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Istanbul Marathon to be run for the victims of the coup attempt

Thousands of people will come together in Turkey’s biggest city on Sunday to take part in the Istanbul Marathon, the world’s only road race where people can run from Asia to Europe

The 38th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon’s campaign for this year is: “We are running for the July 15 martyrs.”

The deadly coup attempt killed more than 240 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.

Sunday’s marathon will host 90 elite athletes, including 28 top Turkish runners, as well as thousands of people who just want to challenge themselves by running 42 kilometers (26 miles).

The Istanbul road race has three categories: a marathon, as well as 15km and 10km events.

A free 8km Heroes Run will see people casually race or just walk along the Bosphorus. A race for wheelchair-bound competitors will also be held.

The races will start on the Asian side of the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge, formerly known as the Bosphorus Bridge, and end on the historic European side.

The marathon will end in Sultanahmet Square; the 15k and 10k races will finish in the nearby Eminonu district. The Heroes Run will end in front of the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce Palace.

This year's elite athletes are mostly from Turkey, Belarus, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Russia and Ukraine.

In the men's category, Kenyan runners Peter Kiptoo Kiplagat and Vincent Kiprop Chepkok; Ethiopians Shura Kitata Tola, Tariku Jufar Robi and Birhanu Gedefa; Ukrainian Oleksandr Sitkovskyy; and Djiboutian Mumin Gala will be the names to watch.

In the women's category, Ethiopian athletes Fatuma Sado and Sechale Dalasa; Kenyan Agnes Barsosio and Lithuanian Diana Lobacevske will be among the top runners.

Relatives of the July 15 martyrs will also cross the bridge with a huge Turkish flag and meet in Zincirlikuyu junction.

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