About the Lattelecom Riga Marathon
The Lattelecom Riga Marathon which is also known as the Rimi Riga Marathon is an annual road marathon which is held in Riga, Latvia. It was first started in 1991 and is a proud member of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). It secured entry into the AIMS in 2007. The main sponsor of the marathon from 2007-2014 was Nordea. This is a consortium of organizers of long-distance road-running races. The Lattelecom Riga Marathon is considered as a Gold Label Road Race by World Athletics. The marathon will start and finish at the Riga Castle. Its route involves the Old Riga as well as the Daugava river. It is via the Vanšu, Stone, and Island Bridges. This annual marathon runs through the beautiful architectural city of old Riga on the 11 November Embankment. It is one of the fastest growing marathons in Northern Europe.
There are many different racing options available. These include marathons of 42.195km, half-marathons of 21.0975km, 10 km, 6 km and other family runs. The organizing committee always checks the weather forecast ahead of time. There needs to be comfortable weather with a great atmosphere. In 2015 history was changed for the first time in the 25 years of the Lattelecom Riga Marathon. This was a key moment as Ethiopia won both the men’s and the women’s races. The IAAF Bronze Label Road Race was held on Sunday 17th May. In connection with for the third year consecutively the course record was broken in the men’s race by more than a minute. Haile Tolossa remained unparalleled by breaking this record with a PB of 2:12:29. He thus recorded the fastest marathon ever on Latvian soil. While previously three men ran well inside the course record.
Historical background of the Marathon
There are many awards and accolades that the Lattelecom Riga Marathon has been awarded since 2012. This includes the prestigious International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Bronze Label. At the moment this is the only marathon in Northern Europe to have received this award. By 2013 the number of participants reached 20 020 people from 65 countries. Amongst these 1278 managed to compete in the marathon distance. The marathon starts and finishes at the Riga Castle. After 2019 the winner of the race can even be awarded up to 15000 EUR in prize money. They also get a bonus if the previous distance record is broken. Money prizes are received by the best eight finishers. Apart from this there is an additional 2000 euros awarded to the highest placed Latvian runners in each of the distances.
In 2019, there were 25 659 participants in the Rimi Riga Marathon. These signaled five different distances from 82 countries. For many years the Lattelecom Riga Marathon held the Bronze Label status but was awarded the Gold label in late 2018. In 2020 the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers changed the in-person edition of the race on the day prior to the marathon weekend. This was due to the emergency and social distancing frenzy caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The same case was with the 2021 edition. The race was postponed from the weekend of 15th May to the weekend of 29th August. This was all a consequence of extreme safety concerns in covid-19. The 2021 Marathon winners for men’s category was Kristaps Bērziņš from Latvia. For the women’s category it was Amanda Krūmiņa also from Latvia. For the 2021 half-marathon Jānis Višķers from Latvia won in the men’s category. Kadi Kõiv from Estonia won in the women’s category.
Record breaking at the 2018 Riga Marathon
According to a 2018 report both the men’s and women’s race records were broken. This took place at the Lattelecom Riga Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday 20th May. Ayana Tsedat of Ethiopia took over the athlete Kenyan Silas Kiprono Too over the final two kilometers. This is when he was en route to his 2:11:00 victory. While Rono, who was shortlisted as one of the most favorite ones on the women’s side, won her race at 2:28:22. She is recalled to have just her pacesetter for company for most of the contest. Last year Bekelech Bedada Daba of Ethiopia set the mark for women’s races at 2:31:22. In 2016 Kenyan Dominic Kangor Kimwetich set the very last record of 2:11:45. Rono, a 34 year old female athlete, was well-recognized for her two second lead by 5 kilometers and extending it to 11 at 10 reached in 33:47. She clocked 1:11:31 at the midway point. This is how she managed to succeed by almost a minute-and-a-half just near her nearest competitor. On reaching the finishing line she was more than four minutes ahead of her opponent, runner-up Ethiopian Tigist Teshome. It was said to be Rono’s fastest performance since 2014 and very aptly the fourth fastest of her entire career.
Additionally the men’s race was a rigorous and enthusiastic three-man battle. This ensued between world-class runners: Tsedat, Too and Joseph Kyengo Munyoki. Very interestingly they were all well within race record pace at the halfway point, reached in 1:05:09. They ran together for nearly 14 more kilometers as the spectators’ eyes chased their movements on the track. However, after this Munyoki began to drift back as they approached kilometer 35. At that point the leaders followed strategic moves. They very smartly forged on nearly stride-for-stride until the 22-year-old Tsedat surpassed them all by his genius. Too was too surprised to respond to this clever move but held on for second, clocking 2:11:13. Munyoki won the battle for third as he was way back than the other two runners. He reached the line in 2:13:10 and was comfortably ahead of Evan Barkovet Kiplagat, who clocked 2:13:57. A record 37,645 participants from 78 countries participated throughout this weekend in the 2018 Lattelecom Riga Marathon.