Kenyan Sets New Record Running for African Mothers
May 16, 2011
At the 8th Salzburg AMREF Marathon in Austria this weekend, athletes running in support of AMREF’s “Stand Up for African Mothers” maternal health campaign won every race.
Now the biggest public sporting event in Salzburg, more than 4,700 participants from 54 countries competed, making it the biggest starting field recorded since the marathon's creation.
Just like last year, the weather was rainy and cold, but nevertheless, the athletes were focused and could not be stopped from running in support of better health for mothers and newborns in Sub-Saharan Africa. Every event was dominated by African athletes, all of whom were running in support of AMREF's work.
Victor Bushendich Chelokoi from Kenya won the Full Marathon; with a new course record of 2:14:49.
Risper Kimaiyo from Kenya, won the women’s Full Marathon in a time of 2:35:05 without much competition. She finished the race more than 25 minutes ahead of the second woman in the field.
Ethiopian athlete Gidena Gebremedhin, also an AMREF supporter, won the men’s Half Marathon for the third year in a row with a time of 1:03:53. Despite the bad weather, he was even faster than in previous years.
The fastest woman of the Half Marathon was Sylvia Jepchirchir Kibiego from Kenya with a time of 1:14:36.
The Salzburg AMREF Marathon opened on Saturday with the Coca-Cola Junior Marathon where more than 1,400 young people between the ages of 10 and 16 ran for AMREF. It was the largest race event for kids in Austria.
But the Salzburg AMREF Marathon is not just an outstanding sports event, it is also a very successful charity event that is attended by many dignitaries, and among them this year were His Excellency Ukur Yatani, Kenyan Ambassador to Austria, and the Mayor of the City of Salzburg, Dr. Heinz Schaden.
Special guests were two representatives from Southern Sudan: Mr. Edward Settimo Yugu, the Director General for Sports in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Recreation and James Francis Ohisha, a young athlete participating in the 5-km-VIP race, running side by side with Italian actress and AMREF Ambassador Caterina Murino.
Several events were also organised by AMREF in Austria during the week before the marathon including a series of lectures, workshops and other networking forums.
One of the key events was the Black & White Charity evening which was attended by many celebrities like Austrian-born supermodel Iris Strubegger and Caterina Murino
All funds raised will go towards supporting AMREF’s programmes, especially the training of clinical officers and midwives in order to reduce maternal death in Africa.
1. Victor Bushendich Chelokoi (Kenya) – 2:14:49
2. Günther Weidlinger (Austria) – 2:17:59
3. Micah Kemboi (Kenya) – 2:21:36
1. Risper Kimaiyo – 2:35:05
2. Dr. Sabine Hofer (Austria) – 3:00:37
3. Laurea Nesta Tiziana (Italy) – 3:03:07
Half Marathon Men
1. Gidena Gebremedhin Mirach (Ethiopia) – 1:03:53
2. Benedikt Fritz (Germany) – 1:11:28
3. Peter Loacker (Austria) – 1:11:43
Half Marathon Women
1. Sylvia Jepchirchir Kibiego (Kenya) - 1:14:36
2. Marie-Charlotte Bonnaire (France) – 1:21:16
3. Pia-Maria Thoma (Austria) – 1:22:30