Oromia-Ethiopia: Tsegaye Kebede Hordofa, Atsede Baysa in Chicago double; bios included (Updated)

October 7. 2012 – CHICAGO (AP) — Tsegaye Kebede Wordofa of Ethiopia shattered the course record in winning the Chicago Marathon on Sunday morning. Kebede pulled away late and was all alone, waving to the crowd as he approached the finish at Grant Park and crossing the line in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds.

That easily eclipsed the previous mark of 2:05:37 set by Kenya’s Moses Mosop last year and was more than enough to beat countryman Feyisa Lilesa.

The women’s race was also a thriller, with Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia edging Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo by about a step. The two traded leads down the stretch, with Jeptoo briefly grabbing it as they turned into Grant Park and Baysa quickly regaining it.

She kept looking over her shoulder during the final stretch and barely hung on, with Jeptoo making one final push and raising her arms at the finish line.

Baysa broke the tape, though, finishing in 2:22:03, one second ahead of Jeptoo. That ended the three-year run of Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova, who placed fourth at 2:22:59. Kenya’s Lucy Kabuu (2:22:41) was third.On a cool day that seemed made for a course record, Kebede delivered.

He and Lilesa started to break away over the final three miles, and with about a mile to go, it was clear that this was Kebede’s race.The runner-up to the late Sammy Wanjiru in 2010 in a stirring finish, he simply came on strong as they approached the finish on the way to his second major marathon victory. He also took the top prize at London in 2010. Ethiopian Tilahun Regassa (2:05:28) was third.

With 42-degree temperatures at the start, the conditions were good for a race marked by tragedy and mishap in recent years. Chad Schieber, a 35-year-old Michigan police officer and father of three, died during the 2007 marathon in near-90 degree heat.

Race organizers improved communication among various agencies and the runners. They also added more water distribution points and medical aid stations, but tragedy struck again when William Caviness, a 35-year-old North Carolina firefighter, collapsed about 500 yards from the finish line on a day when temperatures reached the high 70s.

There was also a mishap in 2006, when champion Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya slipped on a wet decal and banged his head as he crossed the finish line.

Mosop won in 2011 with the then-course record but was recovering from an injury and missed Sunday’s race. That left Wesley Korir as the favorite in his fifth Chicago appearance after winning in Boston this year, but he dropped off the lead pack around the 20th mile and took fifth.

Shobukhova was looking to put aside a disappointing Olympics and become just the second four-time winner — male or female — in Chicago. The only other runner to do that was Khalid Khannouchi (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002). She had been dealing with a hamstring problem and came up short in this race, after she was unable to finish at the London Games due to stomach cramps.


Tsegaye Kebede Wordofa

Nationality: Oromo

( from Wikipedia)

Tsegaye Kebede Wordofa (born 15 January 1987) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes in road running events, including marathons. He quickly rose to become a prominent distance runner after his international debut at the Amsterdam Marathon in 2007. In his second year of professional running, he won the Paris Marathon, the Fukuoka Marathon and won the marathon bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In the 2009 season he established himself as one of Ethiopia’s top athletes: he came second in the London Marathon and at his first World Championships in Athletics he took the bronze medal in the marathon. He retained his Fukuoka Marathon title at the end of 2009, running the fastest ever marathon race in Japan. He won the 2010 London Marathon – his first major marathon.

Early life

Tsegaye was brought up as part of a large family, the fifth child of thirteen, and his early years were marked by poverty. Living in Gerar Ber, a town some 40 km north of Addis Ababa, he collected firewood to sell and herded livestock to supplement his father’s earnings, paying for his own education and the rest of his family. He ate one meal a day and had to work every day to earn around 2.50 Ethiopian birr (US$0.30).

He began running for pleasure as an 8 year old and, after competing at a half marathon in Addis Ababa in 2006, an athletics coach (Getaneh Tessema) offered him the chance to train with his group. He attended a 10 km time trial session with the group in the following days, and he beat all runners with the exception of Deriba Merga, who went on to win the Great Ethiopian Run that year. He won the Abebe Bikila International Marathon a few months later, effectively resolving the visa problems he had encountered while trying to race overseas. His first marathon race abroad was the 2007 Amsterdam Marathon and he finished eighth with a new personal best of 2:08:16. Despite failing to reach the podium, this established him as among Ethiopia’s top marathon runners – indeed, Haile Gebrselassie and Deriba Merga were the only Ethiopians to run faster times that year.

Olympic and World Championship competition

Keen to establish himself, he looked towards obtaining a spot on the Ethiopian 2008 Olympic team for the marathon race. He took second place behind Patrick Makau Musyoki at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon with a time of 59:35, a personal best. A win at the Paris Marathon in April improved his chances of selection, as his sprint finish earned him another personal best with 2:06:40. He finished third in the World 10K Bangalore race the following month, setting a best of 28:10 over the distance. Haile Gebrselassie stated that he did not intend to compete in the Beijing Olympics, meaning that Tsegaye and Merga would carry the medal hopes for Ethiopia.

With only two years of competitive running and one year of international competition to his credit, the 21-year-old Tsegaye won the bronze medal in men’s marathon at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, passing teammate Deriba Merga in the last 400 metres of the race. He won the Great North Run in October, and finished the year with a win at the Fukuoka International Marathon; his time of 2:06:10 broke Samuel Wanjiru’s course record and was the fastest marathon on Japanese soil. This raised him in the rankings to the twelfth fastest ever marathon runner at the time.

He remained in strong form the following year: he set a new personal best of 2:05:20 at the 2009 London Marathon, taking second place behind Wanjiru. This elevated him into the top ten in the all-time marathon lists and made him the second fastest Ethiopian after world record holder Haile Gebrselassie. Representing Ethiopia at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, Tsegaye repeated the feat he had achieved a year earlier at the Olympics, overtaking Deriba Merga and taking the bronze medal as the fastest Ethiopian finisher in the World Championship marathon. He improved his best further at the end of that year, winning the Fukuoka International Marathon for a second time. He finished the race in 2:05:18, a new course record and again setting the fastest time ever recorded for the marathon in Japan.

At the 2010 London Marathon, he set his sights on beating the defending champion Samuel Wanjiru. Wanjiru dropped out at 20 km, however, and Kebede saw off a challenge from Abel Kirui at the 30 km mark. The pacemakers were not quick through the early stages and Kebede had enough energy to sprint for the line, but his time of 2:05:19 was nine seconds short of the record and a second away from Kebede’s best. The 2010 Chicago Marathon in October provided a much closer battle with Wanjiru. Tsegaye closely followed the pacemakers and repeatedly surged ahead of the field. Wanjiru managed to make up ground each time and, running in increasingly high temperatures, Kebede was overtaken by him in the last 400 m and he finished in second place with a time of 2:06:43. This result also left him behind Wanjiru in the race for the World Marathon Majors jackpot, but he was generally positive about the defeat: “I am happy. This is not the end. I will run again”. He attempted to defend his title in the 2011 London Marathon, but could not keep up with the leaders’ pace at the 30 km mark, and had to settle for fifth place with a time of 2:07:47. He was not selected for the Ethiopian Olympic marathon team. At the Great Manchester Run in May he came runner-up to Haile Gebrselassie but ran a personal best of 27:56 minutes.


Astede Baysa Tesema 

Nationality: Oromo

A singer and athlete

Atsede Baysa Tesema, also known as Atsede Bayisa, (born 16 April 1987) is an Ethiopian long distance runner who specialises in road running events. She has won the Paris Marathon twice consecutively, and has also won at the Xiamen International Marathon and the Istanbul Marathon. She represented Ethiopia at the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships (taking the team silver) and at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in the marathon race. She was the half marathon silver medallist at the 2007 All-Africa Games.

She started her international career with performances at the Tokyo Women’s Marathon and Nagano Marathon in 2006. She ran in the 2007 Rotterdam Marathon and clocked a time of 2:33:54 for fourth place. Her first major event was 2007 All-Africa Games, where she took the half marathon silver medal behind Souad Aït Salem. A few months later she attended the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships and finished in eleventh, helping the Ethiopian women to the team silver medal. Following this, she went on to win at the Istanbul Marathon, recording a new personal best of 2:29:05. She did not make significant progression in 2008, with fifth place finishes at both the Rome City Marathon and Toronto Marathon being the highlights of her year.

In 2009, she started with a ninth place finish at the Dubai Marathon with a time of 2:29:13. Victory in a personal best time of 2:24:42 at the Paris Marathon marked a new high for Baysa, having won her first IAAF Gold Label Road Race. Baysa was selected for the women’s marathon at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, but she did not match her previous form and finished in 27th place. She went on to take seventh place finish in 2:32:05 at the Frankfurt Marathon in October.

Baysa made a strong start to 2010 by becoming the first foreign athlete to win the women’s race at the Xiamen International Marathon. She led the race uncontested and finished in 2:28:53. Despite cold conditions, she also won the Paris Half Marathon in March, recording a time of 1:11:05. She set her eyes on defending her Paris Marathon title in April and her front running tactics succeeded in record time: finishing in first place in 2:22:04, she beat Marleen Renders’ course record which had stood since 2002 and knocked over two minutes off her previous best. She ran at the 2010 Chicago Marathon in October and started well by setting a fast pace from the beginning, establishing a significant lead by the halfway point. The worsening heat proved too much for the athlete, however, and in the final 10K Liliya Shobukhova gained a three-minute lead over her, leaving the Ethiopian in the runner-up position with a time of 2:23:40. She entered the Delhi Half Marathon in November but managed only fifth place over the half distance.

She opened her 2011 at the Dubai Marathon, but finished in fifth place some three minutes behind the winner Aselefech Mergia. Another fifth came at the 2011 London Marathon, where she was one place behind her compatriot Bezunesh Bekele. She ran in two French races in October: she was the winner of the half marathon race at the Reims à Toutes Jambes and came second to Lydia Cheromei at the Marseille-Cassis Internationale.

She ran a time of 2:23:13 hours at the 2012 Dubai Marathon, which was only worth eighth place in a fast women’s race.