Thousands of athletes gathered in Turkey's biggest metropolis early Sunday to take part in the Vodafone 12th Istanbul Half Marathon, one of world's top marathon events and an IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Gold Label Road Race.
Sponsored by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Spor Istanbul and Vodafone, the Istanbul Marathon hosted more than 5,000 athletes including 32 elite athletes, who competed to rewrite current records.
This year's event was competed in three major categories, namely "Half Marathon," "Quarter Marathon," and "Business Marathon."
Tanzania's Ismail Juma won the men's race and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich came in first in the women's event.
In the elite category, Tanzania's Ismail Juma clinched the title with a record-breaking 1:00:09 on the clock, followed by Ethiopia's Terifa Debela with 1:00:22. Kenyan athlete, Edwin Kipsang Rotich, came in third with a timing of 1:00:37.
In the elite category, Juma clinched the title with a record-breaking 1:00:09 on the clock, followed by Ethiopia's Terifa Debela with 1:00:22. Meanwhile, Kenyan athlete, Edwin Kipsang Rotich, came in third with a timing of 1:00:37.
African athletes also dominated the elite women's category. Ruth Chepngetich also broke the Istanbul Marathon record as she came in first with 1:06:19, followed by Eunice Kirwa posting 1:06:46 and Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa in third with a timings of 1:08:55.
The half marathon route, starting from the Yenikapı Minting Alanı, by the coast, it turned towards Eyüp. The route continued through Kumkapı, Sirkeci, Eminönü, Unkapanı, Fener, Balat and after reaching Feshane, it made U-turn near the river located at Eyüp Kavşak. The race then follows the previous route to end at the starting point in Yenikapı.
After the race, Vodafone Turkey Vice Chairman Engin Aksoy and Spor İstanbul General Manager İsmail Özbayraktar presented the medals to the winners. A total of $250,000 prize money was awarded to the winners.
Engin Aksoy said, "Vodafone Turkey gives importance to all branches of sports, but especially to marathons, which are attended by huge number of sports lovers around the globe. We believe that marathons contribute to the urbanity and sportsmanship of Istanbul as well as to its global brand value. We have not confined ourselves by only giving our brand name to marathons, but also by making communication investments and support their familiarity globally. This is the fourth time we sponsored the Istanbul Half Marathon and we have continually improved the quality of the event. As a result, the event has been chosen as one of the best 10 marathons in the world by the IAAF. We are very proud. We will continue to support the Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon."
VMaraton running, a donation and information platform developed by Vodafone for long- runners was downloaded 13,000 times. It has made life easier for runners in Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon this year. VMaraton provides all kind of information, from statistics about athletes to maps of events and racecourses.