Athletics: fifth Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon-Female champ Zapha aims for fourth win


24-February-2012

The fifth Seychelles Eco-friendly marathon is slated for this coming Sunday

Recognised internationally through the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) label, the Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon is organised jointly by the National Sports Council (NSC), Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and INOCEAN M&C – a South Korean company headed by Dong Chang Jeong and is also the main sponsor of the event.

It will start at 7am at Beau Vallon and all competitors have to be at the starting line 30 minutes prior – at 6.30am – for a general warm-up. Local competitors can start collecting their allocated numbers as from 4pm today at Giovanna Rousseau’s office at the NSC headquarters, Stad Linite, and tomorrow as from 9am at the Sports Training Centre to avoid last-minute congestion at the start line on race day.

Of the 11 local runners for the energy-sapping 42.195km marathon is defending female champion Simone Zapha, while four-time male winner Simon Labiche will watch to see who succeeds him as the winner.

Zapha did well last year, winning the women’s race for the third time in a row in 3 hours 39 minutes 1 second (3h39:1) – well ahead of the only other female contestant – Juliette Hoareau – who came home in 4h02:1. Despite cruising to victory in 3h39:1 with no one to push her hard enough, Zapha finished more than 8 minutes outside her Seychelles record of 3h30:53 clocked during the second Ekolomarathon in Tampon, Reunion in 2010.

It is very likely that Zapha will run unchallenged on Sunday as no other female runner had registered for the marathon by 12 noon yesterday – the registration deadline.

But the 34-year-old distance runner is focused on getting a fourth win and making an attempt on bettering her Seychelles record.

“I’m doing OK and looking forward to run on Sunday where I hope to get a win and why not improve my Seychelles record,” Zapha told Sports Nation in a telephone conversation yesterday.

Labiche collected his fourth win in as many races last year, but it was perhaps the toughest of them all, reaching the finish line at Beau Vallon in 2h46:3 followed by the lead car.

The former soldier whose past three wins were much faster, clocking 2h41:25 (in 2008), 2h37:38 (in 2009) and 2h44:09 (in 2010), said he doesn’t want to lose and then try to look for excuses.

“I haven’t been training regularly due to work commitment. This is why I will not compete as I don’t feel I’m in the best of shape and therefore do not stand a chance of winning the tough race,” said Labiche, adding he’ll be back.

“I’ll be back running later this year and hopefully I’ll take part in next year’s marathon,” he noted.

Comorian Hakim Ahrmada was the runner-up in 2h49:5 last year, while Seychellois James Barra (3h10:07) and Michel Dixie (3h33:5) were third and fourth. German Volker Isigkeit finished fifth in 3h34.3.

From Beau Vallon, competitors aged 18 years and over who are taking part in the marathon will run towards Mount Simpson (Bel Ombre) before returning to Beau Vallon to head to the Géant Casino via Glacis, Anse Etoile, English River, 5th June Avenue and Bois de Rose Avenue.
 
They will then head to the Clock Tower in Victoria via Bois de Rose Avenue and Francis Rachel Street. After going round the Clock Tower, they will run along Independence Avenue and 5th June Avenue, then via English River, Anse Etoile and Glacis on the way back to Beau Vallon.

Runners from Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sweden, Germany, Dubai, Switzerland, France, Spain, Three-time female champ Zapha is looking for a fourth winSouth Africa and the United States of America have registered for the gruelling race and the time limit for all them to reach the finish line is five hours.

The female and male marathon winners will pocket US $500 and receive a trophy, medal, certificate, a international round trip ticket (1 ticket for each gender), and one-week accommodation sponsored by the STB.

Other than the marathon, there will be half-marathon (21.0975km) running, 10km running, 10km walking and 5.5km running.

The 32 competitors – 14 females and 18 males – taking part in the half-marathon will make a U-turn at Carana before heading back to the finish line at Beau Vallon. They should be 16 years old and over, and they must be in before 4 hours.

For the 10km run and 10km walk, the competitors will head to Glacis and will make a U-turn some 1,500m after the Hilton Northolme Hotel to head back to Beau Vallon. They should be 12 years old and over and must reach the finishing line inside two hours (running) and four hours (walking).

The 10km run is divided into three categories – junior, senior and master (over 40 years) – for males and females.

There are 35 runners – 21 males and 14 females – in the junior category, 203 competitors – 141 males and 62 females – in the senior category, and 69 runners – 41 males and 28 females – in the master class.

Competitors taking part in the 5.5km race will have to run to Mount Simpson and back to Beau Vallon. The time limit to reach the finish line is one hour. By the registration deadline, there are 161 runners – 86 males and 75 females – in the under-12 category, 281 competitors – 168 males and 113 females – in the under-18 category, and 35 runners – 10 males and 25 females – in the 50 years+ class.

There are cash and prizes in kind, medals, T-shirts and certificates for the top-five finishers of the marathon, half-marathon, 10km run, and 5.5km run.

While competitors of the 5.5km and 10km races will get their prizes after the races, the top-five female and male finishers in the half-marathon and marathon will get theirs during the Korean Night dinner, which will start at 7pm at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino. Entrance fee is R350 per person.

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The prizes to be won

Marathon (42.195km)
1st US $500 trophy, medal, certificate, international round trip ticket (1 ticket for each gender), one-week accommodation sponsored by STB
2nd US $400, trophy, medal, certificate
3rd US $300, trophy, medal, certificate
4th US $200, medal, certificate      
5th US $100, medal, certificate

Half-marathon: (21.0975km)
1st R2,000, trophy, medal, certificate  
2nd R1,500, trophy, medal, certificate
3rd R1,000, trophy, medal, certificate
4th R700, medal, certificate
5th R500, medal, certificate

10km (junior, senior, master – 40 years+)
1st 1,000, medal, certificate
2nd R600, medal, certificate
3rd R400, medal, certificate
4th R300, medal, certificate
5th R200, medal, certificate

5.5km (under 12, under-18, master – 50 years+)
1st R500, medal , certificate
2nd R400, medal, certificate
3rd R300, medal, certificate
4th R200, medal, certificate
5th R100, medal, certificate

 

G.G.

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