The fastest European half-marathoner in history, Germany’s Melat Kejetawill take on former Canadian marathon record holder Malindi Elmore and other international elites at the 2023 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon on May 28. Kejeta won a silver medal for Germany at the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships in Poland, setting a European half marathon record of 65:18.
Throughout her 12-year professional career, Kejeta has produced a few remarkable results. In 2019, she was sixth at the Berlin Marathon with a personal best time of 2:23:57. She followed up her debut marathon with another sixth-place finish against the world’s best at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 2023 Ottawa Marathon will be Kejeta’s first race since 2021. The 30-year-old runner, who also works as an officer in the German police force, gave birth to her first child in early 2022. “When I ran the Olympic marathon, I was pregnant, but I didn’t know that (at the time). It was not planned. So it was a bit of a surprise,” said Kejeta in an interview with Run Ottawa.
In Ottawa, Kejeta will renew a rivalry from her last marathon, facing off against a fellow mom, Elmore, the top Canadian finisher in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon, who finished three spots behind her for ninth.
Kejeta said the 2023 Ottawa Marathon will be special for her, as it will be her first marathon with her daughter in attendance. “I am looking forward to having her on the sidelines at the halfway point,” she said.
With under two weeks until race day, Kejeta and Elmore are just two of the extensive list of female elites at the 2023 Ottawa Marathon. The Ethiopian contingent of Adanech Anbesa, Waganesh Mekasha and Ayana Mulisa will provide Kejeta and the experienced Elmore with a challenge. All three women have personal bests of 2:24:30 or faster, with Mekasha finishing in the top five at the 2022 Chicago Marathon.
For the full list of female elites at the 2023 Ottawa Marathon, click here.