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Mohamed Reda El Aaraby (2:10:41) and Medina Deme Armino (2:29:31) beat Beirut Marathon

Press Release
November 11, 2018

Beirut – Mohamed Reda El Aaraby from Morocco played the lead role in the 16th edition of BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon on Sunday morning (11 2:10:41 upset the favorites in the road race of the IAAF Gold Label.

On what has been a magical day in Lebanon's capital, the women's race has also seen rapid performance, while Ethiopia Medina Deme Armino has won in 2:29:31 in front of Nazareth Weldo Gebrehiwet, who worked on the Eritrean record 2:29:48 – The third and fourth fastest time in the history of the race.

But El Aaraby stole the story of a 28-year-old who was surprisingly an Eastern African contingent with his early men's race, taking full advantage of his rivals, as several leading competitors watched Wesley Korir, a Boston Marathon champion, who has been running his first marathon since April 2017.

After struggling with construction injuries, Korir was far from his best, kenijci returned home seven in 2:14:18. but given the shortened preparation, the 35-year-old was optimistic about the performance.

"My goal was to mix up with the competition, feel the marathon again," Korir said. "I love this pain, I missed that pain, and now that I felt it, I got a good start for my second phase of my career. Watch Wesley's back."

However, this day he was an athlete for seven years his junior, who arrived in Beirut only five weeks after he recorded PB 2:09:16 at the marathon in Chicago, which ruled supreme.

El Aaraby came to Beirut primarily for the Military Marathon World Championship, launched in conjunction with this year's race, and as such has not been on the radar of many elite runners. As a result, when it accelerated after 10 kilometers, they let him go.

El Aaraby ran behind one of the peaks until halfway through where he arrived 1:05:07, and then led most of the other half. Back in the crowd, the Coral rivalries were still watching each move, giving him more respect than he wanted, as the Moroccan front was built for 88 seconds half way.

"I think the biggest problem was their trust – they did not have that," Korir said. "When we were at 25K, I told them:" I'm not Wesley Korir in 2012, go, there's a guy in front of you. "

In front of the house, El Aaraby swallowed immersely, reaching 30 kilometers 1:32:33, at what point he led 01:36 to the persecutors of Felix Chemonges from Uganda and Deresi Geleta from Ethiopia.

His advantage was closed in the final mile, but El Aaraby was still at the end, hitting him 2:10:41 take one second of the record set by Dominic Rutto from Kenya in 2017.

"It's a great achievement to be the first in the World Military Championship and to break the record of the course," said El Aaraby. "This result came after hard training and great preparation."

Chemonges took second place 2:11:57, while Geleta is in third place 2:12:33.

The women's race was much closer to the competition, while Medina Deme Armino waited until the end of the milestone before carrying out her dominance, the Ethiopian clashed four minutes from her previous best to win 2:29:31.

"I'm very happy because he was the best 02:33 and that's really something – to make it so much better, "Armino said, whose time was less than a minute before the record 2:28:38, which Eunice Chumba put last year. "Time was good, and next time I wanted to interrupt the record and get back stronger."

Nazareth Weldu Gebrehiwet finished a strong second 2:29:48, which means that the former racer now holds Erithrian records on a 400m, 10,000m marathon – a rare combination.

"This is a good day," Weld said. "In my first marathon, the picture in my mind today will be the one that helps me work in the future."

Ethiopia Selamawit Getnet Tsegaw came home third 2:31:42.

Nesrine Nima was the first Lebanese athlete to finish in a women's race 3:07:56, "I'm happy to be here," she said. "It was great to run on the streets – it was perfect."

Hussein Awada was the first Lebanese man across the line, an hour 2:31:42.

Olga Kalendarova, Poland, won a gold medal at the World Military Marathon Women's Championship 2:38:17 leading her home in front of a citizen of Alexander Lisowski (2:38:57).

The day when 48,000 runners came out on the streets throughout various races, Iranian Mohammad Jafar Muradi took over the title of male polumaraton 1:07:00, with a female crown who lived in Lebanon through her native hero, Chirine Nimaim, who won 1:20:09.

"I was hoping much better, but that's what it is," said Nimeim. "This is part of my Houston Marath training and I am happy to be here – regardless of race, that always means a lot."

In a hand cycling marathon, Slovakia Anna Orozoua produced a beautiful performance to win in a women's race 1:22:52, three minutes without British Elizabeth Macternan (1:25:50), with Lebanese Mona Francis in third 1:42:13, "Time is very good," Orozoua said. "I felt very strong."

The men's race was won in the fourth act by Ahmad Al Ghoul, who came out in the final meters to pass Lebanese compatriot Edward Maalouf, both athletes 1:25:45, Hassan Dia is impressed by the third place, which is a personal result 1:30:30.


Male marathon

1 Mohamed Reda El Aaraby (MAR) 2:10:41
2 Felix Chemonges (UGA) 2:11:57
Deresa Geleta (ETH) 2:12:33
4 Hiribo Shano (ETH) 2:12:39
5 Yihunilign Adane (ETH) 2:13:11

Women's marathon

1 Medina Deme Armino (ETH) 2:29:31
2 Nazret Weldu (ERI) 2:29:48
3 Selamawit Getnet Tsegaw (ETH) 2:31:42
4 Ednah Mukhwana (KEN) 2:31:53
5 Almenesh Guta (ETH) 2:33:20

Male half-human

1 Mohammad Jafar Muradi (IRI) 1:07:00
2 Ismail Ssenyange (UGA) 1:07:12
3 Bagdad Rachem (ALG) 1:10:57

Women's polumaraton

1 Chirine Njeim (LIB) 1:20:09
Jagoda Khatri (SUI) 1:27:50
3 Zeinab Bazzi (LIB) 1:28:32

Men's Hand Cycle Marathon

Ahmad Al Ghoul (LIB) 1:25:45
2 Edward Maalouf (LIB) 1:25:45
3 Hassan Dia (LIB) 1:30:30

Women's manual marathon cycle

1 Anna Orozoua (SVK) 1:22:52
2 Elizabeth Macternan (GBR) 1:25:50
3 Mona Francis (LIB) 1:42:13

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