Istanbul marathon draws record participation

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-12 19:31:44|Editor: Liangyu
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Abraham Kiprotich of France crosses the finishing line during Istanbul Marathon in Turkey's largest city on Nov. 12, 2017. The 39th Istanbul Marathon was held here on Sunday with the participation of 125000 people from around 100 countries and regions. (Xinhua/He Canling)

ISTANBUL, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Abraham Kiprotich from France with Kenyan origin and Ruth Chepngetich from Kenya hit the lines first to take the men's and women's titles respectively on Sunday from a record-breaking participation in Istanbul Marathon, the only run that covers two continents in the world.

Some 125,000 people -- professionals and amateurs from around 100 countries -- joined the event that starts from July 15 Martyrs' Bridge, formerly known as the Bosphorus Bridge, on the city's Asian side, and ends at several locations on the European side.

A total of 86 elite athletes from 10 countries joined the full course race, while the free walk open to amateurs drew the highest interest with over 100,000 runners registered.

Kiprotich won the men's race at 2:11:22, Jacob Kendagor from Kenya came in second at 2:11:27 and Bazu Worku from Ethiopia was third at 2:11:39. Chepngetich made it as woman winner at 2:22:36. Visiline Jepkesho from Kenya was second at 2:22:40, followed by Letebrhan Haylay from Ethiopia at 2:25:14.

The most challenging part of the track for the elites was the last 2km uphill stretch on the historical peninsula of Sultanahmet Square.

"I feel very happy and I am so grateful to be the winner," Kiprotich told Turkish broadcaster TRT. "But the track was not easy, especially the last two kilometers of it."

The windy weather was another challenge facing the athletes, said Kiprotich.

A total of one million U.S. dollars of award will be shared among the winners, press reports said.

The marathon was mainly sponsored by Vodafone under the theme of "Running for the Future of Our Children."

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KEY WORDS: Istanbul