Ljubljana (Slovenia), Sunday 24 October 2010
Mitja Kosovelj was the fastest Slovenian finisher (2:24:33)
East-African athletes dominated this year's Ljubljana Marathon while many Slovenian runners ran the 21.1-kilometre race, which incorporated the Slovenian half marathon championships.
Apart from 38-year-old Mykola Antonenko of Ukraine, European elite runners shied away from the event, well-knowing that the Ljubljana Marathon organization usually invites a large number of strong Kenyan athletes. Antonenko finished fifth in an excellent time of 2:11:51, amid ten Kenyans.
Evans Ruto (26), course-record holder of the Cologne Marathon in Germany (2:08:36), claimed victory in a time of 2:10:17, missing the course record by a mere five seconds.
Almost 1000 runners completed the 42-kilometre marathon, but behind the eleven elite runners the field was very thin. Only two men crossed the finish line between 2:20 and 2:40 - Slovenia's top mountain runner Mitja Kosovelj and former cyclist Mario Vračić.
On the women's side, the race was decided between two Ethiopian runners who had run most of the race shoulder to shoulder. On the last kilometres, Tiruwork Mekonnen (24) opened a gap over her compatriot Konjit Biruk (23) to win in a time of 2:37:16.
With over 5400 finishers, the half marathon was much more popular than the two-lap marathon. Primož Kobe broke the tape in a personal best of 1:04:55.
Mountain runner Kaja Obidič (19) outsprinted Slovenia's marathon champion Daneja Grandovec to celebrate her first major victory in a time of 1:19:49.
More than 4600 took part in the 10k run, which started two hours earlier.
Results 42km Marathon
Men (853 finishers)
Women (128 finishers)
Results 21km Half Marathon
Men (3861 finishers)
Women (1543 finishers)
Kaja Obidič on her way to victory in the half marathon.
The top 4 women after the start.
Marathon-winner Tiruwork Mekonnen (left) and runner-up Konjit Biruk.
The leading group at the 17km mark.
Evans Ruto in the lead at the 34km mark.
Runners pass Slovenia's World Trade Center.
Mountain running specialist Simon Alič clearly enjoys the flat course.