Marathon champs returning for Race Weekend
Four former marathon champions are returning to challenge for honours in this months Bermuda Marathon Weekend, which will boast one of the highest number of competitors in its 38-year history.
Local runners who have yet to enter can still be part of the three-day running festival, but theyll need to get their running shoes on to enter before the extended online deadline ends later today.
As of mid-week there were 1,348 confirmed competitors expected to compete, with more than half of those coming from overseas.
Two-time womens marathon champion Elena Orlova is one of the elite athletes returning to compete.
Orlova, from Ukraine, is the reigning champion and also took top honours in 2010. In the elite field she will face 2011 champion Stephanie Hodge, of Canada, and last years runner-up Muliye Gurma (Ethiopia).
In the mens race there will be a duel between 2009 champion Teklu Terefera Deneke (Ethiopia) and 2010 champ Richard Tirop Kessio (Kenya). Also likely to be in the mix will be Ethiopias Fikadu Weyessa (formerly Lemma), who was among the last years elite field.
HSBC Bermuda has stepped in as the new title sponsors for the marathon, half-marathon and 10K road races. KPMG will once again be sponsoring the Friday night showpiece Front Street Invitational Mile races.
The race weekend starts next Friday, January 18. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Front Street Miles races, which were added to the multi-day running event in 1989.
Online entries for the HSBC Bermuda 10K race and walk and the HSBC Bermuda Marathon and Half-Marathon are being accepted today. To enter, go to the website www.bermudaraceweekend.com.
After today late entries can only be made at race number pick-up, at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel on Friday, January 18.
Entries for the triple-event Bermuda Triangle Challenge closed last month.