Ethiopia’s Herpasa Negasa will be heading back to Istanbul to defend his title at the 43rd edition of the Istanbul Marathon that will be held on Sunday 7 November 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The current elite list features ten men who have personal bests of sub 2:08. Only a few international marathons this year were able to assemble such a deep field. Ethiopia’s Negasa is the fastest on the list as he comes with a personal best of 2:03.40 that he got at the 2019 Dubai Marathon.
The 28 year-old has not competed internationally for more than two years and the Istanbul Marathon will be only the second race of the year for the athlete.
Mekuant Ayenew also from Ethiopia comes also with a personal best of 2:04.46 that he got at the 2020 Zurich Maratón de Sevilla. The 29 year-old holds a season best of 2:09.34 that he got in Milan.
Another Ethiopian is Yitayal Atnafu Zerihun comes also with a personal best of 2:06.21 in Dubai when he finished in fifth place.
The race organisers have assembled a rich field of elite athletes who will target the race course record of 2:09.44 that was set by Daniel Kibet from Kenya in 2018. Kibet is so far the only Kenyan who will be on start line, was taken as a race pacer but he decided to go all the way to set the current record. The 25 year-old will battle the defending champion Negasa.
Istanbul Marathon will be one of the biggest road races worldwide since the start of the pandemic. As last year an extensive hygiene concept will be in place to comply with the regulations.
“We have been organizing both local and international races for athletes during the pandemic. This year we are returning to the traditional course at the Istanbul Marathon. An exciting and competitive marathon awaits us, “said Renay Onur, the Race director.
The 2021 champion will have $35,000. The runner-up will bag $20,000, and the prize for the third-place athlete will be $10,000.