A man carries a Lebanese flag with Arabic writing that reads, “for the sake of your eyes Saad.” (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The annual Beirut Marathon, held Sunday, has always been as much a political statement as a road race.The symbolism of the race reached new levels following President Michel Aoun's call, made Saturday, for the marathon to be transformed into a statement demanding Prime Minister Saad Hariri's return to Lebanon.Last year, the prime minister himself ran in the marathon. Organizers say Sunday's race saw 45,000 people run, with the winners of the men's and women's races each taking home some $10,000 in prize money.Bahrain's Eunice Chumba won the women's marathon with a course record of 2:28:38, while Dominic Ruto from Kenya also set a course record in the men's marathon, with 2:10:41 . Australian Ambassador to Lebanon Glenn Miles was the sole ambassador to run the full marathon, while U.K. Ambassador Hugo Shorter ran the 21-km half-marathon.
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