Amane Beriso Shankule Wins 2023 World Marathon Title to Lead Strong Ethiopian Performances

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For everyday recreational runners who enjoy training in racing 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, or even marathons, the 2023 World Athletics Championships, which have been taking place all week in Budapest, Hungary, may not be all that interesting.

For as much as marathon runners and recreational runners are often deeply passionate about the sport of running and will talk anyone’s ear off about their own training and racing, competitive track and field at the elite level still doesn’t have as much viewership as many other professional sports.

Plus, racing on the track isn’t quite the same as road racing or trail running, which is the more common direction for recreational runners, masters runners, and even most competitive runners after possibly running track at a college or university.

Therefore, because the 2023 World Track Championships is almost entirely a track and field event rather than a road running race or trail racing expose, even die-hard runners may have only kept a very casual eye on the preeminent global running race that is the World Championships for track & field.

Amane Beriso Shankule Wins 2023 World Marathon Title to Lead Strong Ethiopian Performances 1

However, last night was the night for all marathon runners, distance runners, beginners who are just starting running, and anyone who has an appreciation for the splendor and challenge of the marathon race.

Although many runners aren’t aware that there is a marathon as part of the World Track Championships (World Athletics Championships) since nearly every single event otherwise takes place on the track or is a field event, there is indeed a road marathon as well.

Yesterday morning, Friday, August 25, 2023, at 7:00 a.m. local time, was the exciting morning for the 2023 World Athletics Championships women’s marathon in Budapest.

The morning in the Hungarian capital was warm and sunny, with temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and a muggy 73% humidity an hour or so into the race, and was in the low 80s by the end of the marathon.

Marathon runner extraordinaire, Amane Beriso Shankule from Ethiopia, victoriously broke the finish line tape to become the 2023 World Athletics Championships women’s marathon winner, finishing the 26.2 mile race in 2:24:23. 

Amane Beriso Shankule earned the gold medal in the World Champs women’s marathon, an esteemed honor and exciting accolade to add to her running résumé, which has been consistently bolstered with several other impressive running race performances over the past 12 months.

Most notably, Amane Beriso Shankule almost broke the women’s marathon world record in December at the 2022 Valencia Marathon where she took a surprising win with a blistering time of 2:14:58.

She also came in second place at the Boston Marathon this past April.

The 2023 women’s marathon champion Amane Beriso Shankule had 11 seconds on the runner-up finisher, the defending women’s marathon world champion, Gotytom Gebreslase.

Gotytom Gebreslase, who is also from Ethiopia, earned the silver medal in the 2023 World Marathon Championships, finishing in 2:24:34.

The final podium spot was snatched by Fatima Ezzahra Gardadi of Morocco, who earned the gold medal in the 2023 World Athletics Championships women’s marathon, finishing in a time of 2:25:17.

Rounding out the top five women were Lonah Salpeter from Israel and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who again, is from Ethiopia (we sense a trend…).

Both of these women also have notable marathon finishes to their names, with Lonah Salpete winning the bronze medal last year at the 2022 World Championships marathon in Eugene, Oregon, and Yalemzerf Yehualaw winning the London Marathon in 2022.

The top American finisher in the 2023 World Athletics Championships women’s marathon was Lindsay Flanagan, who finished in ninth place with a time of 2:27:47.

Unfortunately, popular favorite American Keira D’Amato, who triumphantly broke the American record in the half marathon last month in Australia, had a tough race due to pain in her leg.

She finished in a disappointing 17th place, crossing the finish line in 2:31:35. 

The third American in the women’s marathon, Susanna Sullivan, ran a time of 2:44:24, which was good for 58th place.

The 2023 World Champs women’s marathon started pretty conservatively, with a pack of about 26 women hitting the halfway point (13.1 miles) in 74:29. 

Shortly after the halfway point, the race finally began to shake up.

Kenyan runner, Rosemary Wanjiru, who won the Tokyo Marathon this year, finally made a move, throwing in a surge.

This whittled the pack down to about 14 runners by 25k.

At this point, all of the Americans had dropped off of the lead pack, and all four Ethiopian women were charging in the group of 14.

In fact, the Ethiopian women dominated the second half of the women’s marathon, with their green uniforms forming almost a wall up in front from about the 33k mark, eventually pulling away from all of the other competitors to take all four top spots.

However, Ethiopian runner Gemechu actually ended up dropping out shortly after, seemingly suffering from a side stitch and determining that she was out of contention for the medals.

Eventually, Amane Beriso Shankule opened more and more of a gap on her remaining two Ethiopian compatriots, and by 37 kilometers, Beriso Shankule was able to run the rest of the race unchallenged.

After a conservative start, Amane Beriso Shankule ran mostly negative splits for each subsequent 5k of the marathon.

For example, starting at the 20k to 25k, she split 17:16, then dropped to 16:36 for 30k, 16:08 to the 35k mark, and 16:15 to the 40k mark. She ran the last 2.2k in 7:33.

It will be interesting to see what she has in store for her marathon career in the fall and beyond.

Overall, it was not only a great race for Amane Beriso Shankule, but for the Ethiopian women at large.

You can find full results from the event and all of the future events at the 2023 World Athletics Championships this week here.

You can learn how to watch the World Athletics Championships here.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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