Monday, December 11, 2006

Aloha Ambesse

Ambesse Tolossa a member of the 2004 Ethiopian Olympic Men’s Marathon team and a fellow who achieved the unlikely feat of finishing 19th in two World Championship marathons won the Honolulu Marathon this weekend.

In the heat of Athens, the 2004 Ethiopian Olympics men’s team turned in a poor performance when Tereje Wodajo (I am sure there is a typo on his passport) finished 46th and highly regarded Hailu Negussie dropped out. The only decent performance was Ambesse Tolossa’s 15th place finish. Contrast that with the 1, 3 and 22 finish the men had in the on a crisp day in Sydney in 2000. The lack of success that Ethiopian runners have had in warm weather is another blog entry on its own. For Ambesse, who is undefeated so far this year this has been a breakout year winning the Tokyo Marathon Feb 12th in 2:08:56, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 4th in 2:10:08 and now the Honolulu Marathon in 2:13:32. The Honolulu time is decent considering that it’s a tropical marathon and the course is hilly. The course record is 2:11:12. The key is winning and winning races in warm weather.

Of all male Ethiopian Marathon runners Ambesse seems like the one guy that does well in warm weather and the successes Ambesse has had in this race and in June in San Diego are notable because these could be the seeds of a great performance in the sweltering summer heat of Beijing.

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