Hometown: Shewa, Ethiopia
Personal best: 2:28:41 (Venice, 2009)
Career notes: Coaches took notice of Koren Jelela Yal when she won the National Ethiopian Championships in the 3,000m in 2006. Since then she has been a member of three World Cross Country teams and placed second at the National Cross Country Championships in 2008. At her marathon debut in Venice last year, Yal finished second and established a starting point to tap her potential. “I have already run 2:28, and I know I can run much faster,” said Yal. “But in a race like Boston, my aim is to simply run for position and as well as possible. As someone once said, you run fast when you try to win. So I will not worry about time.” As a Boston tune-up, Yal ran the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 1:10:52.
Personal notes: Yal said the World Marathon Majors series in Ethiopia is like the World Cup of soccer and she is excited for her first Majors event. Now training with the marathon group in Addis Ababa, Yal said she started running because, “It is very simple: in Ethiopia running is a way out; a door to a better life and to an opportunity that not everyone can have.”
-- Courtesy BAA
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