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World Champs Women’s Marathon — Resurgent Beriso Bests ’22 Champ

World Champs Women’s Marathon — Resurgent Beriso Bests ’22 Champ

Ethiopia’s bid for a top-4 sweep collapsed but Amane Beriso (Shankule on bib) and ’22 winner Goytatom Gebrselassie claimed gold and silver. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

AN ETHIOPIAN TEAM surge at 32K led by favored Amane Beriso cracked open the race, and at 38K Beriso broke away from defending champion Goytatom Gebreselassie to claim an 11-second win in 2:24:23.

Moroccan Fatima Ezzahra Gardadi was the day’s surprise taking the bronze medal in 2:25:17.

Beriso beamed, “I’m so happy to win that I can’t find the words for it. Ethiopia is becoming the champion nation in the women’s marathon, and it’s great to keep the title in Ethiopia’s hands.”

The gold for 31-year-old Beriso capped a whirlwind past 12 months, starting last August as she rebooted her career with a 2:25:05 high-altitude, albeit downhill, win in Mexico City. A stunning 2:14:58 Ethiopian Record effort in Valencia followed in December.

Then in April Beriso finished a strong 2nd to Hellen Obiri in Boston. After a weather reprieve last year in Oregon, Budapest23 was very much a warm and humid conditions affair run over a 10K criterium loop that alternated 7 kilometers of flat, shady running in Pest with 3 kilometers of hillier running in Buda including back and forth suspension bridge crossings and an uphill 350-meter stretch in a tunnel.

It was no surprise that the opening kilometers were covered at a cautious 2:30 pace and the U.S. squad had some early time at the front with Susanna Sullivan leading from the 6th through 12th K, and Keira D’Amato first across the halfway mat in 1:14:29 averaging 3:31.8 per kilo.

The tempo quickened on the third loop with Rosemary Wanjiru and Lonah Salpeter at the front, averaging 3:20 Ks to reach 30K in 1:44:36, 2:27:07 pace. Beriso tested the field with a 3:14 31st K, paring the lead pack to 7 heading into the final loop.

Beriso immediately lifted the pace to a robust 3:12 clip that quickly dropped Wanjiru and Salpeter, and with the head count bolstered by Gebreselassie’s wild card, the 4-woman Ethiopian squad stretched out across the road. That is until Tsehay Gemechu pulled up and stopped in the 34th K.

“We worked well as a team today,” Beriso said. “We got the lead group down to 6 and then we pushed away with 4 of us.”

Beriso’s surge was ever-steady and effective as she rattled off 4 straight 3:12s, dropping all challengers save her teammates Gebreselassie and Yalemzerf Yehualaw.

The trio ran together through 37K before…

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