Rimi Riga Marathon Gathers Highest Participant Count Since Pandemic15 May 2022
Last weekend, 17,033 participants registered to take part in the Rimi Riga Marathon, including 1,928 marathon tourists from 76 countries, making this the most vibrant running festival in Riga since the pandemic. The most significant running event in the Baltics stood out this year with its extensive concert programme dedicated to Ukraine at the 11 November Embankment, high-level athletic results, and new courses created specifically for the World Road Running Championships in Riga. The new courses played host to Latvian championship titles in the marathon and DPD mile, and Riga’s previous half marathon records were improved significantly.
Most of the Latvian winners at this year’s Rimi Riga Marathon races came from Team Latvija Pasaulē, a team of Latvia’s most talented runners put together with the help of DPD Latvija. In total, they won 10 awards: 7 convincing wins and 5 championship titles. For example, the men’s Latvian One Mile Championship — the DPD Mile — was won by team member Jānis Razgalis, while silver went to Edgars Šumskis, who was also the winner of the 10 km race. Team Latvija Pasaulē member Austra Ošiņa had two triumphs over the Rimi Riga Marathon weekend, becoming the women’s one mile champion in the DPD Mile, as well as winning the 6 km race. The best Latvian men’s half marathon result was displayed by Dmitrijs Serjogins, silver was won by Team Latvija Pasaulē member Jānis Višķers, and the best woman in the half marathon race was Ilona Marhele. Also triumphant were Uģis Jocis, winning the men’s 6 km race, and Roberts Glazers of Ašais Sports Club, who won bronze in the 6 km.
OVERSEAS FAVOURITES WIN THE MARATHON, NEW RECORDS IN THE HALF MARATHON
In the men’s marathon, the fastest this year was Ethiopian Deribe Robi Melka, who finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 7 seconds. Silver and bronze were won by two athletes from Kenya: Michael Kunyuga (2:12:44) and Duncan Koech (2:13:04), who has visited the Rimi Riga Marathon six times and mounted the pedestal on four of those occasions.
Unsurprisingly, the fastest elite woman in the marathon was experienced Ethiopian Mekuria Aberu Zennebe, who finished in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds. The second fastest was Uzbek Marina Khmelevskaya with a result of 2:33:19. In third place was Ethiopian Aynalem Kassahun Teferi, who finished in 2:38:21. A reminder that the Rimi Riga Marathon record holders for the men’s and women’s marathons respectively are Ethiopians Andualem Belay Shiferaw (2:08:51, 2019) and Birke Debele Beyene (2:26:22, 2019).
The half marathon records were soundly beaten, with athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia ascending the pedestal. The new men’s Rimi Riga Marathon half marathon record was set by one of the youngest athletes, 21-year-old Sikiyas Abate Misganaw (1:00:30). Just four seconds later with a time of 1:00:34 was his compatriot Shadrack Kimining Korir. The top three was rounded out by another Kenyan, Simon Kiruti Mutoni, who finished exactly two minutes behind the winner with a time of 1:02:30.
The women’s half-marathon record was also beaten. Kenyan athlete Beatrice Chepkemoi Mutai, who had already beaten her personal best this year at the Ghent Marathon, was able to beat legendary Latvian runner Jeļena Prokopčuka’s ten-year-old Riga half-marathon record with a result of 1:09:12. Prokopčuka’s half marathon result (1:10:27) had been the record since 2012. Fittingly, it was Prokopčuka herself who hung the gold medal around Mutai’s neck.
LATVIAN MARATHON CHAMPIONS CROWNED
For the second year in a row, Kristaps Bērziņš was crowned the Latvian men’s champion in the marathon, finishing with a result of 2:29:13. Meanwhile, Anna Kļučņika became the women’s champion with a time of 3:00:16. Second and third place in the men’s race were won by Denis Prikulis and Kristaps Kaimiņš respectively. Ludmila Zepa came second in the women’s race, and Anastasija Geraseva came third.
Dmitrijs Serjogins was unbeaten in the men’ s half marathon, finishing in 1 hour, 5 minutes and 15 seconds, while second place with a result of 1:07:59 went to My First Marathon trainer Jānis Višķers. An honourable third place went to Gustavs Kļavis with a result of 1:15:09. The women’s title went to Rio olympian Ilona Marhele with a result of 1:21:01, silver went to Santa Višķere (1:24:42), while bronze went to Jekaterina Gallamova (1:29:43).
THE FASTEST 10 KM AND 6 KM RUNNERS
Men’s 10 km: 1st place Edgars Šumskis (0:30:48); 2nd place Andrejs Dmitrijevs (0:33:30); 3rd place Artūrs Liepa (0:33:36). Women’s 10 km: 1st place Paraguayan María Caballero (0:36:50); 2nd place Inna Žolneroviča (00:40:21); 3rd place Kristiāna Maskava (0:42:31).
Men’s 6 km: 1st place Uģis Jocis (0:18:00); 2nd place Kristers Kudlis (0:18:37); 3rd place Roberts Glazers (0:18:39). Women’s 6km: 1st place Austra Ošiņa (0:20:24); 2nd place Viktorija Bogdanova (0:22:51); 3rd place Elīza Ērenfrīda (0:23:11).
All results can be found on our website under Results, where participants can also download their certificate and see other stats from their run. Please bear in mind that these are the initial results, and the official results may differ. Photos from the event are available with the support of Rimi at sportfoto.com by entering your race number.
Emergency Medical Service teams and volunteer medical students were on standby during the marathon, and first aid points and medical tents were also in operation. Three participants were taken to medical facilities, largely due to light injuries.
We are hugely grateful to all participants, Riga residents, guests, supporters and fans, our sponsors and supporters, MCs and our whole team for an amazing, heartfelt running festival.