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Youghal AC's Aoife Cooke Takes First Senior Woman Place in Lisbon Half-Marathon 2018

Aoife Cooke is First Senior Woman in Lisbon Half-Marathon

Lisbon, Portugal

Sunday March 11th 2018

Aoife Cooke National Novice Champion 2015

Aoife Cooke pictured winning the 2015 National Novice Cross-Country Championship

The EDP Lisbon Half-Marathon took place in the Portuguese capital today, in windy wet conditions, which proved testing for all participants. Indeed, with the impending poor weather forecast well in advance, there were Plan B alternatives drawn up to cater for the possibility of having to avoid crossing Lisbon's iconic 25th de April Bridge, due to high winds.  At time of posting, some twelve hours after the event, it isn't clear whether the event did, or didn't, cross the bridge.

25th abril bridge lisbon jorge amaral global imagensLisbon Half-Marathon crosses Lisbon's iconic 25th de Abril bridge - photo: Jorge Amaral / Global Imagens

25th abril bridge lisbonLisbon Half-Marathon crosses Lisbon's iconic 25th de Abril bridge

The Half-Marathon was held in conjunction with the IAAF Gold Label Half-Marathon, however the elite men and women competing in the IAAF event didn't have to cross the 25th de Abril bridge in any case, as their race had a different start, with the main field joining them at approx. 5k.

 lisbon half marathon course 2018



Senior Women - Open Race

Youghal AC's Aoife Cooke won the open race by a wide margin - 3 minutes and 6 seconds - in very testing conditions, with rain and strong headwinds over a lot of the course, particularly from 8km on.

Posting on social media afterwards, Aoife said: "Sometimes you just have to do what you can with what life throws at you.... sometimes its sunshine and you feel like you’re flying, other days (like today) its 40km/hr winds with at least 6miles of a stretch with it working against you. Very tough going, I was just happy to get to the end in one piece... and pleasantly surprised at my 1st senior Female placing"


lisbon half marathon senior women results 2018

Aoife's Splits

Aoife's split at 8k, compared to the remainder of her splits, demonstrates the difference between the first, largely wind-assisted, section, and the later splits, where the impact of the elements was strongest

aoife cooke lisbon half marathon 2018 splits


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IAAF Report - Kiptanui and Woldu Beat the Winds at Lisbon Half

Battling high winds, Kenyan Erick Kiptanui and Etagegne Woldu of Ethiopia prevailed in their respective races at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday 11th.

Despite the wind and rain, the men's race still witnessed deep results with the first 12 running under 61 minutes.

From the start to the first turn, a stretch of about seven kilometres, the runners forged on with a tailwind, but over the next ten they faced a headwind, with the final four again run with the wind. Until that second turn point, more than 15 runners remained in the lead group. Only after the 17th kilometre did the race begin to change.

That was the moment that Kiptanui upped the tempo to built a small lead. The challengers tried to make up ground at different points in the waning different stages, but they couldn't catch Kiptanui who closed with a 2:47 final kilometre en route to 1:00:05 victory in his debut over the distance.

"I’m really happy with this result," said the unheralded Kiptanui, whose biggest career win came at the San Silverstre 10km in Madrid last New Year's Eve.

"I must thank the organisation for inviting me and trusting that I can run at this level. I think I could have achieved a better result if there were no strong wind.

"In future races I believe I can run under one hour, and of course, if I return to Lisbon I’m sure I will run faster than today, because this is a great course."

Behind him, Eritrean Yohanes Gebregergish was next in 1:00:16, a personal best, for second. Kenyan Morris Gachaga was third in 1:00:17, also a personal best.

Nicholas Kosimbei, also making his debut, was fourth in 1:00:21, ahead of the experienced Atsedu Tsegay, a late hour entrant, who clocked 1:00:28, and world record holder Zersenay Tadese, who was sixth with 1:00:29, faster than he ran in Marugame last month.

In the women's event, which started 15 minutes before the men's, also had seven women in contention through the first 17 kilometres in the front. Etagegne Woldu then took the lead, upped the tempo and ran to a 1:11:27 win, improving her personal best by three minutes.

"I expected to race under 68 minutes, but the strong wind didn’t allow it," the 21-year-old sai. "I’m happy for this win and I hope run faster in my next race."

Belainesh Oljira followed in 1:11:29 with Helen Bekele Tola, the fourth place finisher at September's Berlin Marathon, third in 1:11:33 to round out the podium for Ethiopia.

Mimi Belete of Bahrain was fourth in 1:11:38 with Kenyan Magdalyne Masai fifth in 1:11:49 to repeat her position from last year.

The weather conditions forced organisers to change the course for the mass race from the south to the north bank of the Tagus river to avoid crossing the 25 of April Bridge, an iconic feature of the race.


lisbon half marathon elite mens results 2018

Elite Women Results - Gold Label Race

1 Etagegn Woldu ETH 1:11:27
2 Belainesh Oljira ETH 1:11:29
3 Helen Bekele Tola ETH 1:11:33
4 Mimi Belete BRN 1:11:38
5 Magdalyne Masai KEN 1:11:49
6 Sofyia Shemsu ETH 1:11:50
7 Hiwot Ayalew ETH 1:11:56
8 Pasalia Chepkorir Kipkoech KEN 1:13:24
9 Kellys Arias COL 1:15:27
10 Filomena Costa POR 1:16:43

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