Smiles and PBs all around at 2017 OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO
The 11th OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO took place for the first time this year over two days (Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March) and saw a record breaking number of 15,000 runners from many nationalities on the start line of the various races.
The weekend was kicked off with the 1st ever Cyprus Running Community Forum at Cyprus University of Technology on Friday 17th March, before over 8,000 runners were toeing the start line of Cyprus’ biggest corporate event, the PrimeTel 5K Corporate Race which set off at 9am on Saturday morning. As always, the PrimeTel 5K Corporate Race inspired some healthy rivalry among local businesses and there was a great sense of team spirit at this much-loved event. BookYourWeddingDay.com claimed the win in the PrimeTel 5K Corporate Race, ahead of Enjoy Life - Salveo Gym and Remedica.
Following on from the Corporate Race was the 1K Andrey and Julia Dashin’s Foundation Youth Race at 11am. A brilliant opportunity for young runners between 6 to 16 years to join in the fun, the Youth Race meant families of all ages could enjoy Cyprus’ largest sporting event, and it was a great precursor to the Petrolina Energy Day kicking off at midday in the Sponsor Village.
Saturday night then saw many marathoners and half marathoners gather for a pasta party hosted by the event organisers, which was a great chance to meet other runners and fuel the body ready for race day.
Runners were lining up at the start line of the OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO, Half Marathon, the Petrolina 10K Energy Race and the 5K City Race at 7am on Sunday morning to #RunLimassol, under clear blue skies and parallel to the glittering Mediterranean sea.
Kenyan runner Edwin Kiprop Kiyeng dominated over the marathon distance and won the 2017 OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO in a time of 02:15:04, claiming a cash prize of €2,000. Fellow Kenyan Wycliffe Kip Biwot was the runner up in a time of 02:15:40, and Pavel Borodin from Cyprus took third place in 02:38:42 after a 23 minute gap.
Gladys Jepkurui Biwott from Kenya secured the women’s title as well as the €2,000 cash prize in 02:40:41, ahead of Cypriot runner Anna Handzlik Dagmara who finished in 02:42:12. Hellen Jepkos Kimutai claimed the third spot on the podium after crossing the finish line in 02:45:49.
The Half Marathon saw both the male and female course records smashed, with Joel Maina Mwangi from Kenya shaving off a minute and a half of the previous record after crossing the finish line in 01:02:52. Stellah Jep Barsosio from Kenya dominated the women’s field and took three minutes off the course record after finishing in 01:09:31. Both took home €1000 prize money each, plus an additional €1,000 for breaking the course records.
Laszlo Gregor from Hungary was the runner up in the men’s field with a time of 01:06:30, ahead of Ondrej Fejfar from the Czech Republic who finished in 01:08:25.
The women’s podium was completed with Lindsy James (Russia) 01:27:31 in second place and Katarina Pohlod from Serbia in 01:31:43.
The Petrolina 10K Energy Race was won by Javier Mavelli from Cyprus (36:23) and Olga Andejeva from Estonia (37:23), and the winning titles of the 5K City Race were claimed by Marios Apostolides (16:55) and Elpida Christodoulidou (20:03), both from Cyprus.
Many British runners had travelled to Cyprus to take part in the races, with Bashir Hussain
(handicap 0.8) from the UK making the podium after claiming 3rd place in the Petrolina 10K Energy Race with a time of 37:23.
Michael Keenan (handicap 4.8) was the first male British runner in the marathon finishing in 8th place with a time of 2:44:37 and Joasia Zakrzewski (handicap 1.4) was the first female with a time of 02:47:23 (overall 11th place). James Hayward (handicap 1.2) finished in 16th place with a time of 02:55:11 and Mark Hayward (handicap 2.5) claimed 17th in 2:55:25.
Another excellent result was achieved by Jackie Newton (handicap 8.1) from the UK who came 5th in the Limassol Half Marathon after crossing the finish line in 01:33:48. Both Newton and Hussein also claimed the top spots in their age categories.For Jackie's blog about the race click here.