Ethiopians Win Top 3 Places in the 11th Tel Aviv Marathon

Four Ethiopian runners, three of them visitors and one an immigrant, easily outpaced the competition Monday at the 11th Tel Aviv Marathon.

The annual race, sponsored by Hapoel, Histadrut’s sports club, was won by Degai Senger of Addis Ababa, who covered the 27-mile course in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 49 seconds, a local record.

It was his second Tel Aviv Marathon. But the 26-year-old Senger said it was below his normal time for the distance and he could have done better if he had more time to acclimatize.

He and two other Ethiopian competitors arrived in Israel Sunday night. They came in first, second and third.

Fourth place was taken by David Raskai, who has run in three Tel Aviv marathons since he immigrated to Israel four years ago.

Raskai’s time was 2 hours, 42 minutes and 50 seconds.

Only 125 runners took part in the grueling full marathon. The 21-kilometer “half marathon,” equivalent to about 13 miles, drew 2,500 competitors, and at least 10,000 runners took part in the 10-kilometer “mini-marathon.”

As in previous years, the event created horrendous traffic jams in Tel Aviv. Although police advised motorists without urgent business to avoid the city and its northern suburbs, the warning was either unheard or unheeded.

Thousands sat fuming in their cars for hours until the last runners crossed the finish line and the police removed their barriers from the city’s streets.

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