CAF Marathon in Caracas to receive over 10,000 athletes

Caracas, April 22 (IANS) The fifth edition of the CAF (Andean Development Corporation — Development Bank of Latin America) Marathon which will be run on Sunday here will welcome 10,680 athletes, according to the event organisers.

Out of this number, 4,300 athletes will participate in the 42 kilometre category and 6,380 will run in the half marathon (21 kilometres), announced the president of the event’s organising committee, Luis Berrizbeitia, on Thursday, reports Xinhua.

The registered runners are from 36 nations but there will also be 34 elite athletes from Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, according to Berrizbeitia.

“Almost 300 foreign athletes from 36 nations will participate and we will issue cash prizes as a special bonus to runners from CAF member countries that manage to beat the time of two hours 15 minutes for men and two hours 40 minutes for women,” said the president.

Berrizbeitia made the announcement during a news conference in Caracas which was also attended by Venezuela’s Sports Minister Mervin Maldonado, and the President of the National Institute for Sport, Pedro Infante.

Berrizbeitia, who is also CAF’s vice president, outlined that the event will start very early on Sunday and the race will encompass four of the capital city’s municipalities — Libertador, Baruta, Sucre and Chacao.

Olympian Yolimar Pineda from Venezuela will be among the runners on Sunday. She won the 2011 edition of the race and has already qualified for the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

“My participation in the 42 kilometres will be routine and committed. However, winning is not the main aim of this race. That means that I will not run at 100 percent on this occasion,” said Pineda in reference to not tiring herself out so close to the upcoming Olympics in August.

Rio will be Pineda’s second Olympics as she also participated in London 2012, finishing in 94th position.

Other Venezuelans that will run on Sunday include Oswaldo Belandria, who won the marathon in 2013, Belgica Duque, Jennifer Rodriguez, Didimo Sanchez and Oscar Alastre.

The competition has been named Venezuela’s National Marathon Championship by the Venezuelan Athletics Federation and will also act as an Olympic qualifier for those who are still to win a ticket to the sporting event in August.

Colombian brothers Juan Carlos and Jose David Cardona are among the elite foreign athletes that will compete. They have won the last three editions. Leidy Tobon, also from Colombia, will compete to defend the title that she won last year.

The National Institute for Land Transit, Fire Brigades and Civil Protection are all involved in helping with the event. There will also be 35 ambulances, 16 fixed medical bays, 35 motorbikes for quick attention and over 800 CAF volunteers to ensure the event runs smoothly.

–IANS

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