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Cardiff and Beirut 2017


The background story:

We wanted students up for a challenge… the challenge to complete the Cardiff Half marathon on the 1st October. The 5 applicants selected were Alice, Claudia, Oisin, Matt & Rachel.

But, why stop at Cardiff? Why not link with our partners in Lebanon? To add an international twist to the challenge, we are linking with Beirut’s Modern University for Business and Science (MUBS) and the Beirut Marathon.

MUBS have also chosen a team of students who will fly over to Cardiff to join our team and run the Cardiff half marathon…Then, in November, our students will hopefully head out to the Lebanon… to run the Beirut Half Marathon or… maybe even the full the marathon distance!

Dates for the diary:

  • 5th August, Cardiff Parkrun 5km Challenge
  • 3rd September, Cardiff 10km Challenge
  • 1st October, Cardiff Half Marathon
  • 12th November, Beirut International Marathon

Meet the Team

Alice Hunter
MSc Sport Coaching and Pedagogy


Reasons to run:

“…I want to run the half marathon because I’ve always said that one day I will… but never got round to it. It used to be a family tradition to go and watch the London Marathon and cheer everyone on; I was always envious of those people and really want to do it myself. So I saw this advertised and thought this would motivate me. However, since then, my partners’ father and my mum have been diagnosed with cancer, which is why I want to run for Macmillan, I’ve fundraised for them in the past through Swimathons and Cake Sales, but now I want to run! Fingers crossed, we can raise lots of money at the same time. They’ve provided our families so much support already and they do that for so many people.”

Claudia Papi
BA (Hons) English Language Teaching and Education


Reasons to run:

“…This experience represents a big challenge which I am sure will bring lots of benefits, both physicals and mental. Running has helped me a lot, it maintains my balance and clears my mind.I applied to this program because I wanted to put myself in the position of starting running at a higher level, as well as meeting new people. Thus, thank you very much for giving me the chance!”

Matthew Scott
BSc (Hons) Sport Conditioning, Rehabilitation & Massage


Reasons to run:

“I want to feel challenged. I want to feel like I achieved something. I want to feel out of my comfort zone…and I want to conquer.”

Keira Davies
BSc (Hons) Sport Performance Analysis


Reasons to run:

“I like to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something different. I thrive on facing new challenges and overcoming them, this one is the biggest yet. I have always wanted to run a marathon and this is the best opportunity I could possibly get to do it.”

Oisin Murphy
BSc (Hons) Sport Performance Analysis


Reasons to run:

“The reason why I want to do this challenge is because it’s something completely different from the sports I grew up with. Having never really competed competitively at any individual sports, I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to succeed at something that is in my own hands (obviously the extra motivation from the team is going to help in a big way also!)”

The Coach….

James Thie
Cardiff Met Performance Director for Athletics

  • Two-Time Commonwealth Games athlete.
  • Treble Master Champion.
  • GB Athletics Selector
  • UKA Official International Coach


“In the last few years, I have helped runners through the process for the BBC Wales programme ‘Alfie’s Angels’. I’m super excited to work with this team and it will be a rewarding challenge.”

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Edwin Kibet Kiptoo To Defend Blom Bank Beirut Marathon

It was an enormous surprise when Kenya’s Edwin Kibet Kiptoo won the Blom Bank Beirut Marathon a year ago but his victory in this IAAF Silver Label race blew his anonymity completely out of the water.


The 29 year old will now bear the pressure of being the defending champion when he returns to the Lebanese capital on November 12th for the 15th edition of this race.

“I remember something big,” he says of his initial trip to Beirut. “I didn’t expect to win the race, so, when I think back to Beirut, I just remember a big victory in my running career.




“It was a highlight in my running career, a day that I won’t forget in my life. I believe that when you train hard and are disciplined in all that you are doing in your daily life, you will get victories. I believe that being the boss over your own life will make you reach far.”


After a third-place finish at the 2016 Brighton Marathon, a race in which he set his personal best time of 2:11:29, he turned his attention to a an autumn marathon accepting an invitation to race Beirut. But the unseasonably warm day, 25 Celsius with no cloud cover, coupled with a difficult course meant his winning time was ‘only’ 2:13:19.



Recent changes to the course, including the removal of a lengthy and stamina-testing 14% climb along the Mediterranean coast, will certainly help this year’s field challenge the event record of 2:11:04 set by Jackson Limo in 2015. Certainly, Kiptoo believes he is up to the task.


He reveals his training has been going extremely well and he can certainly point to some fine results which have boosted his confidence. He won the Luxembourg Night Marathon on May 27th and then finished second in the Hamburg Half Marathon. More recently he came close to beating his personal best half marathon time of 60:11.

“My training this year had been going very well. On October 1st I won the Breda half marathon in 60:42,” he declares. “I feel the body is still strong and I was fresh when I finished the race. I am now counting down the weeks and doing my last part of the training towards Beirut. I am happy to defend my title.”




“My goal is to improve my time and also to retain my position of last year. Though I have pressure as defending champion, I know I can make it.”

Represented by the Dutch agency, Volare Sports, he trains in Iten, Kenya with a talented group of marathoners known as Mwisho wa Lami. The group includes Wilson Kipsang the former world record holder (2:02:23 best) and John Komen. The latter has a personal best of 2:07:13 a time that Kiptoo would certainly like to beat one day.


The Beirut Marathon now in its 15th year was founded by May El Khalil who remains Chairperson of the organization.


Ms. El Khalil was hit by a truck while out running 20 years ago and while enduring a lengthy hospital stay she conceived the idea of having an elite world class marathon in the Lebanese capital. World marathon record holders Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia), Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) as well as Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF have attended the marathon over the past three years an indication that interest in the event is growing at a phenomenal rate.


If Kiptoo were to win this year he would be the first man to repeat as Beirut Marathon champion since Ethiopia’s Mohammed Temam in 2010. Clearly, the $15,000 USD first place prize money would come in handy to a man nearing the end of his career. He has reasons to invest money earned through his racing.


“I am married and blessed with one son. His name is Kiplimo,” Kiptoo explains. “We live in Iten. I like staying with my family and spend time with them. I don’t travel mostly, unless I have a mission, like going to races.”



As the Blom Bank Beirut Marathon fast approaches the excitement builds. There is a new and faster course for the athletes to tackle but will there be a new men’s champion or can Edwin Kiptoo repeat? It will surely take an incredible performance to deny him.


By Paul Gains

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Meet the Elites running This May 21st
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“For me running is not just an exercise, a workout it’s a lifestyle, it’s a goal, it’s an overwhelming experience therefore you just have to work at it constantly and let it grow on its own.”  

Saradar Bank Women’s Race is an IAAF certified event, This May 21st these Elite Runners will be running the course of Jounieh. #أنا_معكي

slide 1

Rebitu Bontu Edeo

The Bahrani Rebitu Bontu Edeo, at the age of 20 had accomplished more than most can dream of. Her passion for endurance sports led her across the world, so she let her legs do the talking. She represented Bahrain at IAAF 10KM World XC, and was a champion of 2017 San Francisco XC-ESP. She also got the 5000m Bronze Medalist for the IAFF World junior championships in Poland 2016.

Personal best times:
Race: 1500m     Time: 4:07:55
Race: 3000m     Time: 9:08:67
Race: 5000m     Time: 15:25:12
Race: 10KM XC Time: 37:28 alt




slide 5

Chenah Rima

Chenah Rima, is an Algerian runner born on 11 Feb 1996 where she represented Algeria in the IAAF 10 KM World XC, and 5th Algerian National XC Trials for the IAAF World championships Selection.

Personal Best Times:
Race: 1500m       Time: 4:25:97
Race: 3000m       Time: 9:59:71
Race: 3000m SC Time: 10:06:96
Race: 10 KM XC   Time: 36:57 alt
And in May 21st she will be running in Saradar Bank Women’s Race.


Fatihia Bahi Azzouhoum

Bahi Azzouhoum Fatihia

Fatiha Bahi Azzouhoum, the 34 year old talented and dedicated Algerian runner will run Saradar Bank Women’s Race on May 21st. She is a participant for Algeria in Helsinki World Championships of Athletics, certified IAAF In her most famous performance, she crossed 3000mSC race finish line in 9:38.31 and scored the National Record of Algeria.

Personal Best Times:
Race: 3000m SC   Time: 9:38.31
Race: 1500m       Time: 4:08.88
Race: 800m         Time: 2:05.22



lea iskandar

Iskandar Lea

Iskandar Lea, the 22 year old Lebanese elite runner, made a name for herself throughout Jamhour Club, Knowing how to stay composed, ran constantly and stayed in the hunt towards the end of major events, where she was the winner of the 10K women’s Race in 2015, and the winner of the Half Marathon Overall Woman BLOM Beirut Marathon 2016. This year, Lea will be Running at Saradar Bank Women’s Race on May 21st.

Personal Best Time:
Race: 10K Race   Time: 38.57
Race: Half-Marathon   Time: 1:26




Maayouf Majida

Maayouf Majida, the 28 year old Moroccan Champion of the 2017 Memorial Jesus Luis Alos Huesca, Spain will be Running this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race

Personal Best times:
Race: 1500m   Time: 4:26:67
Race:10Km       Time: 34:58



final slide

El Gmiri Kebira

El Gmiri Kebira, is a Moroccan elite runner, born on 24 October 1983. She was the champion of the 2017 Berkane 10 KM – Merkane – Mar champion. Kebira will be also running Saradar Bank Women’s Race on May 21st.

Personal Best Times:
Race: 1500m   Time: 4:26:67
Race: 10 km     Time: 34:58

Hala el Murr

El-Murr Hala

Hala El-Murr, member of Let’s Run Club, participated in the Lebanese Championship 5 KM and finished at 20:20. The 37 year old Lebanese Athlete will run the streets of Jounieh this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race.

Personal best time:
Race: Half Marathon   Time: 1:34:50


Aregu Abbate

Aregu Abatte

Aregu Abatte, is an Ethiopian Elite Runner, born in 1987, she is a member of Inter-Lebanon club. she competed in the 10K Road Race, Nakåoura Race 2017 – Lebanon and finished in 38.32. Aregu Abatte will be running this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race.



Kalot Nadine

Kalot Nadine, is a Lebanese Elite Runner, member of Inter-Lebanon club. The 46 year old athlete will be running Jounieh streets this May 21st

Personal Best Times:
Race: 10K Nakoura 2017
Time: 42:45


Elite Runner, is about making your own attitude, not drawing lines nor diving between levels of runners.

Let’s Run Forward this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race. #أنا_معكي