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Beirut, Lebanon NOVEMBER 10, 2013

Benjamen Serem Rebecca Tallam
  BENJAMIN SEREM (2nd)             REBECCA TALLAM (3rd)

William Kipsang won to end a six-year Ethiopian winning streak in Beirut , He broke away from the leading group shortly after halfway and went through 30km in 1:33:56 with a 19-second lead over the five-man chasing group. By 35km his lead had grown to 39 seconds with Kenya's Benjamin Serem (OLYMPIA- ATC) and Sammy Malakwen, along with Ethiopia's Gemechu Lemma still together around 250m behind Serem then started to chase but could not quite reel him in. Race favourite Kedir Fekadu, who won last year in 2:12:57, was part of the chasing group at 30km but soon afterwards the Ethiopian started to struggle and he finished a disappointing seventh.

Women race was dominated by the two Ethiopian runners who took the lead after 8 km and  leaving the group of the women behind. Only Rebecca Tallam (OLIMPIA-ATC) tried to react and she tried to stay close to  the first two Ethiopians  but she could not close the gap. Rebecca run alone all the race  and she achieved to cross the finish line in 3rd position.
Temperatures reached an unseasonably warm 23°C and the course records were never threatened.

1.  William KIPSANG                KEN  2:13:34
2.  Benjamin SEREM                KEN  2:13:45 (OLIMPIA-ATC)
3.  Gemechu LEMMA                ETH  2:14:17
4.  Sammy MALAKWEN              KEN  2:14:47
5.  Stephen CHEPKOPOL             KEN  2:15:56
6.  Birhanu GEDEFA                 ETH  2:16:10
7.  Kedir FIKADU                   ETH  2:17:07
8.  Khalid LABLAQ                  MAR  2:17:57

1.   Rehime Kedir ROBEL            ETH  2:33:29
2.  Shuko Genemo WOTE            ETH  2:36:47
3.  Rebecca Jerotich TALLAM        KEN  2:41:07 (OLIMPIA-ATC)
4.  Ayantu DAKEBO                ETH  2:42:03 (OLIMPIA-ATC)
5.  Rahel Kebede SHIFEREW          ETH  2:47:25
6.  Mihiret Anamo ANTONIO          ETH  2:50:28
7.  Nicole ELIAS                   LIB  3:23:01
8.  Shannon MCNAMARA-SMITH       USA  3:23:50


First to cross the finish line on the Boulevard de la Croisette in Cannes were Ethiopia's Abdisa Sori among the men and Salina Jebet for the women.

A strongly gusting wind slowed runners in the second half.

In the women race, Jebet, the race favorite, won by a minute. Second was Genet Teka from Ethiopia and third GLADYS KWAMBAI (OLYMPIA –ATC) from Kenya who was at her debut in the marathon distance.

Gladys was very upset because she was ready to run a faster time but the strong wind made this goal impossible.

1  Abdisa SORI                    ETH  2:13:58
2  Edeo TELO                     ETH  2:13:58
3  Wosen ZELEKE                  ETH  2:14:13
4  Titus KURGAT                  KEN  2:16:00
5  Hadera ASAY                   ETH  2:18:01
6  Jacob KITUR                   KEN  2:18:12
7  Tsgabu GEBREMARIAM            ETH  2:18:18
8  Yared SHAREW                 ETH  2:19:28
9  Alelign MEHARY                 ETH  2:27:45
10 Francois HOLZERNY              FRA  2:30:51

1  Salina JEBET                   KEN  2:41:34
2  Genet TEKA                   ETH  2:42:32
3  Gladys KWAMBAI               KEN  2:44:12
4  Immaculate CHEMUTAI           KEN  2:48:48
5  Matilda JEPCHIRCHIR            KEN  2:53:13
6  Celine BOUSREZ                FRA  2:53:45
7  Sylvie QUITTOT                FRA  2:57:43
8  Tiina PURANEN                FIN  2:58:21
9  Ingrid LOPERGOLO              SWE  2:59:34
10 Elina JUNNILA                  FIN  2:59:44

ITRIPOLI, Lebanon - May 20, 2012


Another good result from our Top Runners.

On May 20 despite the critical situation of security in the region, finally the race, (already postponed by one week) took place in the roads of Tripoli. The course is measured by AIMS and certified by IAAF.

Temperature above 24 C was not ideal for a fast time but JUSTUS KIPRONO (KEN), took the lead from 10 k and left the pack behind, including the pace maker who was suffering from the heat. The group of challengers could not resist to his increasing pace and Justus cut the finish line with an impressive 63.30, new record of the race, and fastest time ever run in half marathon in Lebanon.

The men podium was filled up also with other two runners from Olympia: TAOUFIQUE EL BARROUMI (MOR) was second in 64.18 and the Ethiopian ALEMAYEHU SHUMYE TAFERE (64.19) took the third place after   fighting with the Moroccan till the finish line: one second only was the difference between these two athletes.

Women race was different, all the Top runners run together till 18 K and only at the end a group of three runners took the lead and start to increase the pace. Final time for the winner ALEM FIKRE KIFLE from Ethiopia was 75’.39, six second ahead of HAIMANOT ALEMAYEHU SHEWE (ETH) and third place went to the Kenyan MAGDALINE CHEMJOR. Also the women time under the previous course record.

All the athletes from Olympia’s team.

Italy - June 18, 2012


Olympia athletes, ZELALEM BACHA REGASA (ETH), HIRUT ALEMAYEHU GEBREMIKAIEL (ETH), JULIUS KIPYEGON (KEN) and HANNAH WANJIRU GATHERU (KEN) will travel this week to Italy for a period of 1 month to participate in different athletics events.

The athletes will be lodged in our partner center in Aviano (PN) and will be trained and managed by Maurizio Simonetti, former Italian champion in Mountain races and outstanding athlete of the 80‘s.

On Sunday 24th of June there will be the first competition in Telese Terme near Benevento, a 10 k road race.

The other following races will be:


29/06/2012  international track meeting


01/07/2012  half marathon mountain race


14/07/2012  “CORRI GONNESA”rad race


21/07/2012  international track meeting

Results will be posted after the race, hoping the athletes will confirm the positive trend started early this year.

MAY 7, 2012


Despite the poor performance of Albert Matebor wo suffered from a strong pain in the back just after few Km from the start line, the other olympia athete ALMEYEHU SHUMYE TAFERE finished in 9th position overall clocking his second best time of his career 2:09:09.
Both the athletes suffered from the cold weather and they could not perform at the best level.


Olympia Kenyan Athlete BENJAMIN SEREM took the 2nd place only few seconds away from the winner, also from Kenya.

1  Felix KIPKORIR                      KEN  2:16:25
2  Benjamin SEREM                   KEN  2:16:46 (OLYMPIA)
3  Jobo KHATOANE                    LES  2:16:49
4  Tsepho RAMARENE                LES  2:16:51
5  Ramolefi MOTSIELOA             LES  2:18:03
6  Paul Kipngeno KORIR            KEN  2:19:14

1  Samukeliso MOYO                ZIM  2:48:29
2  Ntahleng MASAILE               LES  2:54:03
3  Maleboheng MOFATA              LES  2:59:43


Heavy rain fell only fifteen minutes into the race and did not stop for most of the elite race. In the men's race a large group of Kenyan and Ethiopian runners gradually reduced to a face-off over the last few kilometres between Franklin Chepkwony, Shadrack Kemboi, Hailu Begashaw and Tesfaye Girma Bekele. Chepkwony proved strongest, breaking away to win in the penultimate kilometer.

HUSSEIN RUTTO from Olympia suffered from the cold weather and closed the race in position 6, time 2:13:51.

The women race went to Olympia athlete WORKNESH TOLA BIRU, who helped Nadia  Neuenschwander (Swiss) to qualify for the Olympic games until the penultimate kilometer when she strode away to win by 140m.

1  Franklin CHEPKWONY             KEN  2:10:58
2  Shadrack KEMBOI                   KEN  2:11:11
3  Hailu BEGASHAW                    ETH  2:11:14 
4  Tesfaye Girma BEKELE            ETH  2:11:28
5  Bernard Kipkemoi ROTICH      KEN  2:13:02
6  Hussein RUTTO                      KEN  2:13:51(Olympia)
7  Wilfred Kibet KIGEN               KEN  2:14:47
8  Kamau Michael CHEGE           KEN  2:15:32
9  Samson Mungai KAGIA           KEN  2:15:59
10 James Kipkosgei ROTICH       KEN  2:17:17

1  Workenesh TOLA                    ETH  2:31:24 (Olympia)
2  Maja NEUENSCHWANDER       SUI  2:31:56
3  Sheni Tigist ABDI                    ETH  2:34:40
4  Jasmin NUNIGE                       SUI  2:44:29
5  Olivia KURTZ                           SUI  2:50:13


Another victory for Olympia athlete ALEMTSEHAY HAILU KAKISSA from Ethiopia.

Alemtsehay won the women race despite the very hot weather condition. Time was not very fast (2:48) but this is not a fast marathon race and the important for Alemtsehay was to secure the first position!


The sequence of positive results for the olympia athletes continues also in Trieste.

Both men and women race victory went to olympia’s athletes.

VICTOR KIPRONO KIMELI from kenya ran shoulder to shoulder with the Italian champion Megidio Bourifa till the 35k, when he decided to increase the pace and to leave the Italian runner behind to close in the second position overall.

The vicotry in the women race went also to the olympia athlete REBECCA JEROTICH TALLAM, at her second victory in Italy after Verona Marathon in 2011.
Her final time was 2:37:10 almost 3 minutes ahead of the Italian runner Elisa Stefani.

Now we are waiting for the  results from the next races in May.

Goteborg Half Marathon on May 12 will see the return of the defending champion 2011 Albert Matebor. Albert is also the record holder of the race.

The following day in Lebanon Olympia athletes will run in Tripoli Half Marathon race and they will try to estabilish the new course record in both men and women race.

Please follow up the next news.

Peuerbach, Austria    December 31, 2011

The first great victory of the day went to an Ethiopian: Asmerawork Bekele Wolkeba won in 16:24,2 minutes the "race of aces" of women. Wolkeba ( 20-year-old ) has already won in 2009 and 2010 in Peuerbach.  

The winner Asmerawork Bekele                       Second place Alem Fikre

The Ethiopian ran strong from the start of the race in the top group, along with her compatriot Alem Fikre Kifle and the top German runner Irina Mikitenko. The 23-year-old Kifle-Alem ran just barely behind (16:24,6). Workeba across the finish line, Mikitenko was third (16:31 minutes). Andrea Mayr, until halfway through the race the top three still quite low on the heel, ended up on rank 4 (16:46 minutes). Fifth was Denise cancer from Germany, landed in sixth Agatha Strausa from Latvia. Sonja Stolic from Serbia, which holds with 15:55,71 minutes since 2002, as Eighth reached the goal.

Was at 15.05 with the Aces run of the men finally started the highlight of the day. And the absolute star of the race, world record holder Leonard Komon of Kenya, came, saw and won: in the 23-year-old dominated the race from the start lasting 8 rounds. Along with his compatriot and training partner Josphat bed and the two Ethiopians Zelalem Bacha Regasa (OLYMPIA) and Millyon Yehwalaeshet Zewdie(OLYMPIA).

Third  place Miliyon (long sleeves T-shirt)

The intra-African duel between Kenya and Ethiopia finally decided for Komon, who won in 18:51,0 minutes. In second place was junior world champion from Kenya Josphat bed (18:58,1), third place for the OLYMPIA athlete Millyon Yehwalaeshet Zewdie of Ethiopia (18:59,5).

Detail: The 22-year-old Zewdie was only two days before the race even pulled a tooth, after being plagued shortly after his arrival in Austria from severe pain.

Thunderous applause donated euphoric cheering spectators not only to Africans, but also after each round of Günther Weidlinger, a seven-time race winner, still the crowd favorite in Peuerbach. Weidlinger landed behind another OLYMPIA athlete, the Ethiopian Zelalem Bacha Regasa 4th place in 19:22,3 minutes.


Beirut, Lebanon NOVEMBER 27, 2011

Both the men’s and women’s event records tumbled at the 9th edition of the BLOM Beirut Marathon on Sunday.

Ethiopian Tariku Jufar clocked 2:11:14 to win the men’s title of this IAAF Bronze Label Road Race ahead of Kenyans Sammy Malakwen and James Rotich.
The women’s course record was also broken by the first fith finishers: Ethiopian Seada Kedir with a time of 2:31:38, with second place going to her countrywoman Bizunesh Urgeza Mohammad with Syltan Pretot from France in third.

Olympia -ATC athletes took respectively the 5th place in men category with Mohammed Temam and the 4th, 5th and 6th place in the women category. Sisay Measso (5th place under the previous course record) ran her fastest time ever in her career.
Hussein Awada, the current Lebanese marathon record Holder took the 10th position overall.
Hussein will be trying next year to run the minimum qualifying time to gain the ticket for the Olympic Games.

Leading Results:


1. Tariku Jufar, Ethiopia                    2:11:14
2. Sammy Malakwen, Kenya            2:11:31
3. James Rotich, Kenya                     2:13:16
4. Stephen Chepkopol, Kenya           2:13:27
5. Mohammed Temam Husein, Ethiopia  2:13:37  (OLYMPIA-ATC)
6. Loritenyang Pkumun Meke, Kenya   2:13:55
7. Larbi Es-Sraidi, France                   2:14:42
8. Solomon Molla, Ethiopia                2:17:37
9. Julius Kilimo, Kenya                      2:18:17
10. Housein Awada, Lebanon             2:25:06


1. Seada Kedir, Ethiopia             2:31:38
2. Bizunesh Urgeza Mohammad, Ethiopia     2:32:52
3. Syltan Pretot, France               2:33:07
4. Diana Lobacevske, Lithuania    2:34:16 (partnership with OLYMPIA-ATC)
5. Sisay Measso Arsedi, Ethiopia               2:36:22 (OLYMPIA-ATC)
6. Etaferahu Tarekegn Getahu, Ethiopia  2:38:47 (OLYMPIA-ATC)
7. Nesrine Njeim Leene, Lebanon                 3:09:09



Our UFA-olympia athletes ASMERAWORK BEKELE WOLKEBA, ZELALEM BACHA REGASA, WILLIAM KIBOR are currently in Italy for a period of 2 months to participate in different athletics events.

The athletes are lodged in our partner center in Aviano (atletica Triveneta) and are trained and managed by Maurizio Simonetti, former Italian champion in Mountain races and outstanding athlete of the past.

On Saturday 30th of July our three athletes got great results in two different races.

Asmerawork and Zelalem were invited to the International track meeting “Terra Sarda” citta’ di Arzana.

Asmerawork set the new PB and CR with a very impressive time of 9’.04” in the 3000 m W race, while Zelalem set his new PB in the 3000 m as 7’,57”.

On the same day but in Agordo (BL), William Kibor was the winner of the 25th edition of the international road race “ Le miglia di Agordo” preceding famous athletes on the finish line.

A very glorious day for our UFA- Olympia athletes, confirming the positive trend started early this year.


Albert Matebor running to the Finish Line in GOLD COAST Marathon 2011

Another impressive result from our Top runner Albert Matebor. ALBERT KIPLAGAT MATEBOR .

On July 3 albert cut the finish line in 2nd position with a very impressive time of 2:10:12, the 3rd fastest time ever run in this marathon event. Despite a small physical problem occurred just one week before the departure to Australia, Albert ran side to side with Nicholas Manza till 37 k where Manza took an advantage of 150 m and he kept it till the end. Both the athletes lost the jackpot of 25,000 USD set by the organizer for a finish time under 2:10:00. Manza finish time was 2:10:02.

Albert is confirming once again the positive trend started on the beginning of the year when in Verona he set his new PB as 2:09:16; Albert ran three races in 2011: he took the 1st position with new course record and new PB in two events (Verona marathon and Goteborg half)and the 2nd position here in Australia.

In the same race ALEMAYEHU SHUMYE (Marathon best time 2:08:46) got a small injury in the second half and despite he was fighting to keep the position in the first group of runners,  he was obliged to drop out. Now he is fully recovered and he is training hard in preparation for a European marathon in October.

Our  UFA-olympia athletes will run in October in Frankfurt and Ljubljana marathons in Europe.



We are now getting used to get good results from UFA-OLYMPIA athletes, but was we witnessed on last Sunday in Verona is something not expected at all. The Elite athlete field was really very competitive with more than 18 invited runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda and Italy.

ALBERT KIPLAGAT MATEBOR set new PB and new CR by lowering the time by more than 3 minutes and stopping the clock at 2:09:16. Thanks to Albert, now Verona marathon is becoming one of the fastest marathon races in Italy and will attract more runners in the next edition of the race. He also run with negative Split running the second half of the marathon 1 minute faster than the first half!

We welcome Albert in the club of sub 2:10 UFA-OLYMPIA marathon runners, joining ALEMAYEHU SHUMYE (2:08:46)!

In the same race another two UFA-Olympia runners set new PB: MOHAMMED TEMAM was 3rd in the men race with new PB of 2:12:45 and REBECCA JEROTICH TALLAM lowered her PB by 4 minutes running in 2:35:56 and Winning the women race. The women podium was completed by ETAFERAHU TAREKEGN and MIHRET ANAMO, both from UFA-OLYMPIA.


UFA-0lympia Athletes repeted the success of last year in Austria and Swept the podium in Peuerbach. Friday 31th December 2010

Another important results in Austria in the classical race of the new year eve: The Silvesterlauf international in Peuerbach.

 UFA Olympia athletes got the 3 top positions in the women category and 2 and 3 and 8 places in men.

Asmerawork Bekele Wolkeba won for the second year in a row the women race (5100m distance), fighting till the last lap with her team mates from Ethiopia and preceding on the finish line Zewdinesh Gebreyes Weldehana and Birtukan Fente Alemu. The race was never in contention with the Olympia team heading out at the lead of the race and taking it all the way to the finish.

Men race (6800m distance) was more difficult for the UFA-Olympia athletes since the winner of last year edition Abere Chane Lema and Zelalema Bacha Regasa had to fight with the Morrocan El Ghadi Najim who took the leadership from the beginning of the race and he consolidated an advantage of 20 second. The Moroccan resisted till the end of the race in first position despite the increasing pace of the two Olympia athletes in the 3 final laps of the race and he cut the finish line in front of Zelalem Bacha; Abere Chane was third!

In any case the men top results for the UFA- Olumpia athletes came unexpected since the field was very competitive, including also Ezekiel Kemboi from Kenya, former winner of the Athens Olympic Games in 3000m SC and winner of the World Championship in Berlin in 2009! ….a real triumph for the new partnership with UFA sponsorship that close the positive sequence of results achieved in 2010!

Watch out for the results in January when the UFA-Olympia athletes will open the 2011 season with an Indoor meeting in Russia and with the International cross country race in Villa Lagarina, Italy!

Leading Results:

MEN -6800m 8 LAPS
1. El Ghadi Najim, MOR                 18:53 
ZELALEM BACHA, ETH               19:08  (UFA-OLYMPIA)
3. ABERE CHANE, ETH                    19:06  (UFA-OLYMPIA)

4. Ghunter Weidlinger, AUT          19:10                      

5. Eric Kipkemei Chirchir, KEN       19:23                   


8. ASSEGID TESHOME , ETH           19:40 (UFA-OLYMPIA)

WOMEN -5100m 6 LAPS
2. ZEWDINSH GEBREYES, ETH           16:36     (UFA-OLYMPIA)
3. BIRTUKAN FENTE, ETH                   16:37     (UFA-OLYMPIA)
4. Angeline Nyiransabimana, RWA   16:43

5. Andrea Mayr, AUT                           16:51

UFA-0lympia Athletes Sweep all the top positions in BLOM Beirut Marathon 2010.
Sunday 7th November 2010

The new sponsorship partnership between UFA Assurances and Olympia Altitude Training Center continue to bring success to the center's athletes: this time UFA Olympia team swept the podium in BLOM Beirut International Marathon winning first and second places in the men's marathon and first, second in the women's race as well. UFA Olympia Lebanese Athlete HUSSEIN AWADAH was 7th place overall and 1st place Lebanese category; with a perfect conduct of the race he was cable to break the national marathon record and set the new score to 2:20:31, 5 second ahead of the previous national record.

The great result was achieved thanks to Mekasha Tsegaye, who paced Hussein through the entire race course: both the Olympia athletes trained together in Ethiopia for a period of five weeks at Olympia altitude training center in Addis Ababa.

 The course was slightly modified from previous editions and the race very well organized. The race was never in contention with the Olympia team heading out at the lead of the race and taking it all the way to the finish. Also the 4th, 5thand  6th position in men category was for olympia athletes. 4th place in women was also gained by olympia as well….a real triumph for the new partnership with UFA sponsorship!

OLYMPIA Athlete Mohamed Temam hangs
on to win the 2010 Beirut Marathon

UFA-0lympia Athletes Sweep the Amman Podium Friday 22nd October 2010

In a stunning introduction to the new sponsorship partnership between UFA Assurances and Olympia Altitude Training Center the center's athletes swept the podium in Amman International Marathon winning first, second and third places in the men's marathon and second and third place in the women's race, breaking the course record in doing so. And the 10km race was a similar story, with the UFA-Olympia standing proud on 1st place both male and female. The athletes were powered to victory in Spira's innovative and groundbreaking technology shoes.

 The course was slightly modified and the race well organized. The challenge in Amman is that 50% of the race is an inclination at 650m above sea level, but the sights, sounds and smells of Amman conjure up visions of the ancient empires that went before. The race was never in contention with the Olympia team heading out at the lead of the race and taking it all the way to the finish.

Spira® Runner Paul Ngeny wins Disneyland Half Marathon and Sets Course Record!

Hello everyone,

We are please to report that Spira runner Paul Ngeny, 31, of Auburn, California won first place overall and in the men’s open division in 1:07:25, a time that beat the previous course record for the Disneyland Half Marathon by 41 seconds. Over 14,000 registered participants ran 13.1 miles through the two Disneyland Resort theme parks, then onto the field of Angel Stadium, where they were cheered to the finish line by Disney characters and the “ChEAR Squad,” creating an exciting race event for both runners and bystanders.

“The course was very nice and comfortable,” Ngeny said. “I liked running through the parks and all the music. I could keep on going for a hundred miles.” Ngeny said he enjoyed the race and looked forward to go on the rides. “This is a very beautiful place,” NGeny said.

InSPIRAtional athlete Javier Cruz from Bakersfield, California competed once again in Spira for the third year in a row. Cruz captured first place in the men’s 45-49 division in 1:21:00, finishing 23rd overall. Cruz is a featured athlete on Spira’s InSPIRAtional Stories page of our website.

In the wheelchair crank (handcycle) division, InSPIRAtional athlete Kirstie Honeywill-Sykes, 35, of Celebration, Fla., was the women’s first finisher in 1:06:51. Honeywill-Sykes sported the Spira yellow Stinger Racing shoes as she soared to the finish line. She said that the lightweight shoes are very helpful in competitions.

An extremely popular race, registration for participation in the Disneyland Half Marathon closed in May, 2010, because it was filled to capacity. The Weekend events also included a 5K fun run, followed by kids’ races (also sold out) and a health and fitness expo. Dates for next year’s Disneyland Half Marathon have already been set for Sept. 2 – 4, 2011. Registration is scheduled to open Jan. 2, 2011.

Congratulations to these InSPIRAtional athletes!

Best regards,






She gained the 4th position overall beating some of the most strong athletes in this field.


The race was won by the Kenyan athlete Purity Cherotich who left 2 other team mates behind in the last 200 m of the race.
Olympia athletes got the 5th and 6th position setting their best time ever in the distance:

Zewdinesh 6th in 9.04.36 and Birtukan 7th in 9.04.87, new PB for both the athletes.





FOR ZEWDINEH AND BIRTUKAN ANOTHER PB, only one day after their new PB in 3000m: ZEWDINESH WAS SECOND IN 4.18.65.

In the same meeting in the 5000m men, 3 UFA OLYMPIA ATHLETES WERE IN THE FIRST 5 POSITIONS:
ZELALEM BACHA 3rd IN 14.08.04
DEBELU NIGUSU 5th IN 14.14.38

Jim Tompkins Named President of Spira® Footwear

Spira® Footwear, Inc.


Jim Tompkins Named
President of Spira
® Footwear

EL PASO, TEXAS (August 9, 2010) — El Paso-based Spira® Footwear announces the hiring of Jim Tompkins, the former President and Chief Operating Officer of New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., as President of the patented WaveSpring-inspired Spira brand.

Spira ® Valencia Cut-Away

For the past year, Tompkins has served in an advisory role to direct the development and expansion of product at Spira. Tompkins' unique leadership delivered positive results in numerous executive positions, both in the United States and Europe for 25 years at New Balance. He served the past nine years as President and Chief Operating Officer until stepping down in June 2009. When Tompkins took the helm in December of 1999, New Balance employed more than 2,000 people and reported worldwide sales in 1998 of $630 million. Under Tompkins' leadership, New Balance doubled its global workforce and reported worldwide sales in 2008 of $1.63 billion.

Spira founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Krafsur initially hired Tompkins as a consultant to oversee product design, development, sourcing and manufacturing, and to spearhead by the company's state-of-the-art energy return and suspension system — compact WaveSprings embedded in the midsole — and guide it to compete head-to-head with the industry's dominant multinational corporations.

“We're very excited to have Jim serve as President of Spira. He is one of the most well liked and respected executives in our industry and provides a unique combination of experience, leadership, passion and integrity,” said Andy Krafsur.

Spira offers Tompkins the rare opportunity to transform a revolutionary, under-the-radar shoe company into an industry powerhouse.

“The WaveSpring technology offers a unique opportunity to fine tune cushioning and energy return. With a credible technology and passionate Spira workforce, the potential for explosive growth is in place. I am excited to bring my expertise to the brand,” Tompkins said.

We are excited to have Jim as part of the Spira® team!

Tizita Bogale of Ethiopia holds off Ireland's Ciara Mageean in the women's 1500m final

Ethiopia's Tizita Bogale duly won the race but Ciara Mageean with a stunning performance managed to upset the expected African domination when winning the silver medal ahead of Nancy Chepkwemoi on the final day of the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships at the Stade de Moncton.

Bogale after dominating her semi final, proved the stronger in the finishing straight to produce a PB 4:08.06 as she pulled away from the unrated Irish athlete with Kenya's Nancy Chepkwemoi struggling behind them clocking 4:11.04.

"This is my first time competing at the Championships and I'm delighted to have won it," said Bogale. "The race was very competitive. There was a fierce struggle for the win and I am happy to withstood all that."

Indeed Bogale's victory the first for her country since Abebech Nigussie's success a decade ago, was nearly thwarted by the Mageean who ran an incredible metric mile.
Mageean who set an unheralded National record of 4:15.46 a year ago in Finland and who only came into contention in the last 500m of the race, reduced that mark to a fantastic 4:09.51.

Asmerawork Bekele who came into the race as the fastest performer but has been ill recently finished last. The Ethiopian struggling from the beginning of the race at least finished and her time of 4:30.02 was nowhere a true reflection of her ability for the future.

Olympia Athletes win again! A Double for Bekele and Bogale in Spain.

1st and 2nd place in the prestigious 6th Meeting Iberoamericano in Huelva – Spain.

Azmerawork Bekele – just won the 1500m Women race– in a time of 4:08:30 – setting a new meeting record (aged just 18)

Tizita Bogale Ashame – came second in a time of 4:08:78 (aged 17)

They are now 2nd and 3rd in the IAAF world junior ranking 2010 and they are selected for the World Junior Championship in Canada in July.  Both the athletes are sponsored by SPIRA, our technical partner.

These athletes are now on a tour of European Meetings and on Saturday 12th June will compete in Torino, Italy.

In the same meeting we will have also the international debut for Zelalem Bacha Regasa in 5000m Men race; he is one of Olympia’s athletes belonging to the “Poor No More” program.  

The quality of athletes coming out of Olympia Altitude Training Center in Addis Ababa, East Africa are of world class standard at all distances. The marathon field is led by Mizuno sponsored athlete Alemehyu Shumye with a personal best of 2:08 in Frankfurt during the Fall.

Olympia ATC is not only a center for Elite Athletes but an “open to all” residential training center located at 2600m above sea level in the highlands of East Africa. Specialized programs are created for each resident and are followed by the best coaches in Ethiopia. Through dedication to short training sessions of 24 days serious athletes at any level can naturally enhance their performance by as much as ten minutes off their personal best in the marathon distance, and see remarkable improvements at any other distance.

Olympia ATC also has a charity program called “Poor No More” which selects underprivileged youths with running potential and supports them in their training and education – read more on our website.  

For more information contact antonionannoni@hotmail.com or visit our website at www.olympia-atc.com

Spira elite runners overcome bomb scare to win the Pittsburgh Marathon

Alena Vinitskaya won the women’s fields and Nikolay Kerimov won the master’s division last Sunday at the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon despite the threat of a suspected bomb scare.  A suspicious device near the finish line prompted police to stop the race ten minutes after the men’s winner crossed the finish line.  However, bomb squads disabled what is now believed to be a microwave.  The disruption came a day after a car-bomb scare in New York emptied Times Square.

The event had a record number of participants as 16,000 people took to the streets of Pittsburgh on a rainy and damp day.  The race was interrupted after police found the suspicious microwave on the sidewalk.  Both the marathon and half marathon courses were routed in a different direction while the bomb squad studied the object.  Despite the scare, race times and distances were not affected.

Spira elite runner, Alena Vinitskaya of Belarus, Russia won in 2:42:33.  After running most of the race with American Phoebe Ko, Vinitskaya made her move at mile 15 and went on to win the race from there in 2:42:33.  Spira elite runner Nikolay Kerimov from Gainesville, Florida won the master’s division title finishing at 2:33:12.

Congratulations to Vinitskaya and Kerimov for these outstanding victories--not even the bomb scare could prevent another Spira win!

Olympia Altitude Training Center Addis Ababa does it again

Olympia Altitude Training Center Addis Ababa does it again… powered by Spira! The Cracow Marathon was fought out on Sunday 25th April, an auspicious date, sharing the glory with the London Marathon. While their finish time in London was 2:05 the Cracow Marathon boasted a more modest 2:16 for the men and 2:37 for the women; the day in Cracow was very windy and therefore the race was not as fast as expected…. but First Place is First Place!.

The runners were powered by the amazing Spira Technology shoes and clothes, and were able to see off a competitive field. The power of the Spira shoes is in the wave spring technology used in the sole of the shoe. Springs are used instead of gel or air pockets and return a percentage of the energy back to the runner.

“Olympia continues to grow and develop athletes all over the world… watch out for more victories together with our partners Spira!” declared Antonio Nannoni, the Altitude Training Center Director.

Lebanese Awada trains in Africa for Zurich Marathon

The Beirut Marathon Association is supporting the Lebanese National Men’s Marathon Champion in his push towards the Zurich Marathon in April… it is expected that he will break the Men’s national record when he runs there…

Hussein Awada is an outstanding runner, holding many of the nation’s records in long distances, and having just broken the National Half Marathon record in Limassol in February 2010… a record that has stood for 12 years.

Awada is currently in the Olympia Altitude Training Center in Addis Ababa East Africa, being coached by the top level Ethiopian coaches and living and running at altitude with a great effort to break his previous personal best of 2:20:24

Watch out for more as Hussein strives towards qualifying for the Olympic Games in London England, in 2012!

RAK Half confirmed as the Place to Race

A windless and sun-bathed spring morning in Ras Al Khaimah greeted the record field of over 2,000 entrants on Friday for the 4th edition of the RAK Half Marathon, but although the 7.20am start was designed to suit the massed elite ranks, it was a day of "merely" fast times, not records.

That's actually not strictly true, as in a stunning half marathon debut, Turkey's double Olympic silver medalist Elvan Abeylegesse tore through the last 6km, after a stuttering first 15km, to set a new course record of 1:07:07 defeating a stellar field of top road racers including several more fancied former compatriots from Ethiopia. The first eight women dipped under 69 minutes confirming the strength in depth.

In the men's contest, the expected challenge of Deriba Merga (ETH) faltered as the prolific racer and regular front runner inexplicably stepped off the road at 18km when the pack had reduced to four, opening the way for yet another Kenyan win, this time Geoffrey Mutai taking the honors in 59:43. The first four men broke the hour however, strengthening RAK's reputation as a venue for lightening quick times.

For Abeylegesse, her post-race comments suggested a hidden frustration, "If the pace had been faster and steadier, my time could have been a lot quicker. I felt easy at 15km (48:03) and it was only then I decided to start pushing the pace."

After working under Croatian coach Nicola Boric for just ten weeks, this was an important career move for the tiny 27 year old who understands and speaks better English than her naturally shy demeanor lets on. She insisted after the race that her marathon debut would still have to wait till after the 2012 Olympics, but did admit to being excited by what more she can do over this new distance.

The early pace (16:02 for 5km) was disappointing in the perfect conditions (18C at the start), but hopes rose of something special as the big pack passed 10km in 31:54 (a 15:52 split). However, 15km in 48:03 meant a 16:09 split and any chance of a shot at the targeted world record (66:25, Lornah Kiplagat, Udine 07) was gone. At that point, the group of six included the winner, and five Ethiopians, Teyba Erkesso, Aselefech Mergia, Koren Yal, Mare Dibaba and defending RAK champion Dire Tune.

Just as Tune had turned the screw in the late winds that spoiled last year's record attempts, firstly Erkesso then Abeylegesse, the only track specialist in the group, picked up the pace with the latter ripping a 15:44 split to 20km to test her far more experienced rivals. Surprisingly while Tune dropped back quickly, it was Dibaba and Mergia who hung on the longest, though even they couldn't live with the withering home straight surge from the Turk.

While Abeylegesse's winning time is the quickest debut ever, Dibaba improved her own best to 1:07:13 as runner up, with ever consistent Mergia third place breaking new ground in 1:07:22, beating her personal best from last year's RAK runner up performance. Teyba Erkesso - also a lifetime best - and Dire Tune followed through under 68 minutes, with Atsede Habtamu (ETH), Hilda Kibet (NED) and Agnes Kiprop (KEN) all under 69 minutes. Ten miles had been passed in 51:28, only twelve seconds outside Colleen de Reuck's 51:16 world best.

Such has been the quality of the men's running in each of the three previous years at RAK, that Mutai's performance seemed almost anti-climactic, but as in the women's race, the early pace did the main protagonists no favours and a sense of "what might have been" prevailed. In 2007, the unheralded Sammy Wanjiru won in 58:53; in 2007 Patrick Makau took the first of two consecutive titles, in 59:35, followed by a 58:52 course record twelve months later - still the No.2 performance all time

And now this - a 59:43 clocking, though not a personal best for Mutai, seen as a relative failure in only the fourth year of the event; how so? Well conditions were perfect, but the pack chose to ignore the pace making and as in the women's contest, started cautiously, with Jairus Chanchima (59:43 in Lille last September) leading a pack of thirteen through 5km in 14:04 - already 14 seconds outside of schedule. Thirteen became seven at 10km (28:11) by which time all thoughts of a world record had gone, the 14:07 split for that 5km continuing the theme. At this stage, an unusually restrained race from Deriba Merga meant no-one was prepared to push on and the subsequent splits times of 42:33 at 15km (a 14:22 5km, six in contention) and 56:52 at 20km (14:19, four left in it) made even the one hour mark look precarious. Almost unnoticed en route, ten miles had been passed in 45:45

For 28 year old Mutai however, this was a further indicator that he's a man to watch. Last November he won the Valencia Half in 59:30, and here he had the confidence to be the first to start pushing the pace at around 18km. Complaining afterwards that the humidity was high, he none the less controlled the last mile, burning up the last 1.097km in 2:51 for a six second win from debutante - though established marathon runner - Tadese Tola, who's 59:49 is some debut! Titus Masai (KEN) with 59:51 set a personal best, having run 60:00 exactly in Nice last April, and the fourth man under the hour was Getu Feleke (ETH) with 59:56, another lifetime best.

The temperature climbs rapidly in RAK on spring days and the window of opportunity at the start of the day is narrow. In both races this year, the sense of an opportunity missed was almost tangible, yet the tiny Emirate served up two great races, fast times, a thirty percent increase in the overall field size, and over a quarter of a million dollars in prize money. No wonder its reputation amongst the global elite as "the place to race" is enhanced; without doubt, a number of records in RAK, are living on borrowed time.

Jelila continues winning streak, unknown Jida takes shock men’s title - Sululta Cross Country -  24 January 2010


Koreni Jelila (ETH) (Elshadai Negash)


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Koreni Jelila, the 2009 Ethiopian Airlines Great Ethiopian Run 10km winner, and unknown Gishu Jida were the winners of the women’s and men’ senior titles at the 3rd Sululta Cross Country meeting- the fourth part of the domestic cross country series organized by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) - in Sululta, 20 kilometres north of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Middle distance runner Shito Wincha also grabbed a surprise win over favorite Genet Yalew in the junior women’s race with Azmeraw Bekele winning the junior men’s contest.

Jelila grabs third win in four races – senior women’s race

There was little surprise in the senior women’s race as Jelila continued her outstanding form this season with her third victory in four races since September. The 25-year-old, who made a successful debut in the Venice Marathon in October by finishing second in a respectable 2:28.41; has made a stunning transformation winning cross country races in Sendafa and now in Sululta, while taking a dominant victory in the 2009 Ethiopian Airlines Great Ethiopian Run 10km two months ago.

In Sululta, Jelila had another difficult field to contend with, with World championships marathon bronze medallist Asselefech Mergia, 2008 World junior Cross Country silver medallist Emebet Eta, and World junior 5000m champion Sule Utura posing a realistic challenge to her winning streak.

Jelila and Utura exchanged leads in front of a large pack of ten athletes for the first 2km of the four-lap 8km contest. Utura threatened a major breakaway at the halfway point, but Jelila stuck with her and made her own decisive breakthrough at 6km to take victory in 28:30.03. Utura was three second behind the race winner in 28:33.49 with unknown Fayesse Tadesse crossing the line in third, some 13 seconds behind Utura.

“The wind was too difficult and made the competition difficult,” Jelila said. “I am not sure if I will take part in Jan Meda (Ethiopia’s world cross country trials), but I would definitely want to participate in Poland.”

Jida shocks Chane – men’s senior race

Domestic cross country races in Ethiopia rarely throw in surprise winners as the tough racing conditions tends to favor experienced runners. But Gishu Jida’s victory in Sululta took even the experienced observers by surprise in what was expected to be a successful homecoming for Abera Chane, winner of the domestic cross country races in Sendafa and Bahir Dar, who took an impressive victory in Italy last Sunday.

Yetwale Kinde, 32nd in the World junior race in Amman last year, led the strong field through the opening 2kms and was later joined by Jida. Their brave front running tactics caught the attention of the crowd, but they were closely checked by experienced runners like Chane, Imane Merga (fourth in the World championships 10,000m), Yemane Tsegaye (fourth in the World championships marathon), and Habtamu Fekadu (fifth in the 2008 World cross country senior race).

The large group stayed together until the last kilometre when Chane and Jida made a penultimate breakaway. Many expected Chane to use his experience to best his young understudy, but Jida surprised everyone when he coasted past the experienced runner to take victory in 37:45:61. Chane held off the challenge from Fekadu Lema to finish second.

“The competition wasn’t easy, especially the wind made it so difficult,” Jida said. “I want to do well like our hero athletes. I want to repeat Kenenisa (Bekele)’s success on cross country.”

Victories for Wincha and Bekele  - junior races

In the junior women’s 6km, Shito Wincha took a surprise victory over Genet Yalew and Emebet Anteneh, who had finished third and fourth in the World youth championships 3000m in Bressanone last year.

Her decisive move came in the 4km where she evaded the intentions of early leader Meseret Mengistu to take victory in 21:06.32, five and 12 seconds ahead of Yalew and Anteneh respectively. Her victory was all the more surprising because Wincha normally runs the 800m and 1500m and has very little experience over the cross country.

“The competition was good,” said Wincha. “It is my first time to run in Sululta. I was winner of Addis Ababa cross country championships and I want to win again in the Jan Meda (Ethiopia’s world cross country trials). Then I want to compete in Poland representing my country and I want to be famous.”

The men’s junior also produced another unlikely winner with Azmeraw Bekele taking victory. After a largely congested first half of the race, Bekele (no relation to Kenenisa Bekele) made two moves that won him the race. The first came at 6km where he moved to the front of a leading group of nine runners. The second was another burst of speed which took him clear of early leader Million Yehualashet for victory in 24:40.76.

“The competition today wasn’t tough for me,” he said. “But a week before, I was fourth in a race in Assela and was trying not to repeat the same mistake I did there. Today was windy but because I trained well, it wasn’t difficult. In the coming month, I want to take part on the trials and get a result that would help me take part in Poland.”

Elshadai Negash (with the assistance of Tadele Assefa) for the IAAF


Senior MEN (12 km):
 1. Gishu Jida (Oromiya Prisons)  37:45:61
 2. Abera Chane (Geta Zeru)       37:55:48
 3. Fekadu Lemma (Defense)        38:00:93
 4. Habtamu Fekadu (Defense)      38:08:30
 5. Yetwale Kinde (Defense)       38:17:46
 6. Dereje Abera (Betel Teaching) 38:20:01

Senior WOMEN (8km):
 1. Koreni Jelila (Defense)              28:30:03
Sule Utura (Defense)                 28:33:49
 3. Feyisse Tadesse (Federal Police)     28:46:04
 4. Fate Tola (Oromiya Police)      28:49:32
Asselefech Mergia (Federal Police)   28:51:88
 6. Asenakech Mengistu (Oromiya Police)  29:03:43

Junior MEN (8 km):

 1. Azmeraw Bekele (FPP) 24:40:76
 2. Millioin Yehualashet (Muger Cement)  25:04:30
 3. Belete Asefa (FPP)   25:12:97
 4. Alemu Terfessa (FPP) 25:13:00
 5. Bilisuma Shuge (Unattached)  25:13:33
 6. Fekire Asefa (Muger Cement)   25:15:55

Junior WOMEN (6 km):
 1. Shito Wincha (Defense)  21:06:32
 2. Genet Yalew (Defense)  21:11:31
 3. Emebet Anteneh (Defense)  21:18:75
 4. Shitaye Esgete (Unattached)   21:30:38
 5. Zehara Kedir (Oromiya Police)  21:38:82
 6. Meseret Mengistu (Oromiya Police)  21:44:74
Federal Prisons Police = FPP

Ethiopian sweep at the Cross della Vallagarina- Italy - 17 January 2010

Abere Chane en route to a comfortable win at the Cross della Vallagarina  (Lorenzo Sampaolo)

Abere Chane en route to a comfortable win at the Cross della Vallagarina                        

Villa Lagarina, ITA - Ethiopia dominated the 33rd edition of the Cross della Vallagarina near Rovereto on Sunday (January 17, 2010) by taking the win in both the men’s race with Abere Chane and the women’s  race with Asmerawork Bekele.
Men’s race -

Chane killed off the competition with a gun-to-tape race taking the lead from the early stages of the 8.8 km race. Abere, who finished fifth at the 2004 IAAF World Junior Championships in Grosseto in the 10,000m and has run a PB of 27:47 over the distance, went to the lead during the first lap. The only athlete who was able to follow the Ethiopian was Ukrainian 2:10:36 marathoner Vasyl Matvichuk  who tried to close the gap on Chane during the first lap.
Matvichuk, who is planning to run the Marathon at the European Championships  in Barcelona next summer,  managed to keep up with Chane briefly  on the downhill section of the course during the first lap but his effort probably took its toll uphills when Chane pushed the pace increasing his gap to 20 metres.

Meanwhile the chasing group formed by Italian runners Stefano La Rosa, Gabriele De Nard, Yuri Floriani, Gianmarco Buttazzo and Martin Dematteis fought for third place but they were well behind. During the second lap Chane continued to push the pace carving out a solid margin over Matvichuk which proved to be decisive. The Ethiopian continued to pull away lap after lap with a margin of more than 20 seconds at the bell. During the last lap he continued his stroll  taking the win at a canter in 25:52 by 29 seconds over Matvichuk. During the third lap Matvichuk suffered from a stitch but managed to hold on defending his second place in 26:21 prevailing by five seconds over Stefano La Rosa, third overall and first among the Italians.
“It was a very good race. It was a easy win but the course was tough with a lot of ups and downs. I am now returning to Ethiopia for the National Cross Country Championships”, said Chane, who won the Vienna Silvester race on 31 December.

Women’s race -
In the women’s race a quartet formed by 2006 European Cross Country Championships Tatyana Holovchenko, the two young Ethiopians Asmerawork Bekele and Tizita Bogale, and local favourite Federica Dal Ri went to the front from the early stages. Holovchenko was the first to launch an attack during the first lap. The Ukrainian kept the pace in the front closely followed by the two young Ethiopians and Dal Ri, who won last year in Vallagarina ahead of Holovchenko.
Bogale, who was born in 1993 and finished fifth in the 800m at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone last summer, and Bekele  launched their decisive attack during the second lap breaking away from the European pair of Dal Ri and Holovchenko. Dal Ri managed to pull away from Holovchenko uphill during the second lap.
Bogale and Bekele battled it out for the win during the third and last lap. They ran a neck-to-neck race until the final metres when Bekele edged out her compatriot in a dramatic final sprint into the finish-line. They shared the same final time of 18:37. Dal Ri, who finished 19th at the European Cross Country Championships in Dublin and third at the Campaccio on 6 January, took third place to the delight of local crowd and the local Quercia Rovereto athletics team for which the Italian runner started her career. Holovchenko finished a distant fourth in 19:17, 25 seconds behind Dal Ri.
Bekele was born in 1991. She has clocked 4:10 in the 1500m but is planning to run over longer distances in the future. She finished ninth in the 1500m at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz  2008. During 2009 she finished fourth in the 1500m at the Ethiopian Championships and seventh at the National Cross Country Championships. More recently she won the Vienna Silvester Race on 31 December.
“I am returning to Ethiopia for the National Cross Championships. I am aiming at qualifying for the World Cross Country Championships in Bydszgoxz on 28 March. The half marathon may become my distance for the future,” the young Ethiopian said.

   Final sprint between Asmerawork Bekele and Tizita Bogale

MEN (8.8 km) -
 1. Abere Chane, ETH         25:52
Vasyl Matvich, UKR       26:21
 3. Stefano La Rosa, ITA     26:26
 4. Gabriele De Nard, ITA    26:29
 5. Yury Floriani, ITA       26:42
 6. Gianmarco Buttazzo, ITA  26:44
 7. Martin Dematteis, ITA    26:49
 8. Stefano Scaini, ITA      26:57
Bernard Dematteis, ITA   27:01
10. Josef Katib, GER         27:17

WOMEN (5.6 km) -
 1. Asmerawork Bekele, ETH   18:37
Tizita Bogale, ETH        18:37
 3. Federica Dal Ri, ITA      18:52
 4. Tetyana Holovchenko, UKR  19:17
 5. Renate Rungger, ITA       19:36
 6. Simona Santini, ITA       19:37
 7. Livia Toth, HUN           19:39
 8. Ivana Iozzia, ITA         19:44

 9. Barbara La Barbera, ITA   19:45
10 .Silvia La Barbera, ITA    19:49


Peuerbach Austria – 31 December 2009

Great News… Peuerbach Austria on December 31st was a stunning victory for Olympia Athletes… we took first place in the men and the women’s race… imagine running at an average pace of 2:46 per km for 6.8km – almost 22km/hr… just to realize how fast that is, go to the gym, get on the treadmill and go as fast as you can! Maximum the machine only goes about 18km/hr – add another 3k/hr to that! Then imagine running that for 6km! That’s what it means to be an elite…

Well done to the athletes and looking forward to seeing greater things in 2010…

Peuerbach Austria Men Results Peuerbach Austria Women Results

Olympia Altitude Training Center is proud to announce Spira Footwear as the Technical Sponsor for its athletes for 2010

With races set for the first weekend in January in Austria, Abu Dhabi Half Marathon and after in Ras Al Khaimeh Half Marathon, Olympia athletes are set to ‘spring’ into action. Due to the unique technology of Spira shoes, a wave spring absorbs the impact of the runner’s footfall and recycles the energy returning it back to the athlete! To learn more about the shoe and its technology check out this video http://www.spirafootwear.com/wavespring_technology.php

Spira shoes are the first breakthrough in running shoe technology in years, and with Spira being new and vibrant, it is a perfect partnership. Olympia is now on the eve of its third year and celebrates the signing of its latest athletes who will be carrying the Spira brand around the globe. Spira has an exciting and charismatic look to its sports apparel, assuring eye catching winning moments.

This exciting move propels both brands forward to a new level and we look forward to seeing the “Finish Line” embossed with the Olympia and Spira Logos – together.

Olympia Altitude Training Center is located in Addis Ababa and provides residential training programs for athletes at 2700 meters above sea level as well as managing elite athletes.

 “The company’s by line is ‘Win Your Race’, and together with Spira we believe that this goal is now even more attainable”, says Antonio Nannoni, Elite Manager and Partner.



April 26th ... Another New Lebanese records...
Olympia altitude training center has impacted the Female Lebanese National record by 8 minutes…

Maria Pia Nehme hosted at Olympia for three weeks prior to their participation in Zurich Marathon. Her training was overseen by the center’s coaches and she was personally followed by her coach Antonio Nannoni. She finalized her training in high altitude: work was intensive and she trained together with the Olympia professional Ethiopian athletes. The outcome of her experience at the center was the achievement of her first big target: to regain the Lebanese Marathon Record that Marie Bejjani set only 3 weeks before!
Maria Pia not only improved her personal best by over 11 minutes, but lowered the National record by almost 8 minutes: her time of 3h00.01 set a new page in the history of Athletics in Lebanon. Maria will prepare now for running under 3 hours and she is confident that with some more time at the center she will be able to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012.

April 26th ... Impressive results achieved in Zurich

Impressive results achieved in Zurich Marathon 2009…

Olympia athletes were the protagonists of the race. Olympia athlete ETAFERAHU TAREKEGN gained the third position in Women Open category and she set her new PB with a time of 2h 34.05. The defending champion Tadelech Birra (also from Olympia) had to surrender after 15K for a problem in one leg. On the men side, Olympia athletes got the 4th and 5th position overall: Teferi Wodajo was 4th in an impressive time of 2h10.47 and the debutant Dagim Getnet who started as pacer up to 21k , finished the race in 2h11.36.

Alemtsehay Hailu won in women category
Olympia's Athletes Alemtsehay Hailu and Tadelech Birra dominated the BLOM Beirut Marathon on November 30

The women’s race was dominated by the Ethiopians, Alemtsehay Hailu winning in 2:37:20, from Tadelech Birra, 2:37:58, with Wudnesh Nega third in 2:39:09.


Both the athletes train regularly with Olympia team........

Halemtsehay (center) and Tadelech (right)  

Shumye obliterates Beirut Marathon Record
Alemayehu SHUMYE  from Ethiopia won the BLOM BEIRUT Marathon on November 30...

obliterating the course record by over four minutes in the process, with 2:12:47. Shumye won by over three minutes, and another Ethiopian, Hussen Adem third in 2:16:44. All the two runners  inside the previous record of 2:17:04, set by Paul Rugut of Kenya, in the inaugural race in 2003. The two runners are training with Olympia team.
 “After 28k, I had to go by myself,” he said immediately after the race. “The pace was too slow, but it was very windy also, and a little hot. If not, I could do 2:11 today in Beirut. 

Shumye comes from Nazret and he took up running four years ago, after moving to the Ethiopian capital. “I started because of Haile, I want to be like him,” he said. Alemayehu trains with Olympia team and next he will train to compete in RAK Half marathon in February. His goal is  to run under 60’ in this race…….

Olympia prepares for Beirut – Nov 30

Beirut Marathon will be powerfully presided over by Olympia Athletes and by trainees from the center a team of 2 athletes and 2 pacers in the men’s category will secure the course record and first and second place with a pair of 2:11’s leading the field.  Pacers will take the group to 21k and 33k.
The women’s field will be headed by two athletes from Olympia Lebanese record holder Hussein Awada and running partner Omar Issa have been in the camp for six weeks this year preparing to smash their previous PB of 2:20:36 and 2:24:36 respectively
Former Lebanese Record Holder Daoud Mustapha is also a lead contender in the field.
The value of High Altitude Training combined with focused intensity in training join together to make this an historic moment in Lebanese Marathon history

Flora Warsaw Marathon sees Olympia win
Flora Warsaw Marathon was dominated by the power of Olympia’s resident athletes

A clean sweep of first three places went to Olympia athletes… with a stunning course record breaking performance, athlete Alemayehu Shumye went on to win the race in 2:11:50 against a headwind.

Sept 29th … New records set in Berlin…
Olympia altitude training center has impacted the Lebanese National record by a stunning 7 minutes…

Hussein Awada and Omar Issa, both of the Lebanese Army team were hosted at Olympia for three weeks prior to their participation in the Real Berlin Marathon. Their training was overseen by the center’s coaches and their work was intensive.  The outcome of their experience at the center was the achievement of their lifetime goals: to be the best that there is in Lebanon. Both Awada and Issa improved their personal best by over 7 minutes, and both are confident that with some more time at
 the center they will be able to qualify for
the London Olympics in 2012.