Ethiopians dominate Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon course for second year

Strong presence of Canadian elites among top 10 finishers

May 24, 2015 (Ottawa) – Ethiopian elite athletes once again this year took top prizes in the 41st running of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon this morning. They led a field of nearly 6,000 participants.

Girmay Birhanu, 28, finished with a time of 2:08:14 – a solid race but not enough to topple the Ottawa 2:06:54 record set last year. He was followed by Kenyan Philip Kangogo, 31, with a time of 2:09:56; and Ethiopian Chele Dechasa, 30, with 2:09:59.

Aberu Zennebe, 31, won the women’s category in 2:25:30 with a sprint to the finish line. Zennebe was followed closely by Kenyan Rebecca Chesir, 22, at 2:25:41; and Ethiopian Abebech Aferork, 24, at 2:25:53.

First Canadian woman was Rachel Hannah, who finished at 2:33:30 for a 10th place overall finish. At 28, this was the Toronto-based athlete’s first marathon.

First Canadian man to finish was Vancouver-based Rob Watson, who placed 8th overall with a time of 2:19:22. Three Canadian men placed in the top 10. Watson went out aggressively, hoping for a 2:12 finish for a spot at the next Summer Olympic Games, but fell short of his goal.

The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon holds an International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Silver label designation. It is the only silver label marathon event in Canada.

1. Girmay Birhanu 28 Ethiopia 2:08:14
2. Philip Kangogo 31 Kenya 2:09:56
3. Chele Dechasa 30 Ethiopia 2:09:59
4. Rachid Kisri 40 Morocco 2:10:18
5. Peter Kirui 27 Kenya 2:10:23
6. Alfers Lagat 28 Kenya 2:11:28
7. Julius Chepkwony 26 Kenya 2:14:25
8. Robin Watson 31 CA 2:19:22
9. Lucas McAneney 28 CA 2:19:32
10. Terence Attema 25 CA 2:22:54


1. Aberu Zennebe 31 Ethiopia 2:25:30
2. Rebecca Chesir 22 Kenya 2:25:41
3. Abebech Afework 24 Ethiopia 2:23:53
4. Agnes Kiprop 35 Kenya 2:26:12
5. Meselech Melkamu 30 Ethiopia 2:26:45
6. Yeshi Esayias 29 Ethiopia 2:27:14
7. Melkam Gizaw Tola 24 Ethiopia 2:27:47
8. Etaferahu Temesgen 25 Ethiopia 2:29:24
9. Fantu Eticha Jimma 27 Ethiopia 2:29:45
10. Hannah Rachel 28 CA 2:33:30



“I’m just thrilled. My goal was to run under 2:34:00 … It all worked out well. I stuck to the pace and it paid off in the end,” said Rachel Hannah, first place female Canadian athlete.

“Today’s performances were very strong and we got to see some excellent racing. It was a great day for Rachel Hannah, and having three men place in the top 10 proved how talented the Canadian field is,” says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator for Run Ottawa.

“We have worked very hard to achieve the IAAF gold and silver label status. It enhances our visibility and brings the athletes in,” says John Halvorsen, President and Race Director of Run Ottawa.


About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The 2015 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed 49,200 participants in six races, including the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, the Scotiabank Half-Marathon, the Ottawa 10K, the HTG Sports 5K, the 2K and Scotiabank Kids Marathon. Two of the weekend’s events have received top honours from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). The Ottawa 10K is one of only four Gold label 10K races in the world, and the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon is designated Silver label. The 2015 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will take place May 23-24, 2015. Visit us at

Annie Boucher
Media relations
Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
@aboucherfuse |   @ottawamarathon