Ethiopians topple marathon course records today

Rob Watson and Lioudmila Kortchaguina top Canadians

May 26, 2013 – OTTAWA – A highly competitive elite field and cool weather helped shatter course records at this morning’s Ottawa Marathon.

With a time of 2:08:04, 28 year-old Ethiopian Tariku Jufar crossed the finish line shaving more than one minute off the Ottawa Marathon 2:09:12 course record set last year by Kenyan Laban Moiben. In an almost neck and neck finish, Jufar was followed by 24-year-old Kenyan Luka Rotich a mere seven seconds later in 2:08:11. Rotich entered the race as a pacer, but with his job completed he moved on to secure the race’s second place.

“The race was an intense one,” says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator. “Rotich paced Jufar to the 35K mark. At about 39K, Jufar surged ahead with a very fast sub 3-minute pace, placing him in contention for a marathon record on Canadian soil. Slowing down in the final stretch, he still secured the course record with Rotich just behind him.”

In all, four Ethiopians finished in the top 10 this year, with five Kenyans and a talented Canadian rounding out the field.

Vancouver-based Rob Watson was registered for the 10K distance, but switched to the marathon Friday backed by an 11th place finish in Boston in April. With a time of 2:18:33, he handily won this year’s Canadian Marathon Championships.

Ethiopians also dominated the women’s elite field, with six placing in the top 10 and the winner slicing more than two minutes off the 2009 course record of 2:27:41. Twenty-seven-year-old Yeshi Esayias of Ethiopia ran with a pack of a half-dozen women for most of the race to finish at 2:25:30 – smashing her own personal best time by 30 seconds. Esayias was followed by fellow Ethiopians Misiker Mekkonin, 25, with a time of 2:25:44 and Sechale Delasa, 21, with 2:27:31. All three finished ahead of the old course record.

“Similar to yesterday’s 10K distance, the performance of this year’s elite women in the marathon distance was very strong,” says Manny Rodrigues.

Finishing eighth overall among women, Thornhill, Ontario resident Lioudmila Kortchaguina, 41, finished with a time of 2:33:10 to be the first Canadian to cross the finish line and win the Canadian Marathon Championships. She was also the first master-level athlete to finish the race. Korthaguina has placed first among Canadian women at the Ottawa Marathon a total of six times since 2002.



1. Tariku JUFAR Ethiopia 2:08:04.8
2. Luka ROTICH Kenya 2:08:11.1
3. Gashaw MELESE Ethiopia 2:10:23.5
4. Teferi KEBEDE Ethiopia 2:11:09.0
5. James MBUGUA Kenya 2:11:15.2
6. Laban MOIBEN Kenya 2:11:44.5
7. Nixon MACHICHIM Kenya 2:11:45.7
8. Dereje TADESSE Ethiopia 2:14:31.2
9. Jason MBOTE Kenya 2:15:23.8
10. Rob WATSON Canada 2:18:33.3



1. Yeshi ESAYIAS Ethiopia 2:25:30.1
2. Misiker MEKONNIN Ethiopia 2:25:44.4
3. Sechale DELASA Ethiopia 2:27:31.0
4. Netsanet ACHAMO Ethiopia 2:27:43.9
5. Ruth WANJIRU Kenya 2:30:35.3
6. Yeshimebet TADESSE Ethiopia 2:32:44.0
7. Seada KEDIR Ethiopia 2:33:03.6
8. Lioudmila KORTCHAGUINA Canada 2:33:10.2
9. Clara GRANT USA 2:33:24.9
10. Malika BENLAFKIR Morocco 2:38:40.5


About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The 2013 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed close to 44,000 participants in six races, including the Marathon, the Half-Marathon, the 10K, HTG Sports 5K, 2K and Y Kids Marathon. The Ottawa Marathon and Ottawa 10K are both designated Silver Label IAAF events by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). Run Ottawa, the organization behind the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, is dedicated to promoting the sport of running and enhancing the health and well-being of our community by organizing distinctive world-class and local races, and managing an active, membership-based running club. Information:


Annie Boucher

Media relations

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend


@runfuse  |   @ottawamarathon