Israel leads the way in humid half marathon

Takes the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in Netanya.

half marathon 224 88 (photo credit: Mark Albom)
half marathon 224 88
(photo credit: Mark Albom)
Israel led the way in the men's half marathon on Tuesday, taking the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in Netanya. The winner of the men's race was Zohar Zmiro who came in with a time of 01:10:31. He was closely followed by Dastaho Svanch at 01:10:41. Svanch described his joy, saying, "To be number two is very good, I am very happy." Third placed Asarat Mamo made it an Israeli clean sweep with a time of 01:11:46. However Mamo was attended to by paramedics after the race, complaining of stomach pains. Against a superb Israeli showing, the men's team from the USA also performed strongly with Brad Weiss taking fourth place. Jason Mahakian, also from the USA, finished 7th and said of the Israeli runners, "They were very fast, going well ahead right from the beginning we realized it was unlikely we could catch them." Jo Ankier from Great Britain took the Bronze in the women's race, however the Maccabiah had yet to confirm the women's placing by press time after some were placed in the wrong categories on their computers. Ankier was extremely pleased with her run saying, "I worked really, really, really hard on this race and am very pleased with how I did, although I did go off a little too fast at the start." Ankier's determination was embodied in the last mile as she sprinted in an attempt to take second place. A number of older competitors also ran, competing in the masters category. Andrew Cohen from Great Britain said of his race, "I'm absolutely exhausted but very glad to have finished the race." In another administrative error Maria Zotov, of Israel, had her time wrongly recorded as she was not assigned an electronic chip. However she was saved by American coach Evan Rowe who happened to take a picture of her crossing the line, providing proof of her correct finishing time. Zotov described Rowe as her "American angel", and the two were spotted swapping numbers following the race. The humidity of the Netanya evening did affect the runners, particularly those from cooler climates. Describing the weather conditions, Barry Biner of Canada said: "The humidity and heat made the race really tough." Ankier concurred noting that "We were taking water at every opportunity, as well as the humidity the course was very hilly."