The 2015 World 10,000m silver medallist Champion, Gelete Burka will be targeting to lower her own record at the 47th edition of the Ottawa Marathon now renamed to Tartan Ottawa International Marathon that will be held in May 29,2022 in Ottawa, Canada.
Burka comes to this race with a personal best of 2:20.45 that she got at the 2018 Dubai Marathon where she finished in sixth place. She holds the race course record with a time of 2:22.10 that she set in the same year and hopes that Ottawa will add pacers who can push her to run under 2:19 which she hopes she is capable of achieving.
“Ottawa is a good memory for me,” she continues. “When I was training I had a bit of a leg problem with an injury to my calf and I came to Ottawa with that injury. Also I got those stomach cramps. It was not easy. That was why I smiled when I came to the finish,” said Burk.
Burka is faithful to her church, The Glorious Life Church where attends without fail as she is also an usher and a member of the forty-member choir.
The 36 year-old has a rich cabinet as she is the 2008 World Indoor 1500m Champion, the 2006 World Cross Country champion
Burka has represented Ethiopia in six successive world outdoor championships and three Olympics. In Rio Olympics six years ago, she finished fifth in the 10,000m with a personal best of 30:26.66. Had it not been for a slight on the part of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) a year later, she might never have turned to the marathon.
“In 2017 I was in Netherlands at the Ethiopian trials for the world championships. I took the top honors in 10,000m with a time of 30:40.87, but the EAF never selected me to the team for the world championships in London,” she explains her smile having vanished now. “After that I stopped track and that is the point when I went to the marathon. So, I trained for the Dubai Marathon where I ran a life time best of 2:20.45.” A year later she won the 2019 Paris Marathon in 2:22.47, then finished third in Chicago in a time of 2:20.55.
“The training is going on well and with two months to go I will be in great shape for the course” Burka concluded.