An Ethiopian double at the Ottawa Marathon

Tariku Jufar after winning the Ottawa Marathon (Photo: Viktah Sailer)
Tariku Jufar after winning the Ottawa Marathon (Photo: Viktah Sailer)

OTTAWA —No Ethiopian man had previously won the Ottawa Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, but Tariku Jufar accomplished that and more, setting a new course record of 2:08:05 despite cool and windy conditions on Sunday (26).

Jufar was chased to the finish by Kenya’s Luka Rotich who had originally been hired to take the pace through 30km; but as there was no restriction on how far he could run, and, there were just three athletes left in contention at that point, the 24 year old Kenyan kept going.

Shortly after, Jufar waved him to the front again to continue the pace making and Rotich graciously continued despite no longer being under any obligation.

Rotich claimed second place in his surprising debut in 2:08:12 with Ethiopia’s Geshaw Melese third in 2:10:24.

Esayias makes it an Ethiopian double

Shortly after Jufar jogged back up Queen Elizabeth Drive in the Canadian city, waving to the appreciative crowd with an Ethiopian flag draped around his shoulder, his compatriot Yeshi Esayias also crossed the line in a personal best and women’s course record of 2:25:31.

Her previous best was 2:26:00 from the 2012 Tokyo Marathon.

Ethiopians, in fact, swept the first four places with Misiker Mekonnen second with 2:25:45, Sechele Delasa third in 2:25:31 and Netsanet  Achamo fourth in 2:27:44. Read more