12 November Sunday

Vodafone 39th Istanbul Marathon Runs for Children…

Tens of thousands of people came together in Istanbul to take part in the Vodafone 39th Istanbul Marathon, the world’s only cross-continental race held for the future of the children this year.

The 39th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon’s campaign for this year is: “We are running for the future of the children.”

The marathon started near the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge in Altunizade district of Istanbul early Sunday.

Youth and Sports Minister Osman Aşkın Bak, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, AK Party Deputy Chairman Hayati Yazıcı, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mevlüt Uysal, and numerous other officials participated in the marathon.

"We are running for our children, martyrs and a strong Turkey," Minister Bak told reporters before the marathon started.

A total number of 73 foreign elite athletes including 24 from Turkey and about 25,000 runners attended the competition. Apart from that, over 100,000 people joined the public run.

Kenyan athletes dominated the marathon in which tens of thousands of people from around the world ran from from Asian side of the city to Europe.

In the men’s category, Abraham Kiprotich of France won the men's race with a time of 2:11:00. Kenyan Jacob Kendagor was the first runner-up, completing the run in 2:11:27, while Ethiopian Bazu Worku, finished third in 2:11:39.

In the women’s category, Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich ranked first in the competition. Chepngetich covered the 46 km run in 2:22:36. 

Kenyan Visiline Jepkesho came second in the women’s category, covering the distance four seconds later 2:22:40. She was followed by Ethiopian Letebrhan Haylay who finished in 2:25:14.

The world’s only transcontinental marathon hosted 86 elite athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, France, Serbia, Lithuania and Turkey.

The race had four other categories aside from the marathon, including the 15 km, 10 km and 8 km events, plus a race for wheelchair-bound participants.

Many institutions, companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also took part in the marathon.

Mr. Mevlut Uysal, the mayor of Istanbul; Mr. Osman Aşkın Bak, the Minister of Youth and Sports; Mrs. Ravza Kavakcı Kan, Deputy Chairman - Human Rights/ Member of Parliament; Mr. Lokman Çağırıcı, the Mayor of Bağcılar district; Mr. Mehmet Baykan, the Turkish Director General of Sports; Mr. Fatih Çintimar, the President of Turkey's Athletics Federation; Mr. İsmail Özbayraktar, General Manager of Sports Inc.; Mr. Engin Aksoy, vice president of Executive Board of Vodafone Turkey participated at the award ceremony held in Sultanahmet Square, where tourists showed great interest to the competition.

The total prize money for the race was $1 million.

Vodafone was the main sponsor of the race organized by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) and Spor Istanbul.

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