Bekele, Masai RRW’s 2009 Runners of the Year


Kenenisa Bekele and Linet Masai Recognized for Medals, Consistency

NEW YORK (December 28) — Race Results Weekly, the wire service of distance running, announced today that Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyan Linet Masai had been selected the Race Results Weekly 2009 Runners of the Year.  RRW,
the world’s most comprehensive source of middle and long distance
running results and news, selected Bekele and Masai both for their
dramatic victories at the IAAF World Championships and consistency
throughout their respective seasons.
“Bekele’s undefeated
season at 3000 meters and above, including two world titles, made him a
clear choice,” said Editor and Publisher, David Monti.  “But it was a
tougher call to pick Masai.  World champions Maryam Yusuf Jamal of
Bahrain (1500m) and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya (5000m) also had terrific
After failing to finish an
early season 1500m, Bekele, 27, went on to win ten consecutive races. 
He not only won the world titles at both 5000m and 10,000m, but
recorded the fastest times of the year for both of those distances
(12:52.32 and 26:46.31, respectively).  He was also the second-fastest
athlete at 3000m, and won a share of the IAAF Golden League Jackpot by
winning all six races he contested at Golden League events.
“Whether it was a
championship race or a big invitational, the result was the same,” said
Assistant Editor Bob Ramsak.  “At the World Championships he controlled
the 5000m final perfectly, mustering a better sprint than even Bernard
Lagat, one of history’s greatest milers.  It’s just amazing that he ran
20,000 total meters at the World Championships and ran his very last
lap in 53.7 seconds.”
It was the fourth time Bekele was named Race Results Weekly Runner of the Year.  He also won in 2003, 2006 and 2008.
Masai was the surprise
world champion at 10,000m at just 19 years-old, passing Ethiopia’s
Meselech Melkamu at the line to win by 1/10th of a second. 
She was also the silver medallist at the IAAF World Cross Country
Championships in the senior division, and notched 9 victories in 16
podium finishes on all three surfaces (cross country, road and track). 
For good measure, she ran the world-leading time at ten miles (50:39).
“Her silver medal at World
Cross gave her a tiny edge over Jamal and Cheruiyot,” explained Monti. 
“Jamal was absolutely dominant at 1500m, and Cheruiyot had 15 total
victories and fast times on both the track and the roads.  But it was
Masai who made two trips to the medal stand.”
In determining the Race Results Weekly
2009 Runners of the Year, the editors considered each athlete’s entire
competitive record for the year, but ultimately gave the greatest
weight to their best and most inspiring performances, especially at
major championships when the stakes were highest.
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ABOUT RACE RESULTS WEEKLY: Founded in 1994, Race Results Weekly is the professional distance running results and news service relied upon by running industry professionals.  RRW
covers over 2500 middle and long distance races each year; no source is
more comprehensive, respected or more timely.  Subscription information
is available at

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