Kenya’s Hosea Tuei won the men’s 2019 Sofia Marathon on October 13 in a tight finish against Marocco’s Youssef Sbaai, while Ethiopia’s Hayelom Shegae won the women’s race.
Tuei made it a clean sweep of the 2019 Sofia Marathon series, having won the Varna and Stara Zagora marathons in spring, after narrowly pipping Sbaai to the finish line. Both runners posted a time of 2:15:59. Ethiopia’s Alemayehu Lema finished nearly a minute slower in third.
Tuei thus secured the Sofia Marathon series jackpot of 20 000 leva (about 10 200 euro), in addition to 8000 leva prize money for winning the Sofia race.
The fastest Bulgarian participant in the men’s full marathon race, which doubles up as the yearly Bulgarian championship race, was Dimcho Mitsov, who finished 10th with a time of 2:39:15. Mitsov also won the 2017 Bulgarian championship.
In the women’s race, Shegae won with a time of 2:35:36, ahead of Betty Chepkwony and Hildah Cheboi of Kenya, in second and third. Fellow Kenyan Ruth Matebo, the winner of the previous two editions of the Sofia Marathon, was six minutes off the winner’s pace and finished fourth.
Marinela Nineva was the fastest Bulgarian woman in the full-length marathon for a second year running, defending her national title with a time of 2:57:44.
(Left to right: Sbaai, Tuei and Lema after the race. Photo: KrisoK Photography via Sofia Marathon Facebook page)