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Samuel Woldeamamual Gebremichael, Kirsten Molloy win Canberra Marathon 2014

Ethiopian long distance runner Samuel Woldeamanuel Gebremichael cruised to an easy win in Sunday’s Canberra marathon.

He crossed the line at a lope, both arms extended and well clear of the field at 8.51am.

The 33-year-old Olympic hopeful, who has been based in Melbourne since last September, was nursing a torn hamstring from the Brisbane half-marathon which he also won.

His next goal is to win the Gold Coast Marathon, an internationally recognised running event that is expected to attract more than 30,000 entries, in July.

Gebremichael was one of the 4,162 runners from right across Australia and overseas who contested the Canberra event as part of a festival of running that also incorporated two fun runs on Saturday.


Conditions for Sunday’s marathon were as close to perfection as it gets with blue skies and temperatures ranging from just under 13C to 16.5C between 6.30am and 10am.

While Gebremichael’s time, of two hours 21 minutes and 38 seconds, was well behind his personal best of two hours eight minutes and 45 seconds which earned him third place at Barcelona in 2010, he is not disappointed.

He told Fairfax he was determined to start the Gold Coast event in the best possible condition and that he had planned Sunday’s run very carefully.

"The race unfolded the way I had planned it,’’ Gebremichael said.

Leading from early on in the event, he quickly distanced himself from the field and came home very strongly three minutes and seven seconds ahead of second placegetter, David Criniti.

who finished in two hours 24 minutes and 45 seconds, and third place getter, Rowan Walker, who finished in two hours, 26 minutes and 40 seconds.

Kirsten Molloy was the first woman to cross the line with a time of 2 hours, 49 minutes, and 57 seconds.

Scott Brittain from Paddington, Queensland took out this years’ Ultra Marathon in three hours 12 minutes and 40 seconds and the first woman to finish the 50km event was Tina Major in three hours, 35 minutes and eight seconds.

Michael Chapman took first place in the Half Marathon with a time of one hour, 11 minutes and 10 seconds and Fleur Flanery was the fastest woman who ran the course in one hour, 23 minutes and 59 seconds.

Fairfax Events Race Director, Rebecca Wilmer, was delighted with the way the weekend of running events unfolded.

“What a fantastic end to the Australian Running Festival,’’ she said. ``Participation in the event continues to build each year, and we are thrilled to able to continue to raise money for Australian charities, particularly our Gold Charities, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and Heart Foundation ACT.’’

The Australian Running Festival has raised more than $164,000 for 180 Australian charities to date.

Running enthusiasts looking for their next challenge are in luck with the 2014 Canberra Times Fun Run set down for Sunday, September 7.


Canberra Marathon results

1421 (slightly down on 2013); Distance: 42km.
Winner:  Samuel Woldeamanual Gebremichael (33), Ethiopia (currently Melbourne based). Time: 2:21:38.
David Criniti, Westleigh NSW (37), Time: 2:24:45.
Third: Rowan Walker (44), Belconnen ACT, Time: 2:26:40.
First woman:
Kirsten Molloy (36), Mount Hutton NSW, Time: 2:49:57.
Second woman: Rhiannon Snipe, time: 2:55.59
Third woman: Hannah Walmsley, time: 2:57.04.

Half Marathon
Entrants: 2487 (up about 400 on 2013); Distance: 21.1km.
Michael Chapman (27), Nicholls ACT, Time 1:11:10.
Matthew Fenech (36), Torrensville SA, Time: 1:11:54.
Nuru Somi (25), Turner ACT, Time: 1:13:46.
First woman: Fleur Flanery (45), Yass NSW. Time 1:23:59.
Second woman: Jane Gordon, time: 1:25:01
Third woman: Annabel Howe, time: 1:25:09

Ultra Marathon
253 (Capped at 150 in 2013 with 142 runners taking part); Distance 50km.
Scott Brittain (38), 3:12:40, Paddington QLD.
Todd Ingraham, 3:19:07, WA
Barry Keem, 3:21:24, NSW
First woman:
Tina Major (40), 3:35:08, Doubleview WA.
Second woman: Katherine Macmillon, 3:55:51
Third woman: Lynette Delaney, 3:58:13

For full results, go to the Running Festival website