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Bilal Awadah & Melissa Rizk Winners of the 4th Edition of ISF Wissam Eid International Half-Marathon - Record Participation
|Date: Sun, 27/02/2011|
Despite the stormy weather, which ravaged the country for the past 48 hours including race day Sunday 27th, 2011, over 400 runners of the 496 registered showed up at the start line of the 4th edition of ISF Wissam Eid International Half-Marathon in the “Chevrolet” area of Hazmieh at the very spot where Wissam Eid was cowardly assassinated 4 years earlier.
The “official” national defense, UNIFIL, and of course Veterans, Inter-Lebanon, Homentmen Beirut, Antonins and Blue Stars were strongly represented in this race. Jointly organized by the ISF and Inter-Lebanon under the patronage of General Ashraf Riffi, this 21.1K race has become an inescapable must do.
The finish line was within the ISF Mobile Force barracks in Dbayeh, and various national defense and security organizations were represented at the awards ceremony. The Commander in Chief of UNIFIL, General Assarta (whose wife took part in the race), joined Brigadier General Robert Jabbour, the spokesperson for the occasion representing ISF Mobile Force Commander General Ashraf Riffi. We were also honored by the presence of special guests LAF President Mir Abdallah Chehab, BMA President May el Khalil, representatives of MedNet and BANKMED, and last but not least, Major Wissam Eid’s parents.
Although each finisher was handed a commemorative medal, the first 3 of each age/gender category (as defined by the IAAF) were awarded trophies and monetary prizes.
As usual the Army runners dominated the men’s race, whereas Inter-Lebanon confirmed its uncontested supremacy on the women’s side. Bilal Awadah of the Lebanese Army came first, with a time of 1h 14m 01s beating his team mates Hussein Hajj Hassan and Malek Nasr by 1 second and 2 seconds respectively. Melissa Rizk, an Inter-Lebanon athlete, who already won the Lebanese Half-Marathon Championship, confirmed her leadership by clocking 1h 30m 45s, the 2nd best time of the year (after Pia Nehme at the ING Miami Half-Marathon) followed by her team mates Sonia Wansa Hanna (2nd overall) and UK Ambassador to Lebanon Frances Guy (3rd overall).
Although the race was pleasant in general, the clumsy handling of the timing by the LAF, who insisted on taking charge since they are legally and technically responsible for it, polluted the results to a certain extent. We have learned our lesson and from now on we will record timing in parallel with the LAF.