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 Beriso lit out on her own, admitting later, “After we got rid of the rest, then it was a battle with my tough teammates.”

A 3:13 37th K opened a gap, and a race best 3:11 kilo 38 sent Beriso clear off a race-breaking 16:00 split from 33–38K. A subsequent 3:17 K over the final bridge crossing stretched her lead over Gebreselassie to 23 seconds with 3K to go.

Cruising home is not usually an option in a warm-weather marathon and there was some drama over the final stretch. Beriso suffered a bit from her own hot pace but had enough to hold off the fast-closing Gebreselassie.

Yehualaw and Ethiopia’s bid for a sweep hit a big wall at 40K and Gardadi blew by to claim Morocco’s first women’s World Champs marathon medal. The 31-year-old former trackster took to the marathon last year and asserted, “I came here to win a medal. The result was not a surprise for me because I ran three times 2:25 — the last time in Rabat, Morocco, in conditions the same as here in Budapest.”

While D’Amato (17th in 2:31:35) and Sullivan (58th in 2:44:24) fell off their early pace, Lindsay Flanagan (9th at 2:27:47) laid off the break at 30K and was first home among the chase pack with a strong 74:30/73:17 negative split effort.


(August 26)

1. Amane Beriso (Eth) 2:24:23 (17:52, 17:40 [35:32], 17:24 [52:56], 17:39 [1:10:35], 17:16 [1:27:51], 16:36 [1:44:27], 16:08 [2:00:35], 16:15 [2:16:50], 7:33) (1:14:30/1:09:53);

2. Goytatom Gebreselassie (Eth) 2:24:34 (1:14:30/1:10:04;

3. Fatima Ezzahra Gardadi (Mor) 2:25:17 (1:14:30/1:10:47);

4. Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (Isr) 2:25:38 (1:14:30/1:11:08);

5. Yalemzerf Yehualaw (Eth) 2:26:13 (1:14:30/1:11:43);

6. Rosemary Wanjiru (Ken) 2:26:42 (1:14:30/1:12:12);

7. Selly Chepyego (Ken) 2:27:09 (1:14:30/1:12:39);

8. Nazret Weldu (Eri) 2:27:23 (1:14:30/1:12:53);

9. Lindsay Flanagan (US) 2:27:47 (1:14:30/1:13:17);

10. Dolshi Tesfu (Eri) 2:28:54; 11. Melat Kejeta (Ger) 2:29:04; 12. Giovanna Epis (Ita) 2:29:10; 13. Mizuki Matsuda (Jpn) 2:29:15; 14. Rebecca Cheptegei (Uga) 2:29:34; 15. Natasha Wodak (Can) 2:30:09; 16. Lisa Weightman (Aus) 2:30:50; 17. Keira D’Amato (US) 2:31:35 (1:14:29/1:17:06); 18. Mercyline Chelangat (Uga) 2:31:40; 19. Rika Kaseda (Jpn) 2:31:53; 20. Sayaka Sato (Jpn) 2:31:57; 21. Doreen Chesang (Uga) 2:32:11; 22. Alisa Vainio (Fin) 2:32:14; 23. Ümmü Kiraz (Tur) 2:33:23 PR; 24. Nora Szabó (Hun) 2:33:28; 25. Rkia El Moukim (Mor) 2:33:54; 26. Moira Stewartová (CzR) 2:34:02; 27. Meritxell Soler (Spa) 2:34:38; 28. Gulshanoy Satarova (Kir) 2:35:06; 29. Silvia Patricia Ortiz (Ecu) 2:35:09; 30. Natasha Cockram (GB) 2:35:34;

31. Khishigsaikhan Galdabrakh (Mgl) 2:35:38; 32. Zhixuan Li (Chn) 2:35:48; 33. Bojana Bjeljac (Cro) 2:35:49; 34. Citlali Moscote (Mex) 2:36:03; 35. Zaida Dina Ramos (Per) 2:36:23; 36. Militsa Mircheva (Bul) 2:36:45; 37. Clementine Mukandanga (Rwa) 2:37:09; 38. Marta Galimany (Spa) 2:37:10; 39. Hanne Verbruggen (Bel) 2:37:15; 40. Monika Jackiewicz (Pol) 2:37:18; 41. Sarah Klein (Aus) 2:37:31; 42. Mokulubete Blandina Makatsi (Les) 2:37:49 PR; 43. Isobel Batt-Doyle (Aus) 2:37:53; 44. Risper Gesabwa (Mex) 2:38:29; 45. Irvette van Zyl (SA) 2:38:32; 46. Loreta Kančytė (Lit) 2:38:52; 47. Valdilene Silva (Bra) 2:39:58; 48. Deshun Zhang (Chn) 2:40:17; 49. Alina Armas (Nam) 2:40:49; 50. Julia Mayer (Aut) 2:41:54;

51. Rosalba Chacha (Ecu) 2:42:00; 52. Andreia Hessel (Bra) 2:42:23; 53. Nicolasa Condorí (Per) 2:42:25; 54. Nina Chydenius (Fin) 2:42:36; 55. Fortunate Chidzivo (Zim) 2:43:28; 56. Argentina Valdepeñas (Mex) 2:43:35; 57. Katalin Garami (Hun) 2:44:02; 58. Susanna Sullivan (US) 2:44:24 (1:16:21/1:28:03); 59. Karen Ehrenreich (Den) 2:44:46; 60. Solange Jesus (Por) 2:45:08; 61. Sasha Gollish (Can) 2:45:09; 62. Aydee Huaman (Per) 2:45:40; 63. Neja Kršinar (Slo) 2:46:55; 64. Mirela de Andrade (Bra) 2:47:29; 65. Chun-Yu Tsao (Tai) 2:55:33;

… dnf—Andrijana Pop Arsova (Mac), Amina Betiche (Alg), Andrea Bonilla (Ecu), Rose Chelimo (Bhr), Tsehay Gemechu (Eth), Yayla Günen (Tur), Shyline Jepkorir (Ken), Aleksandra Lisowska (Pol), Zhanna Mamazhanova (Kaz), Cavaline Nahimana (Bur), Fatima Ouhaddou (Spa), Beverly Ramos (PR)

(leader 5Ks: Chacha 17:48; Sullivan 35:31; Cheptegei 52:56, 1:10:35; Beriso 1:27:51; Salpeter 1:44:26; Beriso 2:00:35, 2:16:50)