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Posted: January 24, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Marathoners Will Christen New Tunnel In Zürich

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved RaceResultsWeekly.com

Athletes competing in the 7th annual Zürich Marathon on Sunday, April 26, will be the first amongst the public to pass through the new Uetliberg Tunnel, a 4.4 km engineering marvel which links the Birmensdorf bypass to the west of the city with the existing Zurich-Chur motorway to the east. The tunnel will open to cars the following day.

During the event, Runners will encounter the tunnel very early in the race, passing through through in a westerly direction before emerging on the other side, going to a turnaround, and coming back. Race organizers have pointed out that the tunnel offers superior ventilation, a steady temperature and protection from the weather should it rain. The tunnel will only be used for the 2009 edition of the race, according to DataSport, the company which will time the race.

The tunnel project began in 2000 and cost CHF 1.12B (USD 1.04B), according to a report published at the website www.roadtraffic-technology.com.

Last year's Zürich Marathon had 4600 finishers and was won by Oleg Kulkov of Russia in 2:11:16 and Tadelech Birra of Ethiopia in 2:32:09. The event records are 2:08:20 by Viktor Röthlin in 2007 and 2:30:07 by Annemette Jensen of Denmark in 2004.


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