STANDARD CHARTERED'S LAHORE MARATHON

Galaxy of international athletes to go in action in the marathon scheduled for January 29

From KHALID BUTT, Lahore
Dec 19 - 25, 2005

A galaxy of top international athletes from over 20 countries will be seen in action in the second Standard Chartered Lahore Marathon scheduled for January 29, 2006.

All the top winners of 2005 have confirmed their entries for the prestigious US$ 100,000 race, which has now become a permanent feature on the international marathon calendar of AIMS, the international body, which controls and regulates the marathons worldwide.

According to information available, all three winners of the main 42 km men marathon in 2005 have confirmed participation. They are T. Mpolokeng, South Africa, D. Menyo, Kenya and J. Boki, Tanzania. Other top competitors in the coming event, who have notified their participation are: Francis Robert Naali, Tanzania, Reigning Commonwealth Champion; Semeretu Alemayrhu, Ethiopia, Turin Champion & record holder John Nada Saya, Tanzania, Belanay Bimer, Ethiopia, Seville Champion & Addis Marathon Winner 2005, Daniel Cheribo, Kenya, Winner Milan 2004, Leonid Svetsov, Russia, Russian record holder (paced last year), Lucas Swartzboi, Namibia, national record holder, Piet Jacobs, South Africa, 3rd Beirut 2005 (ran 10 km Lahore).

In the 42 km ladies, J. Kariuki, Kenya and T. Birra, Ethiopia have confirmed participation. Other confirmed participants, include:

Zinado Semanova, Russia, Winner Edinburgh/Dublin 2005
Jon Jong OK, DPRK, Winner Pyong Yang 2004-05;
Albina Ivanova, Russia;
Rose Nyangacha, Kenya;
Tabitha Tsatsa, Zimbabwe, National Champion;
Lilya Yaddzhak, Russia, Winner Seville 2005;
Toni Makintosh Scotland (3rd 10 k Lahore).

Other confirmed participants, include the 10 km winners (men & women) in Lahore 2005. These are A. Shiferahnu, Ethiopia, J. Murithi, Kenya and W. Taragon, Kenya. Others joining 2006 are:

Ibrahim Yellan, Ethiopia, Silver Medal, World Youth Games 2005
James Walsh, Great Britian;
Daniel Kiprugut, Kenya;
Simon Kasmilli, Kenya;
Alexy Sokorov, Russian Junior Cross Country Champion.

In 10 km ladies event, both the previous winners, the diminutive C. Mutwa, Kenya and A. Bezabih, Ethiopia have confirmed their participation. Other notable confirmations include:

Tatyana Hladyr, Ukraine;
Ashu Kasim, Ethiopia, Great Ethiopian Run 2005;
Seralkem Bisset, Ethiopia;
Sue Harrison, UK.

With the successful staging of the maiden event and experience gained, it is expected that the second Lahore Marathon will be bigger and better and a new bench mark for the Race. The marathon is expected to attract a larger and enthusiastic number from the local participants, notably from Indian athletes, in view of more relaxed visa formalities and growing cordial relations between the two neighboring countries.

LAHORE GETTING READY

Dedicating all proceeds from registration to the President Relief Fund for earthquake victims, Lahore is gearing up to host the second Standard Chartered Lahore Marathon to be run in the city. Following the instant success of the maiden event and projection of the "soft side" of Pakistan and its enlightened image worldwide, the Punjab government is organising this mega event in Lahore on 29th January, 2006. The race unlike last time will be inaugurated from inside the Punjab Stadium and also conclude there with special ceremonies on each occasion.

After the unprecedented success of Standard Chartered Lahore Marathon 2005, the Chief Minister's Task Force on Lahore is organizing the 2nd Standard Chartered Lahore Marathon on 29th January 2006.

"With an improved elite field, a strong technical team and a large public participation is expected in this Marathon. Besides promoting the athletic spirit it is dedicated to raise funds for the President's Relief Fund for Earthquake Victims," said Mr. Ghouse Akbar, Chairman of the Task Force on Lahore.

Standard Chartered is once again sponsoring 6 major Marathons across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, namely Nairobi (Oct. 23, 2005), Singapore (Nov. 4, 2005), Dubai (Jan. 6, 2006), Mumbai (Jan. 15, 2006), Pakistan (Jan. 29, 2006) and Hong Kong (Feb 12, 2006).

Ian Ladbrooke will be the Race Director once again after his great success with the first race. He has organized countless marathons around the world and will be assisted by Rupinder Singh and Nathan John Clayton, who will be Asst. Race Director & Race Referees. Gavin Lightwood will be the Start & Finish Manager. John Muddeman/Gashaw Zeleke would act as technical officials Start/Finish with David Cairns functioning as Time Keeper and Race Official. Messers Publicis Pakistan will be once again Event Managers for the Standard Chartered Lahore Marathon 2006.