2008 Olympic runner said the victory in Sfax is a good way to end the year even though she is still looking at running at least one more race before the 2012 winds down. The Kenyan also promised to come back strong next year to defend her title.
Veteran Tunisian Mohamed Kazdhogli, aged 78, said his involvement in Sunday’s race at an advanced age is to send a signal and educate young people about the need to avoid smoking in order to maintain a healthy living and ensure greater longevity.
In the half marathon men’s race, it was another Moroccan athlete Sadden Khalid who finished tops.
The 2012 Moroccan champion breasted the tape after 1:04:23. The second spot was claimed by Tunisian Hosni Wissem (1:04:36) and his compatriot Khelifi Mehdi was third in a time of 1:05:18.
For the women, Ethiopian Aziza Alaoui Selsouli won in 1:16:05 ahead of Tunisian Amira Ben Amor (1:17:38) and Ethiopian Gete Bekeba Bulto (1:18:45).
In the categories of disabilities that saw the participation of only four competitors, first place went to Hamdi Chichene .
The 42.195 Km marathon are composed of 2 laps in the heart of one of the most beautiful sites in Tunisia; 600 hectares of olive trees. Over 200 athletes from Algeria, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, France and Tunisia participated in Sunday's race.
Men 42 km
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