Bekele breaks course record on marathon debut in Paris

By (Follow on Twitter @ athleticsafrica)

Ethiopia’s Three-time Olympic champion hits another milestone in winning the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris (Paris Marathon) on Sunday on his marathon debut.

Bekele, 31, who is the World record-holder for the 5,000m and 10,000m on the track crossed the line in a Paris course record time of 2:05:02 after negotiating a sunbathed course of 42.195km (26.22 miles) through the streets of the French capital.

The previous record was held by Kenya’s Stanley Biwott who clocked 2:05:10, set in 2012.

Bekele’s winning time is the sixth-fastest marathon debut in history on a record-eligible course and the fastest ever debut by someone older than 30 years.

Another Ethiopian Limenih Getachew came home second at 2:06:49 with Luka Kanda of Kenya, the 2012 Rome winner, claiming the final spot on the podium crossing the line in 2:08:02.

“It was my first marathon and I didn’t have much experience,” said Bekele. “It was very tough but it was the time I expected. After 25km I pushed alone but it was very tough.”

“The hamstring wasn’t good after 25km. It was cramping but it’s ok. I’ll feel it more in the morning,” Bekele added.

Cheyech dominant

Kenya’s dominated the women’s race, winning in a personal best time of 2:22:41, as she turned in a confident showing and a winning margin of 3 minutes and 37 seconds over second-placed Ethiopian, Yebrqual Melese (2:26:21).

Melese’s compatriot Zemzem Ahmed, a former steeplechaser, finished third in 2:29:35.

“I’m very happy, the course was good,” said Cheyech after the race. “I wasn’t that fast but in the middle of the race, I felt confident and just told myself to keep running,” she added.

Selected Results

  1. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:05:03
  2. Limenih Getachew (ETH) 2:06:49
  3. Luca Kanda (KEN) 2:08:01
  4. Robert Kwambai (KEN) 2:08:48
  5. Jackson Limo (KEN) 2:09:05
  6. Gideon Kipketer (KEN) 2:10:35
  7. Mike Kigen (KEN) 2:10:58
  8. Ketema Behailu (ETH) 2:13:23
  9. Mark Kiptoo (KEN) 2:13:58
  10. Ahmed Ezzobayry (FRA) 2:15:34


  1. Flomena Cheyech (KEN) 2:22:44
  2. Yebrqual Melese (ETH) 2:26:21
  3. Zemzem Ahmed (ETH) 2:29:35
  4. Faith Chemaoi (KEN) 2:31:59
  5. Gebisse Godana Derbi (ETH) 2:36:27
  6. Martha Komu (FRA) 2:36:33
  7. Aheza Kiros (ETH) 2:38:12
  8. Laurane Picoche (FRA) 2:39:22

What do you think of Bekele’s debut in marathon. Do you think he can go on to break the world record too? Have your say below: