PARIS — Ethiopia’s legendary runner Kenenisa Bekele notched up another impressive milestone in an already glittering career by winning the Paris Marathon on Sunday, his first attempt at the gruelling event.
The 31-year-old 5,000m and 10,000m world record crossed the line in an event record time of 2hr 5min 02secs after negotiating a sunbathed course of 42.195km (26.22 miles) through the streets of the French capital.
“It was my first marathon and I didn’t have much experience,” said the former Olympic champion.
“It was very tough but it was the time I expected. After 25km I pushed alone but it was very tough.”
Bekele emulated his great compatriot Haile Gebreselassie who also made a successful step from the track to marathon and has the third fastet time in history.
Bekele made his move with about 25km to run and opened up a lead that may have been even more significent had he not struggled with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.
He missed out on the world record which is held by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang who set a mark of 2hr 3min 23secs in 2013 at Berlin.