Jemal Yimer

My story so far....

I'm Jemal Yimer, former Ethiopian National Record Holder in half marathon (58.33), winner of LA marathon and 3rd placed Boston Marathon 2021 finisher. Thanks for visiting my website!
My half marathon time above is the 12th fastest in history.  I love road running but I also excel at cross-country and track with a 10,000m PB of 26.54.  I first had the chance to show my talent in 2016 at the African Athletics Championships in Durban where I was 4th overall and 1st Ethiopian with a 28.08 on my debut 10,000m international race. My first trip to Europe was to France where I was a very close 2nd in Houllies 10km (28.18).

But my 2017 season really kick started my professional career. A 4th place at the the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala ended a good winter campaign and a breakthrough 2nd place (27.09) at the 10,000m in Hengelo at the Ethiopian Athletics Federation Trials for the World Championships meant a guaranteed place on the Ethiopian team for London. In London I was 5th in 26.56 with Farah, Cheptegei, Tanui and Karioki ahead of me. I was dissapointed not to medal.
A shift to the middle distance roads at the end of 2017 meant a new 10km PB in Prague (27.54), a win on my debut over the 20km distance in Marseille-Cassis and 2nd place at Houilles 10km....again.

A new chapter on the roads began at the very start of 2018 at the world famous Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates. It was an amazing day!  I ran 59.00 for 2nd recording the fastest debut half marathon in history. Soon after I travelled to the United States for the first time where I posted back-to-back wins at the Bloomsday and Cherry Blossom road races.  To finish the year I won my first Gold medal over 10,000m at the African Championships in, Asaba, Nigeria.
2019 was another solid year. I defended my Cherry Blossom 10 mile title in Washington DC and was second place in the highly competitive Houston and Bahrain Half marathons. On the track I ran a PB of 26.54.39 at the Ethiopian World Championship Trials in Hengelo and I won Bronze at the African Games 10,000m in Rabat.  With the track season over in September I began training with a long term target of a debut marathon in spring 2020, but also a goal to win a half marathon.

It happened. The start to 2020 couldn't have gone better with my first career win over the half marathon distance in Houston clocking 59.25 to defeat a quality field in challenging conditions. See the last 60 seconds of my sprint finish here:

Soon after Houston I was announced in the professional field of the Boston Marathon, one of the six World Marathon Majors.  This plan had to be put on hold as we all dealt with coronovirus. What a challenging time it has was in 2020 and early 2021 when there was little, if any, races for me to compete in.

So, when Antrim Coast Half Marathon came up in August 2021 it was a firm focus. Still with the Covid 19 in the background this was by no means easy. Logistical challenges and covid rules meant a 2 weeks stay in Tuscany before being allowed into the UK. It was worth the effort. I won the race in 60.29.

Next up my marathon debut - BOSTON! And this was the toughest challenge of my career to date. It was a battle for a podium place with my team mate Tsedat Ayana and Lemi Berhanu. I was 3rd overal on the rolling hills from Hopkington to downtown Boston with only 1 second between 2nd and 3rd. I am now officially a marathoner. A great feeling after so much hard work in training.

I continued my marathon experience by going back to Boston in April 2022. The deepest field in history of the race! A PB of 2.08.14, 8th place and 1st amongst my Ethiopian compatriots. It's a big learning curve.

Now with a new sponsor ASICS I went back to the USA and ran the famous Peachtree 10km in Atlanta. I was so happy to get on the podium in hot conditions and I got a new PB 27.49! Then a win at Boilermaking 15km in a course record and a defence of my title at the Antrim half marathon in August. My time of 59.06 remains a UK all-comers record.To start the 2023 year the plan was to go back to America, a place I love and run the Los Angeles Marathon. This is where the Olympics will be in 2028. Wow! I won the race and it gave me so much confidence. I love America and returned for the Bloomsday and Boilermaker races. I won them both. I ran an the fastest time ever in an Asics shoes for Half Marathon in Antrim where I was so close to the win and defnding my title. I was very happy with 58.38 and 2nd and showed I was in good shape for New York Marathon. I got selected for Ethiopia for the World Half Marathon Championships and went to Riga with high hopes of a medal. So close again! in 2018 I was 4th and this year I was 4th.

Then the toughest lessons of my marathon career so far. New York was amazing. The city, the race, the people, the organiser. I was 9th but I decided to go with the 2.04 pace right up to 37/38 km and at 40km I was slowing. 3rd to 4th and then the last 2km I slipped to 9th! A lesson learnt - but I had to be bold to test myself. Now I know whenever I will be back I will know the course.

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