Press Release

A record number of recreational athletes will take part in SEB Tallinn Marathon

07 Sep 2013 09:40
Jean-Loup Fenaux

More than 19,000 recreational athletes from more than 40 countries have registered for various distances of the SEB Tallinn Marathon that will take place this Sunday, 8 September in Tallinn in Estonia. Such a number of participants is the record of all times in the history of Estonian public sports.

More than 2,000 runners have registered for the marathon distance. The favourites include Demisse Deriba Haile, Mehari Gebre Barak and Tesfaye Dadi Beyene from Ethiopia, who all have proven track records as marathon runners, also Pharis Kimani from Kenya. One of the strongest competitors in the women’s ranking is Irene Chepkirui from Kenya. The title of the Estonian Championships in marathon running will, among others, be attempted by Roman Fosti, who is currently the Estonian champion in semi-marathon running. Lily Luik has her eyes on the champion’s title in the women’s ranking.

Pacing masters who will help the runners keep the desired pace will also take to the track. For example, the pacing master for the finishing time of 3:00 is Margus Pirksaar, for the finishing time of 4:00 Meelis Atonen and the pacing master for the finishing time of 5:00 is Valdo Jahilo.

The SEB Tallinn Marathon (42.195 km) dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Estonian marathon running will be launched on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. by the record holder of Estonian women’s marathon running Jane Salumäe and the mayor of the city of Tallinn, which has a 100 year-old marathon history, Edgar Savisaar.

More than 2,500 runners set off on the distance of 21 kilometres, of whom the favourites in the men’s ranking are Ibrahim Mukunga from Kenya and Valerijs Zolnerovics from Latvia. Natalja Sokolova from Russia and Jekaterina Patjuk from Estonia will attempt to achieve the first place in the women’s ranking.

The semi-marathon (21.1 km) will be kicked off at 11:30 a.m. by the two contenders for this year’s title of the best athlete in Estonia: the Olympic winner Gerd Kanter and the two-time fencing world champion Nikolai Novosjolov, who will also give out autographs to anyone interested.

More than 15,000 recreational enthusiasts are expected at the starting line of the 10 kilometre distance of the SEB Tallinn Marathon, of whom about 8,000 will complete the distance running and more than 7,000 walking. The firm favourite in the 10 km running distance is Latvian Je?ena Prokopčuka, who will have to battle the Estonian Egle Mätas for the title. Tiidrek Nurme, Nikolai Vedehin and Allar Lamp will square off with the strong foreign competitors in the men’s ranking.

Before the 10 km run kicks off at 1:30 p.m., SEB bank and the organisers of Tallinn Marathon (MTÜ Spordiürituste Korraldamise Klubi) will enter into a cooperation agreement to continue supporting the largest public sports event in the Baltic States in 2013-2015. The chairman of the SEB management board Riho Unt and the chief organiser of SEB Tallinn Marathon Mati Lilliallik will then launch the 10 km distance.

The chief organiser of SEB Tallinn Marathon Mati Lilliallik says that it is great to see increasing interest in the running event. At the same time, he emphasises that it is important to choose an appropriate pace and not overestimate your abilities. “Even if you have the slightest doubt, it might be a good idea to consult your family physician or sports doctor before running. While running, pay attention to your health, and if necessary reduce the pace and consult the sports medics who observe the competitors at the track. It is also important to drink plenty of water and rest well before the big competition day,” said Mati Lilliallik, the chief organiser of SEB Tallinn Marathon.

The SEB Tallinn Marathon taking place on 8 September will be preceded by an athletic entertainment programme a day earlier, on 7 September. The Freedom Square will host a competition EXPO from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., where people can see exhibitions of the cooperation partners, test their health, seek advice from specialists in different areas and register for the SEB Tallinn Marathon 2014, which will take place on 14 September, 2014. The Haribo children’s run will kick off at 2 p.m., where all children at the age of 2-12 are welcome to participate.

On 7 September at 5.30 p.m. the legendary band Vitamiin will take to the stage and launch the opening ceremony of the running event. At 6 p.m., favourites will receive their chest numbers, and the SEB Tallinn Marathon is officially launched.