The Vodafone 39th Istanbul Marathon is going to be held on Sunday, Nov. 12 with the theme "We are running for the future of our children" under the sponsorship of Vodafone by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Sport Istanbul. Seventy-three elite athletes, 24 of whom are from Turkey, will participate in the marathon. Vodafone is sponsoring the marathon for the sixth time this year.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Mayor Göksel Gümüşdağ said in a press conference held in Çırağan Palace in Istanbul: "Our biggest aim is that theVodafone Marathon will be a major athletic event such as those in New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo. It is the only course in the world where the marathon includes two continents. This year we will run for our children who are the most precious things in our lives."
Thirty-seven foreign elite athletes who will compete with each other to come first in the 42-kilometer marathon are from countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Namibia, which are known to be the world's strongest countries in terms of marathon running, and from some European countries such as Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, which have deep marathon traditions. Besides foreign athletes, 10 Turkish elite athletes will participate in the contest. The Vodafone 39th Istanbul Marathon is expected to break an attendance and racetrack record.
Among men, Paul Lonyangata from Kenya, who won his best degree with two hours, six minutes, 10 seconds in April this year, is the favorite name of the contest. The closest competitors of Lonyangata, who was born in 1992 and came first in the 2017 Paris Marathon, are Kenyan athletes Jacob Kendagor and Ezekiel Kemboi Omullo, and Ethiopian athlete Bazu Worku.
Kendagor, who was born in 1984 made his best in the Seoul Marathon with 2 hours, 7 minutes, 33 seconds in March this year. Worku, who was born in 1990 and made his best in the 2010 Berlin Marathon with 2 hours, 5 minutes, 25 seconds, completed the Prague Marathon with 2 hours, 8 minutes, 48 seconds this year. Omulloise, who was born in 1987, made his best in the 2016 Warsaw Marathon with 2 hours, 8 minutes, 55 seconds. Kenyan Paul Koech, who became champion six times in the Golden League and 10 times in the Diamond League in the 3000 meter steeplechase in the early years of the 2000s, and won a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, will participate in the second marathon of his career in Istanbul. The athlete, who was worn in 1981, completed the Rotterdam Marathon with 2 hours, 12 minutes, 2 seconds, in April, aims to go up to the rostrum in the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon.
Among the women, Kenyan athlete Agnes Jeruto Barsosio is the favorite name, who came second in the Paris Marathon this year with 2 hours, 20 minutes, 59 seconds. The athlete who was born in 1982 won the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon last year. The closest competitors of Barsosio are Kenyan athlete Visiline Jepkesho and Ethiyopian athletes Letebrhan Haylay and Meseret Mengistu.
Jepkesho, who was born in 1989, made her best in her career in the 2017 Paris Marathon with 2 hours, 21 minutes, 37 seconds. Haylay, who was born in 1990, made her best in the 2017 Dongying Marathon with 2 hours, 25 minutes, 1 second as her peer Mengistu won her best in the Paris Marathon with 2 hours, 23 minutes, 26 seconds.
The Vodafone Istanbul Marathon, which has been held uninterruptedly since 1979 and is known as the first race to be run between continents, will be held in four different categories: The marathon (42,195 kilometers), 15-kilometer race, 10-kilometer race and public race. Thirty-thousand athletes with bib numbers are expected to participate in the marathon, which was deemed worthy of the Golden Category in 2012 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and is considered as one of the best 11 marathons in Europe and 22 in the world. The number of runners with bib numbers who participated in the marathon has increased fourfold since 2011 under the sponsorship of Vodafone.