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Runners wearing fancy costumes start from Tian'anmen Square during the Beijing International Marathon on Sunday morning. The event attracted 30,000 runners. Tadese Tola of Ethiopia broke the event record set 27 years ago to win the men's race, finishing with 2:07:16. PHOTO Provided to China Daily
The 2013 Beijing International Marathon concluded on Sunday with Tadese Tola of Ethiopia breaking the event record set 27 years ago to win the men's race and China's Zhang Yingying claiming the women's title.
In its 33rd year, the Beijing Marathon drew 30,000 participants this year with all registering in only 13 hours after bookings opened on Sept 8, setting a speed record for registration.
"It is my sixth year running the Beijing Marathon," said a 64-year-old woman surnamed Wang. "I go jogging several times a week and run several kilometers every time. I feel relaxed after running. I think that's the charm of the sport."
Like Wang, 15,000 runners registered for the full marathon (42.195 km) this year. Another 7,000 signed up for the half-course and 8,000 took part in a mini-marathon (4.2 km).
Professional runner Tadese Tola of Ethiopia, finished the race in 2:07:16, eclipsing the former event record set by Japanese runner Taisuke Kodama in 1986 by 19 seconds.
He won two months after claiming a marathon bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
"It was my first time to compete in Beijing, and I am happy with today's result," said Tola, who will turn 26 this month. "The weather is very good, and the course is very good too."
The Ethiopian improved his marathon personal best to 2:04:49 to finish third in his first race of 2013 at the Dubai Marathon. He was also runner-up at the 2013 Paris Marathon.
Benard Kiprop Kipyego of Kenya trailed 3 seconds behind to finish second while his countryman Rono Daniel Kipkurgat finished third in 2:07:20.
China's 22-year-old runner Zhang claimed the women's title in 2:31:19, in the 22nd straight year a Chinese woman took the Beijing title since 1992.
Makda Harun Haji of Ethiopia pocketed the silver with a time of 2:33:04 while the bronze went to Yeshimebet Tadesse Bifa, also from Ethiopia, in 2:35:20.