Tata Mumbai Marathon: Ethiopian Hurisa creates course record

Hurisa’s biggest achievement was winning the silver medal in the African Cross Country Championships U20 race.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju along with the winners, gold medallist Derara Hurisa (C), silver medal winner Ayele Abshero (left) and bronze medal winner Birhanu Teshome during the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020, in Mumbai, Sunday. Photo: PTI

Derara Hurisa wasn’t the favourite for Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 but the Ethiopian upset the odds to win in a course record of 2:08:09 on Sunday. The 22-year-old Hurisa took home ₹42,62,621 his biggest ever pay day ever. ₹31,96,966 ($45,000) for winning the race and ₹10,65,655 ($15,000) for setting a new course record.

Hurisa, pulled away from his compatriots Ayele Abshero (2:08:20) and Birhanu Teshome (2:08:26) in the thrilling last kilometre dash with a pair of borrowed racing shoes.

“I misplaced my shoes while travelling from Addis Ababa to Mumbai earlier in the week. So I borrowed some shoes from my friend Abraham Girma (who also ran the marathon). So I only tried them on for the first time yesterday,” Hurisa said after the race.

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Hurisa’s biggest achievement was winning the silver medal in the African Cross Country Championships U20 race four years ago. This his second international win after the low-key half marathon in Turkey in 2017. The men’s race started at a pace which indicated a course record was on the cards, and the weather was several degrees cooler.

Ethiopia’s Beriso wins the women’s race

In the women’s race, Amane Beriso stormed back after a 15-month injury-induced absence from competition to win the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 in a time of 2:24:51.

Amane Beriso will go into the record books as the second fastest woman in Mumbai Marathon’s history. Photo: Twitter

Despite being 38 seconds adrift of race leader Kenya’s Rodah Jepkorir at the 30km checkpoint, with Ethiopia’s defending champion Worknesh Alemu drifting back off the lead and shortly to drop out, over the next kilometre Beriso reeled in Jepkorir and then overhauled the 2019 winner of the Gold Coast and Buenos Aires Marathons.

“I was nervous to start because I had spent so long without racing, but I started to feel confident at about 31 kilometres and I was certain I could win from about 36 kilometres. With a kilometre to go, my (male) pacemaker Sylvester Kiptoo was pointing at his watch and was telling me I could still get the course record but I was tired. I tried but I couldn’t do it,” said Beriso.

Nevertheless, Beriso will go into the record books as the second fastest woman in Mumbai Marathon’s history, despite finishing 18 seconds outside the 2014 course record of Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer.

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