After two full courses… newcomer Dagnachew beats Kenya’s Legion

[2023 Gyeongju International Marathon].
2h11m31s Gyeongju Marathon Summit “I’m happy to win the first challenge in Korea”
Overlooking Cheomseongdae, Bonghwangdae, and Cheonmachong
Masters 9000 Runners Festival Race

메이저놀이터The 2023 Gyeongju International Marathon was held in Gyeongju, the ancient capital of Silla, on the 21st. More than 9,000 Masters runners enjoyed the crisp fall weather in a city race with views of Cheomseongdae and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ethiopia’s Isma Antenayehu Dagnachew won the international elite men’s race.”》

Isma Antenayehu Dagnachew of Ethiopia crosses the finish line first in the elite international men’s race at the Gyeongju International Marathon on Nov. 21. Race=Park Hyung-ki oneshot@donga.com
Rookie Isma Antenayehu Dagnachew, 25, of Ethiopia, took a surprise victory at the Dong-A Ilbo Gyeongju International Marathon 2023.

Dagnachew was the first man to cross the finish line in the elite men’s race at the 42.195-kilometer Gyeongju International Marathon in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 31 seconds. Dagnachew first ran the full course at the Milan Marathon in April, finishing 10th in 2:11:55. This was his second full-course finish and his first podium finish. All eyes were on the Kenyans, including last year’s winner Evans Kipkoech Korir (36), until the lead group was reduced to seven after 37 kilometers. But when Korir withdrew with a hamstring injury after 40 kilometers and the lead group was reduced to four, Dagnachew surged away to win by 21 seconds over Timothy Kipkorir Katam (30-KEN).

A soccer player through high school, Dagnachew took up running after a teacher encouraged him to compete in a track and field meet. After high school, he competed in the 5,000-meter, 10,000-meter, and half-course races before realizing that he could run longer, so this year he took on the full-course challenge. Dagnachew trains in the highlands of Entoto (3300 meters above sea level) near Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, where he says the weather is similar to Korea. The start time was pushed back an hour to 8 a.m., so the temperature was 10 degrees Celsius at the start and 12 degrees Celsius after 10 a.m. at the finish, which was ideal for running a marathon.

“It was my first time competing in a race in Korea and I’m happy to win,” Dagnachew beamed. “I’ve always wanted to come to Korea whenever I get the chance,” he said. “Ethiopia was a participant in the Korean War, so I have a good impression of Korea because people from Korea still show gratitude when I come to Ethiopia. The Korean marathon is also very popular among the friends I train with.” More than 9,000 Masters participants enjoyed the fall colors as they ran the full, half, 10K, and 5K courses in a city race through UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Cheomseongdae, Bonghwangdae, and Cheonmachong.

Masters participants run in front of Cheomseongdae. More than 9,000 Masters participants enjoyed an autumn race in Gyeongju, a UNESCO World Heritage City, including Cheomseongdae and Cheonmachong. Reporter Song Eun-seok
Channel A covered some of the races with a Samsung Galaxy S23 cell phone. Three vertical screens of the phone were displayed side by side to show the international and domestic elite male and female leaders simultaneously. The S-slow-motion feature also captured the moment when athletes grabbed water bottles from the water stations. Kia provided its eco-friendly EV9 as a relay car.

Gyeongju Mayor Joo Nak-young, Korean Athletics Federation President Yuk Hyun-pyo, Member of Parliament Kim Seok-ki (People’s Power), Gyeongju City Council Chairman Lee Chul-woo, Gyeongju City Sports Chairman Yeo Jun-ki, and Dong-A Ilbo editorial writer Chun Kwang-am encouraged the participants at the starting line. The Gyeongju Police Department deployed 25 vehicles, including traffic patrol cars, and 600 police officers to help ensure the safe operation of the event.

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