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General News 23 March 2003 – Rome, Italy

Kenyan marathon runners win in Rome and Marseille

Rome, ItalyKenya's Federick Cherono won the marathon today on Sunday in 2:08:47. Next came fellow Kenyan Noah Bor, two seconds behind, while Italy's Alberico Di Cecco was third.

Italian runner Gloria Marconi delighted the home crowd by winning the women's marathon in a time of 2:29:35. Simona Staicu of Hungary came in second and Ethiopia's Tola Abeba was third.

1. Federick Cherono (KEN) 2:08:47
2. Noah Bor (KEN) 2:08.49
3. Alberico Di Cecco (ITA) 2:08.53
4. Boniface Usisisvu (KEN) 2:09.11
5. Dekele Habtamu (ETH) 2:10.42
6. Willy Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:11.21
7. Federick Chumba (KEN) 2:11.23
8. Luke Kibet (KEN) 2:12.54
9. Melese Gashaw (ETH) 2:13.53
10. Mathias Ntawalicura (RWA) 2:15.11
1. Gloria Marconi (ITA) 2:29.35
2. Simona Staicu (HUN) 2:32.15
3. Tola Abeba (ETH) 2:33.48
4. Hasida Izem (MAR) 2:36.18
5. Anne Kosgei (KEN) 2:37.50
6. Epiphanie Nyirrame (RWA) 2:44.45
7. Giustina Menna (ITA) 2:44.57
8. Romina Ridolfi (ITA) 2:46.44
9. Mirella Fini (ITA) 2:47.04
10. Cristina Neri (ITA) 2:28.07


Marseille Music Marathon

23 March 2003 – Marseille, France - Much talk of Kenyan runners profiting from birth and nurturing at altitude took an interesting diversion today, when Patrick Chumba won the inaugural Marseille Music Marathon in a personal best, 2:12:06.

Different traditions relating to family names obscure the fact that the 24 year old Chumba is the son of Peter Koech, a former world record holder in the steeplechase. Koech ran 8:05.35 in Stockholm on July 3, 1989.

”It was because my father was a good runner, that I began training when I was 15,” said Chumba. Of course it helps that, in common with most of his compatriots, Chumba was born and trains at altitude. He is a Nandi tribesman, like the first great Kenyan distance runner, Kipchoge Keino.

The race turned into something of a local struggle, because the leader for over 40 kilometres was Julius Sugut, who comes from the same town, Kapsabet, as Chumba. “I was trying to get away from him, because I knew he would be strong at the end,” said Sugut. So it proved, Chumba raised the pace in the final kilometre, leaving Sugut second, on 2:12:21. A third Kenyan, John Kiprono was third in 2:12:51.

It was a different story in the women's race. Tatyana Hladyr of Ukraine led every step of the way, to win by over five minutes, in 2:37:50. Second and third were Russians, Lilya Yadzhak and Nadejda Zolotareva, in 2:43:39 and 2:44:09 respectively.

Over 3000 runners in all took to the Marseille streets for this inaugural race around the port city, founded by Greeks in 600BC. Modelled on the Rock'n'Roll Marathon in San Diego, there was a succession of sound stages around the course, with local groups providing entertainment.

Men: (all Kenyans)

1. CHUMBA Patrick 2:12:06 
2. SUGUT Julius 2:12:23 
3. KIPRONO John 2:12:52 
4. TANUI Philip 2:15:32 


1. HLADYR Tatiana UKR 2:37:52 
2. YADZHAK Liliya RUS 2:43:49 
3. ZOLOTAREVA Natejda RUS 2:44:06 

Pat Butcher for the IAAF