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The Paris Marathon 2003 coverage

Paris Marathon

Paris Marathon

Nearly 30 000 runners braced the bitter early April unseasonal morning cold weather to line up for 2003 Paris marathon. The cold also made that there were fewer habitual supporters lining the route for a major city marathon, preferring to watch the race in bed on television.

However, the cold did not seem to deter the top men’s field of runners who destroyed the previously held records for this course. It was an exciting race with the Kenyan Mike Rotich finishing in 2:06:32 just pipping the French star Benoit Zwierzchiewski who finished second in 2:06:36. The latter who is better known in France as Benoit Z and is famous for sporting tattoes, appeared at the start true to form with a new tattoo to show off to the crowds.

He stated before the race that he was confident that there were at least 5 000 women runners running the Paris marathon just to see him.

The third and fourth positions also created much excitement as the second Frenchman Driss El Himmer 2:06:48 was just beaten and took fourth place by one second behind another Kenyan Wilson Onsare 2:06:47.

In the women’s race the field was less spectacular. For the first time since the history of the race the women started 17 minutes ahead of the men. This did not appear to be a good idea as many of the women ended up running a lone route as the field was very dispersed. The race was won by the Kenyan Béatrice Omwanza in 2:27:44.

At the back of the pack it sure must have been a long day for some brave competitors who were still cross the 12km mark two hours after the start of the race.

from, on the spot, Time-to-Run Women’s Editor Cassandra Davis

For further | Race Report |

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