The first edition of the City Sports-Asics marathon has lived. Shadrack Kipkogey in 2 hours 18 minutes 56 seconds in the men and Too Mercy Jelimo in 2 hours 50 minutes 18 seconds in the ladies are the first winners of this Organized on October 29, 2017 in Douala. The event will have held the economic capital in a hurry for about 5 hours. The organizers are delighted with the way the event went. The federation, technical partner of the event this year, hopes for future editions to attract more foreign athletes. Reportage in Douala.
Here is the big day! The decor of the first edition of the international City Sport-Asics marathon has been finalized since the first hours of this Sunday, October 29, 2017. Act 1 takes place in the fourth arrondissement of the city of Douala close to the space that houses the works being finished of the second bridge over the river Wouri. The thousands of runners who start at 7 hours 22 minutes cross the beautiful work on its part open to traffic. Escorted and guided by the officials and the police force, the competitors are breaking into the five mainland districts that make up the economic capital of Cameroon. Also watched by television crews whose cameramen are mainly on motorcycles.
Miles away, on the other stage of events, another race is still waiting to be launched. This is the “family walk”, a test of 3 kilometers that 150 families must travel with as a starting point and arrival the seat of one of the sponsors City Sport, in Douala 1st. Things are lagging on this side. We must wait for the return of the group of organizers and officials who started the marathon on the bridge. Complaints emerge, one of the participants already dressed in his sportswear tells us his desire to give up. In order to keep athletes and the public entertained, an orchestra perched on a concert podium distills musical notes. Next door, on the boulevard where the arrival of the marathon will take place, the team of the private television channel Canal 2 International in charge of broadcasting the event live is activated.
The drones used to take the aerial views of the race are an attraction for the public. One scrutinizes with curiosity the movements that it carries out during the tests initiated by the operators who actuate them over the heads. After nearly an hour of waiting, the parents, their children and officials are finally set in motion. Soon after, many athletes will hit the boulevard, some trying to quench their thirst in vain. The image of the water cartons brought to the marathon’s main theater and those of the runners in the traffic illustrates the difficulty the organizers had in serving an irreproachable event.
The races continue in the arteries of the city. Relays follow one another in the family run, while in the distance, at the finish line, the first of the race is announced. The Kenyan Shadrack Kipkogey, bib number 1973, crosses the finish line at 9 hours 43 minutes. After blowing, recovered, he speaks. The East African Champion says he has already run several marathons in Canada, China, India and his home in Kenya. He came to Douala to win. “I was sure to win this race. I have been preparing for it every day, “he says, saying” good “is the organization of the first City Sport-Asics marathon. His immediate following, the Cameroonian Justelin Foimi finished his race 8 minutes after him.
He believes that he could have won if there had been this ugly wound contracted during a half-marathon held in Congo-Brazzaville. “My injury woke up from the 25th kilometer. I often poured water on my thigh to ease the pain that I felt. I tried unsuccessfully to accelerate towards the end and find the head of the race. The third of the men’s race, another Cameroonian named Oumarou Mohammad, recognizes the superiority of Kenyans. This former Cameroon Half Marathon Champion says that to beat Kenyan marathoners you have to train a lot.
Suggestion to take into account because under the eyes of a public amazed and admiring at the same time, a Kenyan will finish at the top of the women’s race. Too Mercy Jelimo completed his path in 2 hours 50 minutes 18 seconds. If the vice-president of the organizing committee, Ange Sama, greets the presence considered important Cameroonians on the podium, he bows to the power of Kenyans. “The victory of Kenyans is not really a surprise. I thought they would do both podiums in boys. I was very pleasantly surprised by our athletes who, at first, did not trust me.
were not happy that Kenyans were there. I told them that if they wanted to go forward they had to improve this important challenge. They should expect that there will be more and more foreigners so that there is a better performance, “warns the former president of the Cameroon Athletics Federation. 85% »When it comes to taking stock of the races, he talks about” a beautiful holiday “with a family walk that has succeeded. His teams and he receive the encouragement of the current president of the Federation Emmanuel Motomby Mbome. “We congratulate the organizers because they accepted the help of the federation. The technical aspect was supervised by the national technical direction.
This first edition was a success at 85%, “he rejoices, hoping that next year it will be truly international and that the” federation enters into force “in its organization. His most ardent wish is to see the international Douala marathon become more assertive. He hopes to see nationals from countries that have a great marathon tradition come on board. “We have witnessed that this has been a world class event. Sometimes when we talk about an event with an international rating, some say “no”. God wanted the two winners to be Kenyans and that it was a Congolese who was third in the women’s category. Next year we can have Americans, French and nationals of other major athletics countries like Ethiopia. All we can do is talk about this event.
“The podiums of the International City Sports-Asics Marathon of DoualaMessieurs1- Shadrack Kipkogey (Kenya) 2h18’56” 2- Justelin Foimi (Cameroon) 2h26’14 “3- Umarou Mohammad (Cameroon) 2h26’52 “Ladies1- Too Mercy Jelimo (Kenya) 2h50’18” 2- Nguelifack Stephanine (Cameroon) 3h00’09 “3- Ossou Wakey Jodele (Congo Brazzaville) 3h02’39”