Tata Mumbai Marathon defending champion is back where it all started following a short controversial career.
Tata Mumbai Marathon defending champion Derara Hurisa has had a mixed career so far.From the high of winning on debut in 2020, to getting disqualified in the very next marathon for wearing illegal shoes, the Ethiopian runner has seen it all.
And now the 25-year-old is back to where it all started, this time more wiser and experienced. Last time when Hurisa ran the full marathon, he set the Mumbai roads ablaze setting a new Tata Mumbai Marathon record of 2:08:09 breaking Kenyan Gideon Kipketer’s record of 2:08:35 set in 2016.
For Hurisa, the Mumbai Marathon holds a special place in his heart as it was after this race that changed his life.“The Mumbai Marathon was my debut event and after I won it, it changed my life. From zero to I became a known figure.That’s why this marathon is special for me,” Hurisa told the Free Press Journal.
But after the Mumbai high, came the lowest moment of his life which almost ruined his career.
Hurisa was stripped of his win in the 2021 Vienna City Marathon after the soles of his running shoes were found to be one centimetre too thick. The rules state the soles can be four centimetres thick, while Hurisa’s were five.
Hurisa had finished the 42km race in Austria in 2 hours 9min 22sec. However, after the race, he was informed that he had been disqualified with his shoes one centimetre too thick.
When asked how difficult it was to get disqualified after winning a gruelling race, Hurisa said: “It was not easy to run 42 km and at the end of the race you get disqualified. It was very disappointing and heartbreaking. But I accepted it. I am a human being too and I can make mistakes. After that race I realised that I am a young athlete and I can still win more marathons. Everyone in my family, my coaches and my training partner tried to boost my confidence. That helped ease my pain a bit.”
Back again in Mumbai, Hurisa is not feeling the pressure of being the defending champion.
“I don’t think that I’m the defending champion. I believe in preparation and that has been good. I’m confident I can defend my title again on Sunday,” he concluded.