Sergey Lukin storms to victory at the Lisbon Marathon (Marcelino Almeida) © Copyright
General News 7 December 2008 – Lisbon, Portugal

Lukin, Ustianowska take Lisbon Marathon titles

Lisbon, PortugalRussian Sergey Lukin and Dorota Ustianowska of Poland took the top honours at the 23rd edition of the Lisbon Marathon on Sunday.

At the front, Kenyans Jonhstone Chebii, winner in Barcelona in 2007 (pb 2:12:04), and Philemon Kemei, winner in Lisbon in 2004 and also in Lisbon’s Carlos Lopes Gold Marathon, and Lukin (winner in Duluth, USA in 2006 with a 2:10:57 pb) ran together until the 30th kilometre when everything changed. It was at that point that Lukin passed the Kenyans and began to build a strong advantage of almost four minutes by the time he reached the finish line.

Kemei, forcing the pace, ran more than 37 km but dropped out leaving Chebii to forge on for the runner-up spot. Finishing third was unknown Briton James Lawler.

In the women race the three favorites - Ustianowska (pb 2:38:00), Russian Oksana Kuzmichova (2.34.42 last year) and the Portuguese Fátima Silva (seven times Portuguese marathon champion) - ran the first 10 km together, and only after the the halfway point split, with Kuzmichova trying to leave the others behind. But Ustianowska, who was second in the 2006 Lisbon Marathon, after Fátima Silva, ran a strong finish to cross the line one minute and 17 seconds ahead of the Russian, both well outside of 2:40m pace, with Silva achieving the last place in the podium.

This edition of the Lisbon Marathon achieved its principal goal: to have more than one thousand runners reach the finish line! It was a national record among Marathon organizations.

The number of registered runners – 1257 – made the goal a realistic one. Unfortunately the weather didn’t help, with rain in the first hour of the race, and a strong wind in the second. But the temperature was very good (18º C) and the crodd had enjoyed the race. Organisers had to wait five-and-a-half hours to see the the 1001st runner reach the finish. More than 2500 runners finished the half-marathon and fun run and 75 teams (four elements) finished the marathon relay!

António Manuel Fernandes, for the IAAF

Leading Results:
Men -
1. Sergey Lukin RUS  2:17:40
2. Johnstone Chebii KEN  2:21:42
3. James Lawler GBR  2:24:54
4. José Jarmela POR  2:32:08

Women -
1. Dorota Ustianowska POL  2:47:07
2. Oksana Kuzmichova RUS  2:48:24
3. Fátima Silva POR  2:53:55
4. Vibeke Hansen DEN  3:06:07