31st International Paris Marathon : On with the show ! -
With ideal weather –whereas a bit hot for running– and an atmosphere as festive as ever, 28,261 competitors were present at the start of the 31st Paris International Marathon on the Champs-Elysées. The last of the runners were crossing the start line while the leaders were already at Place de la Nation...
Throughout the race, from the Bastille to the Seine banks and through the Boulogne wood, almost 250,000 persons lined the roads to encourage the competitors and enjoy the 70 festive musical events put on in the streets of the capital.
The elite race produced two new winners : Mubarak Shami from Qatar (2:07:19) and Ethiopian Tafa Magarsa (2:25:07). On the French side, let us mention the wonderful third position of Christelle Daunay : a great achievement for her first Marathon. With a 2:28:54 pit on the 42,195km-course, she qualifies for the next World Championships which will take place in Osaka next August.
In the men’s race, a 10-athlete group escaped after a few kilometres. At the 21-km mark, Spaniard Julio Rey was dropped, 30’’ behind the last four contenders (Melese, Shami, Merga et Limo). At the Km-29 mark, Shami and Merga were leading the race, having escaped form the group. At the Km-33 mark, Mubarak Shami’s clean attacked was devastating for Merga, who participated today in his first Marathon (he finally finished 11th !). 27 year-old Shami Mubarak wins in Paris for the very first time, one month after his 7th place at the Cross Worlds in Mombassa. Despite the unusual heat, his performance is astonishing : 2:07:19.
Last year winner, the Ethiopian Melese, finishes second, completing the course in 2:09:53. Kenyan Rono climbs on the podium (2:10:28). Amhed Ezzobayry is the best French runner, finishing eighth (2:11:18) ; his fellow countryman and new-comer Brahim Lalhafi finishes 13th (2:15:09).
In the women’s race, Ethiopian champion Tafa Magarsa led the Marathon from the start to the finish (2:25:07), keeping a three-minute advantage on Russian Vigovkaya, who ran with discernment (2:28:22). French Christelle Daunay climbs on the podium (2:28:54), having succeeded in following the Russian athlete’s pace.
» Press release - the 15th of April 2007 (.pdf, 271 ko)