Friday, December 31, 2004
São Paulo — Kenyan distance runners Robert Cheruyiot, 26, and Lydia Cheromei, 27, won the 80th annual International Race of São Silvestre (Saint Silvester) in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Cheruyiot won the men's race for the second time while Cheromei won the women's race for the third time.
The first race of São Silvestre occurred on Dec. 31, 1924. Since then, the race occurs every year always on the last day of the year. The 15 KM (9,321 miles) course is by the streets of the city of São Paulo and the start and the arrival occurs at Paulista Avenue, a famous street. The competition is part of the Official Calendar of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS).
The race name is a homage to Saint Silvester, a catholic saint who died in December 31, 335. Saint Silvester was pope during years 314 through 335. During his government the Christian religion became the official religion of the Roman Empire under the rule of Constantine the Great. This event was important for the Christians because they have been persecuted by the Roman Empire during 300 years and now they would have freedom to profess their religion without been in risk of been arrested or convicted to death by the government.
For the 2004 race, the number of participants was about 15 thousand, with 13 thousand men and 2 thousand women. The majority of athletes were from Brazil but others came from other countries including Argentina, Australia, Sweden, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Chile, Finland, Portugal, Luxemburg, Bolivia, Canada, South Korea, France, England, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.
The women's race started at 3 p.m.(local time) while the men's race started two hours later.
==== Final ranking of Top 5 finishers ====
== Sources ==
Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre website.
"Queniano conquista o bi na São Silvestre" — Lance Press, December 31, 2004
"Cheruiyot vence no masculino e garante dobradinha ao Quênia na São Silvestre" — Agência Folha(AF), December 31, 2004
"Cheromei vence São Silvestre pela 3ª vez" — Agência Estado(AE), December 31, 2004
"Cultural Calender" — Anhembi Turismo e Eventos da Cidade de São Paulo, December 31, 2004