To Race Directors: For inclusion in this section, please send your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dhiraagu Maldives Road Race (MDV) will take place on Fri 6 October 2017, not Fri 11 August 2017 as previously published.
The UNICEF Charity Run Half Marathon & 10km (HKG) will take place on Sun 26 November 2017, not Mon 27 November 2017 as previously published.
The Madagascar Marathon & Half-Marathon (MAD) will take place on Sat 9 June 2018, not Sun 17 June 2018 as previously published.
The Vadodara International Marathon (IND) will take place on Sun 7 January 2018, not Sun 4 February 2018 as previously published.
The Great Hakka Marathon (CHN) will take place on Sat 25 November 2017, not Sat 18 November 2017 as previously published.
In 1998 Wolfgang Slawisch was working for the Beachcomber group of hotels at Grande Baie in Mauritius writes Hugh Jones. He had taken responsibility to set up the ‘Beachcomber Mauritius Marathon’. I was invited to measure it but such was Wolfgang’s boundless enthusiasm that he quickly convinced me to run it as well.
I returned the following year but after that Beachcomber withdrew their support and the marathon was discontinued. Wolfgang returned to Germany but had been bitten by the Marathon bug. For a while he worked with Munich Marathon and was always a lively presence at the Berlin Marathon expo.
After another false start in 2004 Mauritius Marathon finally got back on its feet in 2010. Wolfgang was back in the fray. He was a man of strong loyalties. His attachment to Mauritius during his time there was continued through personal sponsorship of a child at the SOS village as well as ensuring that the Village became an official charity partner of the Marathon.
After so much time spent promoting Wolfgang ran the 2011 edition – and of course wrote about it afterwards in glowing terms: “As the road continues to climb and descend one runner after another overtakes me. Most offer a smile and a cheer, ensuring my resolve to finish. I stop at a roadside shop to buy an ice cold drink. It stops raining, the sun breaks through the clouds and my mood brightens. Waves thunder against the distant reef, while surfers ride them closer to the shore, and the sight of the beach lures me on.
“One more ascent and the village of St. Felix appears. Soon I can hear shouts and cheers from the finish line along with Mauritian Sega music. A beautiful Mauritian woman gives me my medal, I can enjoy drinks and refreshments, but I head straight for the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.”
Wolfgang also picked up a connection with the Reggae Marathon in Jamaica to promote the two similar but non-competing events.
“It was all very informal then. He visited us in Negril twice and after many conversations we formalized our relationship. He went to many race events in Europe supported by the Jamaica Tourist Board. A lot of our European participants have come because they met Wolfgang at some Expo or another in Europe. Wolfgang introduced Reggae Marathon to Europe, Mauritius, India and other countries. He was relentless in his promotions and travels and it was a pleasure to work along with him and share in his exciting journey across the world. He loved nothing better than to be able to meet with top international runners and share his vision with them. We felt his pain when he was side-lined by various injuries and could not run; he was very passionate about the sport.”
The 20km & 10km International de Marrakech (MAR) will take place on Mon 16 October 2017, not Sun 1 October 2017 as previously published.
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is currently the best marathon runner in the world.
The 2016 Olympic champion is aiming to run faster at the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 24 than his compatriot Dennis Kimetto who set the world record on the renowned fast course in 2014, stopping the clock at 2:02:57. Kipchoge was only eight seconds slower than Kimetto in the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon.
A few months later he dominated his rivals to win the Olympic title in Rio. The Kenyan knows all about the Berlin course: he won in 2015, running 2:04:00 despite the insoles of his running shoes flapping for much of the race. Two years previously he finished second in Berlin with another impressive time, 2:04:05 while his compatriot Wilson Kipsang broke the world record with 2:03:23. Kipchoge’s personal best is 2:03:05, set when he won London in 2016.
The BMW Berlin Marathon is an Abbott World Marathon Majors event and an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
At the beginning of May Eliud Kipchoge took part in a “Laboratory Test” under special conditions on Monza’s Formula One circuit and ran the fastest time ever recorded for the marathon: 2:00:25. However, this was achieved with practices not permitted in normal races. For example pacemakers were rotating.
Eliud Kipchoge has made clear his objective in Berlin: “I was very close to breaking the 2 hour barrier in Monza. Now I believe the BMW Berlin Marathon is the perfect venue for attacking the official world record.“ It is the first time in the long history of the BMW Berlin Marathon that a men’s Olympic marathon champion will compete in the elite field.
The Kenyan is 33 and can look back on a long and consistently successful career as a long distance runner. He became the World 5,000m champion in 2003, won silver and bronze at the same distance in the Olympic Games of 2004 and 2008 respectively and is the reigning Olympic Marathon champion.
So far ten world records have been broken at the BMW Berlin Marathon – three by women and seven by men. The last six men’s world records have been set in Berlin, beginning in 2003.
The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon (ZIM) will take place on Sun 1 July 2018, not Sun 17 June 2018 as previously published.
The Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru (IND) will take place on Sun 13 May 2018, not Sun 20 May 2018 as previously published.
The Buenos Aires International Marathon (ARG) will take place on Sun 15 October 2017, not Sun 8 October 2017 as previously published.
The AUDIREVI Lake Maggiore Half Marathon & 10K (ITA) will take place on Sun 11 March 2018, not Wed 14 March 2018 as previously published.
AIMS is glad to support a global project called “Global Running Day” organized by our friends NY Road Runners. This event will be on 7 June 2017. It is a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running. It is a worldwide celebration of the sport; a way for runners of all ages and abilities to share their passion for running and inspire others to get moving.
As we are a Global Running Organization with member races from all around the world we have been invited to take part of this initiative to help promote running in society at large.
We invite you, the AIMS Family, to be part of this running movement, to celebrate our sport in the best way we are able to. Thousands of runners from different nationalities will celebrate this day and become ONE. Let’s run and save the date!
If you decide to take part in Global Running Day you should follow the instructions given by the Organizers:
A GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO GET ACTIVE
On 7 June 2017, people everywhere will celebrate the joys of running.
You can be a part of Global Running Day!
We invite you to take the pledge to run on Global Running Day, spread the word, and join in the worldwide fitness fun! Participation is easy—just pledge to take part in some type of running activity on 7 June 2017. It can be a solo lap around the block, a long run with friends, or even a game of tag with your kids. The key is to share your passion for the sport and inspire others to get moving.
And speaking of kids, the Million Kid Run on Global Running Day aims to get young people moving. The goal is to have a million kids around the world pledge to run on 7 June 2017. The Million Kid Run is about making fitness fun and inspiring kids to embrace running as a way to get healthy and fit. After you make your pledge, get your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and students to choose their running activities and be a part of something incredible.
MAKE THE PLEDGE!
Getting involved is easy. Simply visit www.globalrunningday.org and commit to run on 7 June 2017. You’ll add your name to the list of runners from all over the world who are coming together to celebrate the sport.
The pledge page is designed for groups and individuals, kids and adults, able-bodied runners and athletes with disabilities. Pledge for yourself and/or your group—then check out the counter to see how many people from all over the planet will be joining you on the big day.
Take the pledge www.globalrunningday.org
Save the Date
Mark your calendar for June 7, 2017, and plan to join people from all over the globe to get moving as part of Global Running Day, and to get the young people in your life moving by joining the Million Kid Run.’’
Any further information please contact: email@example.com
With my best sportive and friendly regards
President of AIMS
The Maratona di Torino (ITA) will take place on Sun 29 October 2017, not Sun 1 October 2017 as previously published.
The 2018 event will be planned for Sun 4 November 2018, not Sun 7 October 2018 as previously published.
The Mizuno Hong Kong Half-Marathon Championships (HKG) will take place on Sun 10 December 2017, not Sun 17 December 2017 as previously published.
Although his best time is almost eight minutes slower than the course record, Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro is expected to challenge a contingent of Ethiopian runners at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon on May 28.
The 30-year old three-time Commonwealth Champion (5,000m/10,000m) has been a major force on the track for the past decade but has had his share of troubles.
At the 2008 Olympics, he missed the medal podium by one place. In London four years later, he fell during the Olympic 10,000m final and wound up a disappointed 10th. But it was only a year ago that he turned his attention to the marathon recording his personal best time (2:14:18) at the 2016 New York Marathon where he finished 7th. Now he is preparing to show the athletics world what he is really capable of in the classic distance.
“So far I have only run two marathons and so I am still learning the event,” he says from his training base in Kaptagat, Kenya. “On my debut in Hamburg (April 2016) I was on 2:06 pace until deep into the race, when my body started to shut down.
“I found out afterwards that I was suffering from malaria at the time. New York was a more tactical race early on and also a harder course. But after New York I know now that I am capable of a good marathon.”
“I did train hard for my two previous marathons. I do feel I learned from those experiences and now I am ready to show my best at the marathon distance,” he says. “My training is going very well. I am really pleased to have had a sustained period of no injuries, which has been the biggest issue for me the past few years.
“I train in a combination of being around my home in Kapchorwa, Uganda, and at the PACE training camp in Kaptagat, Kenya. When in Uganda I have a group of guys who assist me and when in Kaptagat I train with fellow PACE athletes such as (Kenyans) Mark Kiptoo, Micah Kogo and Emmanuel Bett.”
Kipsiro was introduced to PACE Management Director Ricky Simms, who also manages Usain Bolt and Mo Farah by fellow Ugandan Boniface Kiprop. Within a year of working with Simms, he won the coveted African 10,000m title. Under Simms’ direction Kipsiro moved to England during the summer track season where he trained with Mo Farah, among others.
These days his marathon program is overseen by Mike Skinner, a British international runner who works for PACE. At the 2015 Delhi Half Marathon Kipsiro ran 60:41, an indicator that he has enormous potential at the full marathon distance.
“My goal is always to do my best in my next race,” Kipsiro reveals. “So for me right now I am focused on running a great race in Ottawa. Then, after that, we shall see what options I have and long term I still see Tokyo 2020 as a realistic target for me.”
The Gammon China Coast Marathon and Half Marathon (HKG) will take place on Sun 28 January 2018, not Sun 21 January 2018 as previously published.
The hella hamburg halbmarathon (GER) will take place on Sun 1 July 2018, not Sun 24 June 2018 as previously published.
Hosea Kiprotich-Rutto from Kenya in 2:17:49 and Hungarian Olympian Tünde Szabo in 2:54:06 are the winners of the Salzburg Marathon in Austria.
Rutto led an all-Kenyan podium in Mozart’s hometown with his compatriots Samuel Kamau-Njeri in 2:23:19 and Abraham Kipchirchir-Limo in 2:25:53 in second and third place.
The women’s race produced a dramatic finish. Tünde Szabo came from behind to storm past long-time leader Pamela Chemurgor-Talam with only 400 metres to go to the finish at Mirabellplatz. A visibly exhausted Chemurgor finished second in 2:55:14 ahead of Tatiana Mitkina, a Russian who lives in Germany, in 2:56:49.
In total 6,457 runners from 70 countries had registered for one of the running events at the weekend, 998 of them for the full marathon. Temperatures of 11°C and dry conditions in the first 2:45 hours of the race provided favourable circumstances while the wind was a challenging factor in parts of the course. The Salzburg Marathon has been certified as a 5-star quality road race by European Athletics.
“I am very happy about my second marathon victory”, said winner Hosea Kiprotich-Rutto, who had already triumphed at Pune Marathon in India on 29 January earlier this year. The Kenyan trio passed halfway in 1:06:34–1:06:37. When the pace slowed down a bit, 25-year-old Rutto made his move. “I started to push at 30k and dropped the others. I felt good and enjoyed the great atmosphere of the race.”
The women’s pre-race favourite Pamela Chemurgor-Talam seemed to live up to the expectations. She went into the lead right from the start and covered the first half in 1:17:26. At that point she was almost six minutes faster than Tünde Szabo who ran her race in second position. Chemurgor suffered badly in the final stages of her first marathon outside Kenya. Szabo came closer and closer. The 28 year old marathon Olympian at Rio 2016 edged the leading Kenyan on the final stretch and celebrated another marathon victory after having won the marathons in Verona 2016 as well as in Cluj and Radenci 2014.
Half marathon wins went to Filmon Abraham, a runner from Eritrea based in Germany, in 1:06:34 in his debut at the distance and Austrian Conny Köpper in 1:22:54. The 10k race was dominated by Mustafe Abdilaahi in 32:07, a Somalian who has lived in Salzburg since 2014. Marika Rubino from Italy won the female category in 39:24.
The SOPAL SFAX Marathon International Olive Trees (TUN) will take place on Sun 10 December 2017, not Sun 17 December 2017 as previously published.
Uganda’s Robert Chemonges is the winner of the 15th METRO Marathon Düsseldorf with a personal best.
The 19-year-old clocked a fine 2:10:31 in windy conditions, which should secure qualification for the World Championships’ marathon in London this summer.
Norway’s Weldu Gebretsadik took second with 2:11:16 and also qualified for London while Yared Shegumo of Poland was third. The runner-up from the European Championships in Zurich 2014 clocked 2:12:33.
Portugal’s Doroteia Alves Peixoto took the women’s race with 2:32:00, improving her personal best by 4:01 minutes. Sara Makera of Tanzania, who had been in the lead for most of the race, was second in 2:33:08. Third placed Carmen Martinez Aguilar from Paraguay ran a national record of 2:35:17. All three achieved their national qualifying times for the World Championships.
Including running events staged parallel a total of around 16,000 runners entered the METRO Marathon Düsseldorf. Close to 4,000 of them were running the marathon.
A group of six men, including two pacemakers, passed the half way mark in 64:53. When the rabbits dropped out four kilometres later there was a good mix of nationalities left in the first group: Josphat Ndambiri of Kenya, Robert Chemonges of Uganda, Poland’s Yared Shegumo who grew up in Ethiopia and Weldu Gebretsadik, who switched from Eritrea to Norway.
It was then Shegumo who lost contact to the group in the 28th kilometre but later moved ahead to third. The leading trio kept their consistent pace and went through the 30 k mark in 1:32:35. Surprisingly it was then the favourite Ndambiri, who could not hold on with around nine kilometres to go. With a PB of 2:07:36 he was the fastest runner on the start list and had hoped to break the course record of 2:07:48. But he could not match the pace of Chemonges and Gebretsadik. The pair shared the lead until the 40th kilometre, when the Ugandan attacked and built a decisive lead. “I realized that he would probably not be able to follow me. So that was when I pushed. Before I was not sure if I could win,” said Robert Chemonges, who improved his personal best of 2:10:32 by exactly 32 seconds in Düsseldorf. “It was difficult in the wind. But otherwise it was a great race, and obviously I am very happy.”
It was just a week ago when Uganda’s superstar Stephen Kiprotich came in second at the Hamburg Marathon. Now a fellow-countryman turned out to be the surprise winner of the METRO Marathon Düsseldorf. “I am now number three in Uganda behind Stephen Kiprotich and Munyo Mutai, so I think I will be selected for the World Championships,” said Chemonges, who one day hopes to run 2:06.
In the women’s race Sara Makera sprinted away right from the start, covering the first kilometre in 3:08. At 10km she was still running a 2:25 pace with a split time of 34:27. The runner from Tanzania, who had a personal best of 2:45:00 before Düsseldorf, slowed but kept a significant lead until late in the race. She passed half way in 1:13:29 and 30 k after 1:45:38. With 12km to go 29 year-old Makera was still almost two minutes ahead of Doroteia Alves Peixoto. However she then slowed dramatically in the final section and the Portuguese passed her less than two kilometres from the finish line by the Rhine. Third-placed Carmen Martinez Aguilar improved her own Paraguayan record by 44 seconds to 2:35:17.
Mary Keitany ran the second fastest ever women’s marathon time in the Virgin Money London Marathon on 23 April.
Her time of 2:17:01 is the fastest ever run in a women-only race, surpassing the 2:17:42 set by Paula Radcliffe in the 2005 London Marathon. The fastest ever Marathon time run by a woman is 2:15:25 by Paula Radcliffe in the 2003 London Marathon — a “mixed gender” race in which the women were paced by men.
Kenyans Albert Korir and Nancy Kiprop took the Vienna City Marathon after thrilling duels. Korir edged ahead in the final 150 metres, beating Ishmael Bushendich by two seconds. Korir clocked 2:08:40 in windy conditions, Bushendich followed in 2:08:42. Ezekiel Omullo completed an all Kenyan podium, taking third in 2:09:10.
Despite the unfavourable weather conditions with strong winds Nancy Kiprop clocked the second fastest time ever in the history of the Vienna City Marathon. She won with 2:24:20 after battling with fellow-Kenyan Rebecca Chesir. With around 400 metres to go Kiprop moved ahead. Chesir was second in 2:24:25 and Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje took third with 2:25:17. Defending champion Shuko Genemo of Ethiopia finished fourth in 2:26:06.
A record number of 42,766 runners from 125 nations entered the various events of the 34th Vienna City Marathon, which is Austria’s biggest sporting event and an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. It is the fifth time in a row that the events of the Vienna City Marathon registered more than 40,000 athletes. Almost 9,000 athletes entered the marathon race.
With high winds it soon became obvious that this would not be the day for record attempts. But instead two very competitive races developed. In fact never before has the Vienna City Marathon seen two such thrilling finishes in one race.
A group of 15 runners passed the half way mark in 64:13 minutes. There were still three pacemakers in front of the group, trying to protect the other athletes from the wind. With winds projected to reach up to 60 kilometres per hour any result below 2:10 should have been regarded as an extraordinary achievement.
But somehow the wind calmed down when the men ran the last 12 k. While there was still a group of twelve runners plus one pacemaker at 30 k (1:31:38) the picture changed rapidly very soon after passing that point. Suddenly only seven runners were left in the first group, then three broke away around the 35 k mark: Ishmael Bushendich, Albert Korir and Suleiman Simotwo made the race for victory an all-Kenyan affair. Deribe Robi of Ethiopia, one of the pre-race favourites, had lost contact while Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui, who was the fastest on the start list with 2:05:21, dropped out at this late stage of the race.
At 36 k Simotwo could not hold on. He dropped back, later finishing fifth with 2:10:36. Bushendich and Korir ran shoulder to shoulder until they could see the finish line. In a thrilling sprint finish Korir was ahead, improving his personal best from 2:10:08 to 2:08:40. „It was cold and windy, but it was a great day for me,“ said 23 year-old Korir, who celebrated his biggest career win in Vienna.
The women’s leading group contained six runners when they reached half way in 1:12:36. Ethiopians Shuko Genemo, Meseret Mengistu and Roza Dereje faced three Kenyans: Debutant Angela Tanui, Nancy Kiprop and Rebecca Chesir. It was then Mengistu, who was the fastest runner on the start list with 2:23:26, who fell off the pace. Having suffered of a foot problem during her training for Vienna she later dropped out. Genemo and Tanui also struggled. At 30 k (1:42:23) Dereje, Chesir and Kiprop were left in the lead. But it was not an Ethiopian day for the women in Vienna as well. Dereje hold on until 39 k, but then had to settle for third. Kiprop and Chesir produced a great fight for victory. 37 year-old Kiprop secured her biggest career win. „It was very windy and it was getting really close at the end. This was my greatest victory,“ said Nancy Kiprop.
A new 10 k event on the eve of the Vienna City Marathon saw Austrian champions crowned at this distance: Andreas Vojta and Andrea Mayr took the honours on the city centre course with times of 29:54 and 34:57 respectively. Estonia’s triplets Lily, Leila and Liina Luik participated in the race as the only invited international runners.
In a tight men’s finish Ethiopia’s Mekonnen held off the Olympic Marathon Champion from 2012, Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. Mekonnen clocked 2:07:26 while Kiprotich ran 2:07:31 in difficult weather conditions with wind, rain and even hail. Kenya’s Jacob Kendagor finished third in 2:08:50.
Portugal’s Jessica Augusto came from behind to win the Haspa Marathon Hamburg with 2:25:30. She was third for much of the race, but caught Ethiopia’s Ifa Megertu and Kenya’s debutant Viola Kibiwot at around 30 k before stamping her authority on the race. Megertu finished second in 2:29:47 while Kibiwot took third in 2:30:33. More than 16,000 runners entered the Haspa Marathon Hamburg.
Hamburg’s reputation for fields of solid quality leading to strong competition was set for its latest chapter as the elite and mass fields set off at 9 am local time: the 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich was intent on victory and the course record to secure his Ugandan team place at this year’s World Championships in London, while Ethiopians Tsegaye Mekonnen and Tsegaye Kebede were keen to show they retained the winning touch. The women’s elite field reflected a broad range of international interest with Jessica Augusto talking pre-race of her ambition to break, one day, the Portuguese record of Rosa Mota: 2:23:29, set in 1985.
The city’s weather always has the potential for surprises and the early stages brought hail storms. Nonetheless, the men’s lead pace was consistent, going through 5 k in 15:02 and 10 k in 30:05. Stephen Kiprotich was towards the back of the lead pack, well aware that this tempo was right on course to break his own Ugandan record of 2:06:33. The pace was metronomic, ticking along to set up a tight finish. The expected big group leading through halfway – 1:03:21 – contained some less familiar names such as Kenya’s Gilbert Masai and Limenih Getachew of Ethiopia to the fore.
By 25 k Tsegaye Mekonnen had taken the lead with Masai 11 seconds back and Stephen Kiprotich 16 seconds adrift. They remained on course for a finishing time of around 2:06:30. Mekonnen, who made a stunning teenage debut in the marathon to win Dubai in 2:04:32 in 2014, was the man who had, at least in theory, the fastest gears.
Tsegaye Mekonnen’s tactics appeared to be going to plan as he led through 30 and 35 k, his lead over Stephen Kiprotich then 19 seconds with the Kenyan Robert Chemosin moving up to third, 34 seconds back. But Stephen Kiprotich is a master of competition when it is man against man, as his Olympic and World Marathon titles have proven.
At 40 k Mekonnen and Kiprotich were stride for stride, going through in 2:00:46. The Ethiopian found an extra gear to go clear around the final bend, winning by five seconds. It has been a long wait for Tsegaye Mekonnen to regain his winning form, over three years since that impressive debut which made him the fastest teenage marathoner ever.
“I never doubted I would win another marathon. My problems were injuries over the past few years but I never doubted that I would win again one day,” reflected Tsegaye Mekonnen.
Jessica Augusto was the fastest in the field going into race with her best of 2:24:25 and bags of marathon experience to match, having arrived at the classic distance via the traditional route of cross country and track success. In contrast, Kenya’s Viola Kibiwot was a debutant, having decided to move from track to road on the advice of compatriot and Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.
Portugal’s Augusto appeared to be upstaged as Kibiwot and Ethiopian Ifa Megertu led the early stages, going through 10 k in 34:06. By halfway, reached in 1:11:18, the duo were 37 seconds ahead of Augusto with Tanzania’s Magdalena Shauri a distant fourth.
But Jessica Augusto was chipping away at the lead. By 30 k it was all change, the Portuguese had drawn level and looking stronger than her rivals, Kibiwot and Megertu. Augusto reflected later that it was more a case of the leaders fading than her putting in a burst over the previous 5 k: “I held my pace steady and found that the leaders were coming back to me.”
While the national record of Rosa Mota was out of reach, victory was in sight for Jessica Augusto as she extended her lead. Consistency is her strong point, having run under 2:26 now on six occasions but this was her first marathon victory.
“When I saw the weather today, I decided it was not a day for concentrating on breaking the national record. It was tough because of the weather and I am delighted to be a marathon champion at last,” said Jessica Augusto. Ifa Megertu ran 2:29:47 for second place while Viola Kibiwot made a creditable debut with third in 2:30:33.
Experienced though men’s and women’s champions are in the marathon, Tsegaye Mekonnen and Jessica Augusto both agreed that running Hamburg was a first in more ways than one: they had never run a marathon which brought hail storms and sunshine together!
London’s Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich is ready for a fast race at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on Sunday. The 28-year-old from Uganda hopes for a 2:06 time in Germany’s biggest spring marathon.
And he insists that his friend and training partner Eliud Kipchoge would be happy for him to break his course record. Back in 2013 Kipchoge won his debut in Hamburg, bringing the course record down to 2:05:30.
While he is one of five sub 2:07 runners on the start list the favourite for the women’s race is Jessica Augusto. The Portuguese will go for Rosa Mota’s 32 year-old national record of 2:23:29 on the fast Hamburg course.
Meanwhile the London Olympic Marathon Champion Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia has had to withdraw because an injury. Around 16,000 runners have entered the 32nd edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. “More and more elite runners realize that we can offer them very good conditions for running a fast time. This explains why the fields are so strong,” said race organiser Frank Thaleiser.
“Eliud is a very good friend. We train together and spend time together. He was the one who recommended me to run Hamburg this spring,” said Kiprotich, who also took the World Championship marathon in 2013, one year after his Olympic triumph. “I knew before that Hamburg has a good and fast course,” added Kiprotich, who has a personal best of 2:06:33. Being the first Olympic champion ever in the elite field of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg Kiprotich will wear bib number 1. “It is an honour to wear this number. I have never had a number 1 going into a marathon. This is great,” said the Olympic Champion.
While current Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge is currently training for a sub two hour marathon project, one might assume that he was quite a bit ahead in the training sessions. However it was different. “I was not far behind Eliud,” said Kiprotich, who hopes to run a 2:06 time on Sunday providing the weather is suitable.
While Kiprotich will be the first Olympic champion to compete in Hamburg’s elite field Tsegaye Mekonnen is the fastest runner ever entered into the race. The youngster has a PB of 2:04:32 from winning the Dubai Marathon in January 2014. A number of injuries have hampered his performance in a couple of races since. “I had a hamstring injury before running Dubai in January. So this did not go as planned,” said Mekonnen, who clocked 2:11:54 in Dubai this year. “However the preparation for Hamburg went very well. I was able to train for three months without problems. On Sunday I would like to attack the course record.”
Jessica Augusto is the favourite for the women’s race and her best of 2:24:25 has the fastest lifetime performance in the field by a couple of minutes. The Portuguese hopes to break a significant national record on Sunday. “I want to improve the time of Rosa Mota. I think it is possible. I have trained for this and all went well,” said Augusto. Mota clocked 2:23:29 back in 1985 when finishing third in Chicago.
However Augusto could be challenged by a debutant. Viola Kibiwot is confident that she is ready for the marathon distance. “I decided to turn to the marathon back in September 2016. First the training with the longer distances was tough, but then I got used to it. I am mentally and physically ready for the marathon,” said the 33 year-old Kenyan, who has a 31:11 PB at 10 k and was fourth in the 5,000 m final of the World Championships in Moscow 2013.
Eliud Kipchoge played a role in Kibiwot’s choice of Hamburg for her debut as well. “Eliud is a good friend. I train in the same group. We are all running together, men and women,” said Viola Kibiwot. “Eliud gave me a lot of advice for my debut.”
Ten runners feature personal bests of sub 2:10 in what is likely the best ever men’s elite field in the history of the Vienna City Marathon.
Depending on weather conditions organisers hope for a winning time of 2:06 or may be a bit faster with the current course record standing at 2:05:41. “If the weather is fine I want to run 2:05 or 2:06 on Sunday,” said Deribe Robi during today’s press conference in Vienna. With a personal best of 2:05:58 the Ethiopian is the second fastest runner on the start list behind Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui (2:05:21).
A total of 42,257 athletes from 125 nations have entered the various running events of Austria’s biggest one-day sporting event. Around 9,000 of them will run the marathon distance. The Vienna City Marathon, which will see its 34th edition on Sunday, is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. The elite men’s race will start at 8.58 am on Sunday and there will be a live stream available at: www.vienna-marathon.com
“I am looking forward to Vienna and hope for a fast race. Of course much will depend on the weather,” said Deribe Robi. While it should be mainly dry with temperatures just below 10 Celsius at the start the wind could be a problem on Sunday. The 26 year-old Ethiopian, who runs a cattle farm with 25 cows and 11,000 chickens back home, clocked his PB when taking second place in Eindhoven two years ago. “In that race I suffered of a back problem in the final section. So I think there is still room for improvement. In the future I hope to achieve a time of 2:04,” said Deribe Robi, whose idol is Haile Gebrselassie. The Ethiopian superstar is a well-known figure in Vienna. He won the half marathon, which is staged parallel to the marathon, three times in a row from 2011 to 2013.
It will be the third start in a row for Suleiman Simotwo at the Vienna City Marathon. The Kenyan achieved his best result here a year ago when he was third in 2:10:15. “Vienna is one of my favourite races. I was already competing in Austria at the beginning of my career,” said Suleiman Simotwo, who has a 1,500 m PB of 3:31.67 from 2006. “On Sunday I hope for a good time,” added the Kenyan, who sometimes trains with Wilson Kipsang and admires Paul Tergat.
Eliud Kiptanui had to delay his flight to Vienna due to a visa issue. While he missed the press conference he is expected to arrive tomorrow morning. The Kenyan is said to be in fine form.
It is eleven years ago that the men’s winner of the Vienna City Marathon did not come from either Kenya or Ethiopia. Back in 2006 Morocco’s Lahoussine Mrikik caused a surprise by taking the race in 2:08:20. A fellow-Moroccan is among the favourites and could halt the dominance of Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes in Vienna: With a personal best of 2:07:55 Mustapha El Aziz is the third fastest runner on the start list. “It is my goal to break my personal best on Sunday,” said El Aziz. While he could not break 2:10 last year he did improve significantly in the half marathon with a time of 59:29. A month ago the 32 year-old was second in the Milan half marathon with 61:29.
Health Corporation, the Chinese sportswear manufacturer, has become the official Sports Partner of AIMS. The 5-year agreement will see the sports brand work with AIMS to promote running across the globe through to 2022.
The deal was announced at a press conference in China on 12 April 2017 headed by Paco Borao, President of AIMS, and Juchong Wang, President of Health Corporation.
Founded in 1984, Health makes a range of high quality sports shoes and sportswear.
AIMS also announced a separate agreement with Optimum Concepts, LLC. The USA-based company will assist AIMS to identify and secure sponsors in China that enhance the Association’s existing portfolio of partners. The deal was signed by Paco Borao, President of AIMS and Michael Chen, President of Optimum Concepts.
AIMS President Paco Borao commented: “We are delighted with these two agreements announced today, for several reasons: firstly, this partnership represents our common goal of promoting the practice of running at international level; secondly, Health will have the capacity to access the international sporting market, and thirdly, AIMS will have the chance to increase its membership in China, a country which has had extraordinary growth in the number of marathons and road races in recent years. This agreement is a win-win partnership. Our agreement with Optimum Concepts offers a more effective involvement of AIMS with Chinese Marathon organisers.”
Health Corporation President Juchong Wang commented: “We are extremely satisfied to have achieved this contract with AIMS because we believe that the running community represented by AIMS is the perfect complement to the quality of our products. Through this partnership we believe that we are opening the door to the international running community.”
Allan Kiprono and Fate Tola are the winners of the HAJ Hannover Marathon. In what is his biggest career win the Kenyan clocked 2:09:52 in fine but relatively warm weather conditions.
Fellow-Kenyan Philip Sanga snatched second place from Norway’s Sondre Moen in the final metres of the race. Both runners were timed with 2:10:07. Moen’s time is a Norwegian record.
While Germany’s marathon record holder Arne Gabius dropped out shortly before the 33 k mark due to an achilles tendon problem Fate Tola produced a German victory. The former Ethiopian ran 2:27:48 and secured selection for the World Championships’ Marathon in London this summer. She was well ahead of Ukraine’s Nataliya Lehonkova and Mulunesh Asefa of Ethiopia, who finished with 2:33:20 and 2:37:27 respectively.
Including shorter races the 27th HAJ Hannover Marathon had a record entry of 22,200 runners. The event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
A group of nine runners passed the half marathon mark in 65:04, hitting almost exactly the target time of 65 flat. While there were still eight in the lead at 30 k (1:32:33) shortly afterwards the group was reduced to five. It was then Philip Sanga, the fastest runner on the start list with a PB of 2:06:07, who took the lead. The group stretched, but Kiprono, Moen, South Africa’s defending champion Lusapho April and Nicholas Kamakya of Kenya managed to catch Sanga. However Sanga pushed the pace again at around 35 k and this time there was some damage. The Kenyan was in the lead with Kiprono and Moen chasing him while April and Kamakya were out of contention.
With thousands of spectators lining the street in the sunshine a thrilling battle for victory began. First it was Moen who could not hold on to Kiprono. Then Kiprono caught Sanga and overtook the leader with around four kilometres left. Sanga was also overtaken by Moen before the 40 k mark. But close to the finish Sanga was getting faster again. He could not catch Kiprono, but he just managed to squeeze past Moen before the finish line.
27 year-old Kiprono won his first marathon race in Hannover. “I had spoken to Philip during the race and suggested that we should work together. However he wanted to do it all alone. When I took the lead I was never sure I would win. I just gave everything,” said Kiprono, who ran his PB of 2:09:38 in Frankfurt in 2014. “I want to go back to Frankfurt in October and improve to 2:06 or 2:07,” said Kiprono, who is coached by German Dieter Hogen.
Behind Sanga and Moen Kenya’s Kamakya took fourth place with 2:11:35. Three time Hannover winner and course record holder Luspaho April (2:08:32) finished fifth with 2:11:41. This should secure selection for the World Championships in London. Ezekiel Ngimba of Tanzania took sixth place with 2:11:55.
“I got stitches and then I had some stomach problems from 33 k on because I drank too much during the race. It was a pity, because my legs were fine, but whenever I tried to run faster the stomach problems stopped me,” said Moen. “It is a pity that I could not break 2:10. However I am very happy about the Norwegian record,” said 26 year-old Moen, who was 19th in the Olympic marathon in 2016 and had a personal best of 2:12:54. The national record he broke was 30 years old: Back in 1987 Geir Kvernmo clocked 2:10:17 in London. “One day I hope to run 2:07,” said Moen, who plans to run a fast marathon in autumn. “I would like to improve to 2:09. And next year my goal is to win a medal at the European Championships.”
In the women’s race Fate Tola left behind her rivals soon after the 10 k mark. When she reached 15 k in 51:48 she was already more than a minute ahead. With split times of 1:13:06 at half way and 1:43:42 at 30k it looked certain that she would break the course record of 2:27:07. However after one of her pacemakers pulled a muscle and dropped out and the other one also stopped with around ten kilometres to go she suddenly slowed. “It was strange, because between 36 and 38k she lost around one minute. Afterwards Fate recovered and was running faster again. But she could no longer break the course record,” said her coach and husband Musa Roba-Kinkal.
“I am happy to win a marathon again,” said Fate Tola, who took the Vienna City Marathon twice in 2011 and 2012. “I am not disappointed regarding the time. It was getting tough without the pacemakers. Now I will concentrate on the preparation for the World Championships in London.”
The German half marathon championships were staged parallel to the marathon in Hannover. Philipp Baar was a surprise winner in 64:57 while Hendrik Pfeiffer showed a fine race taking second place in 65:09 after a long injury break. Sabrina Mockenhaupt won the women’s race in 70:54 from Anja Scherl who clocked 71:09.
More information about the HAJ Marathon Hannover is available at: www.marathon-hannover.de
Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei broke four world records (subject to ratification) in the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon – just her fifth half marathon to date writes John Mulkeen.
She reached 5km in 14:53 and 10km in 30:04 with defending champion Violah Jepchumba alongside her, besting Paula Radcliffe’s 30:21 from 2003. Thereafter a gap grew as Jepchumba trailed by 3 seconds at 15km (45:37/45:40) as Jepkosgei surpassed Florence Kiplagat’s 2015 record of 46:14. She passed through 20km in yet another world record of 1:01:25 and broke Peres Jepchichir’s recently established Half Marathon record in Ras Al Khaimah by 14 seconds. Her previous best was 1:06:08 from that same race – in which Jepchirchir recorded 1:05:06.
Josphat Ndambiri has chosen the METRO Marathon Düsseldorf for his comeback race after a long injury break.
With his personal best of 2:07:36 Ndambiri is currently the fastest runner on the start list of the METRO Marathon Düsseldorf. A year ago a total of 17,000 runners competed in the marathon and other running events staged parallel in Düsseldorf.
During the first part of his career the 32 year-old Kenyan was a top-class 10,000 m runner. He was fifth at the World Championships in Osaka in 2007 at this distance and then improved to a world-class PB of 26:57.36 two years later. With this time Ndambiri was number three in the world in 2009.
Two years later Josphat Ndambiri turned to the marathon and ran a perfect debut in Fukuoka. Winning this prestigious event he clocked his personal best of 2:07:36. However a long period of injuries followed and he did not manage to finish another marathon. Two years ago he competed in Hannover and was on course for a sub 2:09 time until around 25 k, before he then dropped out behind the 30 k mark. Now Ndambiri wants to come back strong in Düsseldorf.
Fellow-Kenyan Charles Cheruiyot will be among Ndambiri’s strongest rivals. He ran his personal best of 2:09:05 in Warsaw 2014. A year ago Cheruiyot took a fine second place at the Vienna City Marathon, clocking 2:10:09 despite very strong winds.
Two Europeans could also do well in Düsseldorf, although they have an African background. Coming from Eritrea Weldu Negash Gebretsadik has recently gained Norwegian citizenship. He was fifth in Rotterdam in 2014 with 2:09:14. Former Ethiopian Yared Shegumo has competed for Poland since 2003. The 34 year-old is the silver medallist from the European Championships’ marathon in Zurich 2014. He ran his PB of 2:10:34 when taking the Warsaw Marathon in 2013.
The women’s elite field is not yet finalized. Among those confirmed for the METRO Marathon Düsseldorf is Eri Okubo (JPN) who was fourth in the Tokyo Marathon in 2012 with a time of 2:26:08.
Leila, Liina and Lily Luik received a considerable share of awareness at the Olympic Marathon in Rio 2016.
The Estonian trio is now heading to the Vienna City Marathon. They will race the Vienna 10K on Saturday, 22nd April, a new 10K race on the day before the marathon takes place.
“We look forward to the run in Vienna very much. It will be the first time for us to come to Austria. We heard about the new Vienna 10K at the AIMS congress in Athens in November and immediately got excited about it,” they said.
“Saturday becomes a new highlight of the Vienna City Marathon weekend with the introduction of the Vienna 10K. The Luik triplets add much energy to this premiere staging. It shows that the Vienna 10K gets international recognition”, says Race Director Wolfgang Konrad.
The new Vienna 10K offers a highly attractive course for all runners. It starts close to the Ferris Wheel in the Vienna Prater, a huge green recreation area, and finishes in front of Vienna Burgtheater in the city centre, where the marathon runners cross the finish line on Sunday. Austrian 10K road race championships are incorporated into the race. Together with kids races Get active 4.2 and Get active 2.0 a “Super Saturday” beckons in Vienna.
Leila, Liina and Lily Luik, now 31, started serious running only at the age of 24. They have always led an active and sporting lifestyle. Especially dancing is their passion. Coach Harry Lemberg recalls the beginning of their co-operation: “When they approached me I thought they just wanted to do some weekend jogging. But after one year they asked, if they could possibly make it to the Olympics.”
Their personal bests in the marathon reflect their order of birth on 14th October 1985. Leila ran 2:37:11 as her fastest time, Liina 2:39:42 and Lily 2:40:30. Together they competed at the European Championships in Zurich 2014. Liina and Lily took part in the World Championships in Bejing 2015. Calling themselves “Trio to Rio” they qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. Liina had to drop out of that race in Brazil. Their common goal is to compete at the Olympic Marathon once again in Tokyo 2020.
Kenyans Gilbert Masai and Joan Melly took the 37th edition of the Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday. While Masai was among the top favourites, late-entrant Joan Melly was an unexpected winner.
Masai ran a fine 59:57 and was well ahead of Vincent Kipchumba and Reuben Limaa, who finished in 60:32 and 61:43 respectively. Joan Melly was the last name added to the elite field, but she was first at the finish line with a time of 68:45. It was a personal best for the 28 year-old and her first sub 70 minutes’ half marathon. Fellow Kenyans Edith Chelimo was second with 68:57 while Dutch defending champion Elizeba Cherono took third in 70:43. 34,004 runners from 106 nations entered Germany’s biggest and fastest half marathon race.
In fine but partly windy weather conditions the men’s race started relatively slow. After a first few kilometres with split times of around 3:00 minutes the pace was picked up. A group of six runners then passed the 10 k point in 28:52. It was Gilbert Masai who started an early and decisive move together with pacemaker Vincent Kipchumba. Running the 12th kilometre in 2:38 he took the lead.
“Unfortunately the pacemaker could not keep the pace so I was running alone at front,“ said Gilbert Masai, who had hoped to break his personal best of 59:31. “But it was getting tough without competition.” However Masai managed to run a sub one hour time with 59:57. “Now I will prepare for the Hamburg Marathon in three weeks. It is my aim to improve my PB to 2:07 to 2:08.”
Left behind by Gilbert Masai, pacemaker Vincent Kipchumba decided not to drop out but carry on. “I looked around and there was nobody behind me. Since I was in second position I continued running,” said Kipchumba, who ran a personal best of 60:32 on Sunday.
There was a fine performance by Germany’s 1,500 m runner Homiyu Tesfaye. The former Ethiopian was in the leading group for the first seven kilometres. “Then it was getting too fast for me. As I wanted to reach the finish line I had to hold back,” said Tesfaye, who finished seventh in a personal best of 62:58 in his second half marathon. Five years ago he had run 67:17. “I will now concentrate on the 1,500 metres again, but in the future I will run a marathon,” said Tesfaye.
Kenyans Joan Melly, Edith Chelimo and Susan Jeptoo formed an early leading group in the women’s race. Jeptoo, who had fallen just after the start but recovered quickly, lost contact shortly before 5 k and finally finished fifth in 71:28. Melly and Chelimo kept the pace high, passing 10 k in 32:27 and 15 k in 48:36. It was with around 5 k to go when Melly started opening a small gap. She kept going and won with a personal record of 68:45, well improving from 70:33.
“I am grateful that I was able to enter the race at short notice. This was a very nice competition for me,” said Melly. “I was very motivated, because it was my first international race after maternity leave. I would really like to come back to Berlin in September for my marathon debut.”
After several years with injury problems Sabrina Mockenhaupt ran a fine race in Berlin. The 36-year-old German finished eighth with 72:11. “It was getting tough, but the atmosphere was great,” said Mockenhaupt, whose long-term target is the European Championships’ marathon in Berlin next year.
Two significant half marathon time barriers are targeted in Sunday’s Berlin Half Marathon. While the men’s favourites from Kenya intend to go sub 60 minutes on the very flat loop course right through the heart of the German capital the top women runners plan for a pace that leads to finishing times under 70 minutes. Exactly 34,004 runners entered the 37th edition of the Berlin Half Marathon, which is Germany’s biggest and fastest race at the distance.
There is little indication that Kenya’s dominance in the Berlin Half Marathon could come to an end on Sunday. In the past 15 years only twice did the winner not come from Kenya. Three athletes are on the start lists who feature personal bests of sub one hour. All three are from Kenya and they are the favourites: Gilbert Masai, David Kogei and Daniel Chebii.
David Kogei almost won the Berlin Half Marathon already two years ago. In what was the closest finish in the history of the race he was just edged out by Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese. However there was some consolation for Kogei, since he clocked his personal best of 59:46 in that race. Kogei’s main rivals will be Gilbert Masai and Daniel Chebii. Masai holds a slightly faster personal best at the distance. He clocked 59:31 when he finished fourth in last year’s Copenhagen Half Marathon.
Daniel Chebii has already performed well in the Berlin Half Marathon on two occasions: In 2011 he was third with 60:56 and three years later he took fifth place in 60:40. „I know that this is a fast and very nice course. So it is my goal to run a personal best on Sunday,“ said Chebii, who as a PB of 59:49. The runner with the fourth fastest personal record on the start list also comes from Kenya: Reuben Limaa ran 60:53 four years ago in Verbania, Italy.
Last year’s runner-up Simon Tesfay of Eritrea, who clocked a personal record of 61:00 in Berlin, and Ethiopia’s Ejerssa Temesgen Daba, who has a PB of 61:08, will most likely be the strongest challengers of the Kenyans.
The standard of Germany’s elite road runners has improved significantly in recent years. One of the athletes who came through is Philipp Pflieger. He intends to improve his personal best of 63:51 and could well achieve a top eight finish. „Training went very well and I feel fine. However my main spring race will be the Hamburg Marathon,“ said Philipp Pflieger.
Homiyu Tesfaye was Germany’s best bet for middle and long distance fame until 2015. However the former Ethiopian had a poor Olympic year and it did not look bright after he left his coach Wolfgang Heinig in 2016. But the 23 year-old is optimistic. „I trained in Ethiopia for some weeks and I think I am ready for a time between 61 and 62 minutes,“ said Homiyu Tesfaye, who confirmed that he will return to the 1,500 m in summer. Tesfaye, who holds a personal best of 27:54 at 10 k from 2015, will run his second half marathon on Sunday. Five years ago he competed at the German Championships finishing sixth in 67:17.
The winners of the past two editions of the Berlin Half Marathon will clash in the women’s race. Originally from Kenya the defending champion Elizeba Cherono competes for the Netherlands since January 2016. While her personal best stands at 70:10 she won last year’s race in 70:43. A year earlier she missed out on victory by just four seconds, beaten Cynthia Kosgei. The Kenyan clocked her current PB of 70:52 in Berlin in 2015. Now the pair will meet again on Sunday. In probably good weather conditions a sub 70 minutes’ time is their target.
However another runner from Kenya must probably be regarded as the favourite: Edith Chelimo has shown fine form in her half marathon races last year, winning three out of four. She improved to 69:45 in Njabini, Kenya, when taking this event in November.
The fastest runner on the women’s start list is a German: Sabrina Mockenhaupt won the Berlin Half Marathon back in 2009 with 68:45. This personal best still stands. However due to various injuries in the past few years it is highly unlikely that the 36 year-old can challenge the Kenyans. „The past two to three years were really terrible. But now I enjoy running again and feel relaxed,“ said Sabrina Mockenhaupt.
One of Mockenhaupt’s rivals will be fellow-German Katharina Heinig, who achieved a breakthrough performance in the marathon in 2016. Coached by her mother, the former world-class marathoner Katrin Dörre-Heinig, Katharina smashed her personal marathon best by more than five minutes in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. She clocked 2:28:34 and achieved the national qualifying standard for the World Championships in London this year. In the half marathon she ran a personal record of 72:55 in 2016. „I hope for another great race in Berlin on Sunday,“ said Katharina Heinig, who will not run another marathon this spring and instead focuses on London. To secure selection she needs to run 73:15 on Sunday. However the 27 year-old plans to run quite a bit faster. She targets a sub 72 minutes’ time.
It was 1927 and the Košice Marathon was heading towards its fourth edition. Invitations, with a detailed program, had been prepared and sent out in five languages. Paul Hempel, representing the Berlin club SC Charlottenburg (which today organises the Berlin Marathon) and Pál Király, the Hungarian winner from 1925, were race favourites.
Bad weather ruled on race day with thick fog enveloping runners as they set off. The unexpected winner was the Hungarian Jozsef Galambos but his win was no fluke. Jozsef repeated his victory in 1928, 1932 and 1933. Up to today he remains the most successful male runner in Košice Marathon history.
It was not only the athletes who attracted attention in the 1927 race. Organisers introduced a new innovation that allowed officials to inform the organisers about the race and split times recorded via telephone stations set up along the course by the local military crew.
Both Olympic Marathon champions from London 2012 will be on the start line for the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on April 23: after Stephen Kiprotich’s participation was confirmed last month, Tiki Gelana has completed the duo by confirming her entry for Germany’s biggest spring Marathon.
Their presence represents an unprecedented quality in Hamburg’s elite field since never before has one Olympic gold medallist competed here. In terms of the overall field, at present more than 15,000 runners have entered for the 32nd edition. Places remain available and registration can be made by going to the website: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de
“This is probably the best elite field in the history of the races which began more than 30 years ago. The strong elite fields and the current entry figures promise a great Haspa Marathon Hamburg,” said race organiser Frank Thaleiser.
Tiki Gelana’s national record of 2:18:58 makes her the fastest woman runner to have entered the Haspa Marathon Hamburg by a considerable margin since she is the first sub-2:20 performer to compete. In 2011 and 2012 she was unbeaten over the classic distance. After winning in Amsterdam, Gelana, who is now 29, won the Rotterdam title and set the current Ethiopian record. This sequence of success was crowned by her Olympic triumph in London.
Her personal best in Rotterdam in 2012 makes her the fourth fastest woman marathon runner of all time. In 2016 she suffered setbacks and the fast course of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg offers a good platform to show her true capabilities once more. Her strongest rivals on April 23 are likely to be Jessica Augusto of Portugal and possibly the Kenyan Viola Kibiwot who is making her debut at the distance.
The participation of the men’s Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, whose best is 2:06:33, and Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Mekonnen has been known for some time. Mekonnen’s personal best of 2:04:32 makes him the fastest man ever on the Hamburg start list. Two more talented Ethiopian runners have now been added to the mix: Tsegaye Kebede, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist and Tadesse Tola. Kebede’s impressive career so far includes victories against high quality fields in London and Chicago. He ran his personal best of 2:04:38 in winning Chicago and has broken 2:06 on three other occasions. At 29, Tola is one year younger and won a bronze medal in the 2013 World Championship marathon. He ran his best time of 2:04:49 in finishing third in Dubai in 2013.
Another athlete to watch should be Eric Ndiema who is making a return to Hamburg. The 24-year-old Kenyan has a good pedigree in the race, finishing second here in 2:07:00 in 2014. His current best is 2:06:07. A total of six athletes who have run under 2:07 are now on the start list for the April 23 race and that includes a trio who have broken 2:05. A clear sign that this is the best quality field ever assembled in the history of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg.
The Semi Marathon International de la Ville de Béjaia (ALG) will take place on Fri 19 May 2017, not Fri 12 May 2017 as previously published.
The Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Marathon (ROU) will take place on Sat 14 October 2017, not Sat 7 October 2017 as previously published.
The Maratón de las Flores Medellín (COL) will take place on Sun 17 September 2017, not Sun 10 September 2017 as previously published.
The Wuxi Marathon (CHN) will take place on Sun 18 March 2018, not Mon 19 March 2018 as previously published.
The Novi Sad Half Marathon (SRB) will take place on Sat 1 April 2017, not Sun 2 April 2017 as previously published.
Just a week after his 86th birthday the ever-gracious and remarkably talented long distance runner Ed Whitlock died in Toronto on 13 March from prostate cancer writes Paul Gains.
Although he was an accomplished British club runner in school and at university Whitlock put the sport on hold while he embarked on an engineering career in Canada. Much later in life he became the first septuagenarian to run under three hours with a 70+ world marathon record of 2:59:10 at the 2003 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, an event to which he became particularly attached.
A year later he improved that record with a 2:54:49 at age 73, again in Toronto. Eventually he set world master’s marathon records for age 75+, 80+ and, most recently, 85+ with a time of 3:56:38 set on 16 October 2016 in Toronto. In all he set roughly 25 world master’s records over distances from 1500m to the marathon.
Alan Brookes, the race director of the Toronto event, enjoyed a longstanding friendship with Whitlock.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ed Whitlock, The Master. The Legend. This is an enormous loss to Canada and the global running community. Somehow we thought Ed would just go on setting records forever… He defined our Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. He will always be a vital part of the identity and spirit of the race. ‘Don’t limit yourself,’ was one of Ed’s key messages, and it was one we latched onto. It gave us the vision and the inspiration of what STWM could become. His indomitable spirit, his love of racing, his modesty and inspiration will be with us always.”
“I don’t consider myself to be an inspiring person,” Whitlock had said. “I am not one to stand up on the stage and say ‘you all can do this.’” He was an inspiration to millions around the world, albeit a reluctant one.
Picture: A smiling Ed Whitlock, moments after setting a world marathon record for runners age 85+ at the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Course record holder and defending champion Lusapho April of South Africa will duel with German record holder Arne Gabius in the HAJ Hannover Marathon on 9th April.
However there are three Kenyans in the race with superior personal bests who could upset the two prominent runners. The women’s race will have a German favourite: Former Ethiopian Fate Tola targets Hannover’s course record of 2:27:07.
Lusapho April is almost treated as a local hero in Hannover. There is no marathon race where the 34 year-old has competed as often as in this one. It will be the sixth HAJ Hannover Marathon for Lusapho April on 9th April. He is the record men’s winner of the event with three victories — 2011, 2013, 2016 — and established the current course record of 2:08:32 four years ago. Last year he secured Olympic selection with his 2:11:27 performance. In Rio the South African then placed 24th. “Hannover has become my second home for running. I have shown my best performances and celebrated my biggest wins here,” said Lusapho April, who also finished third in New York in 2013.
Looking solely at their personal bests a great duel could be on the cards when Lusapho April meets Arne Gabius. The German broke the 27 year-old national record in Frankfurt in 2015 with a time of 2:08:33, improving his personal best to within a second of Lusapho April’s Hannover course record and PB.
However organisers announced that three Kenyans have been entered who will make it tough for April and Gabius. Philipp Kimutai has a personal best of 2:06:07 while Nicholas Kamakya and Cheshari Jacob have run 2:06:34 and 2:07:46 respectively. Kimutai was supposed to challenge April already a year ago in Hannover. However due to visa problems he had to cancel his start at the last moment. Now the Kenyan heads the entry list once again. He clocked his personal best back in 2011 when he was fourth in Frankfurt. Kamakya’s PB is six years old as well. However he showed fine form when taking second in Cologne last autumn with 2:10:22. Jacob is a former Hannover champion. He won the race in 2015 with 2:09:32. Two years earlier he ran his PB of 2:07:46 in Frankfurt.
“On this occasion we don’t think too much about the course record. We simply hope to create a thrilling contest. If it should become a very fast race as well then it would be even better — but it is not a priority,” said Christoph Kopp, who is responsible for the elite field in Hannover.
It will be different regarding the women’s race. Fate Tola is the favourite and she intends to go for the course record. “I always set myself ambitious goals and then fully concentrate on reaching them,” said Fate Tola, who is currently preparing in Ethiopia for the HAJ Hannover Marathon. She was unlucky last summer when she received German citizenship two weeks too late to gain selection for the Olympic Games. However she bounced back with a second place in Frankfurt with 2:25:42. The two-time Vienna City Marathon champion (2011 and 2012) came close to her PB of 2:25:14 and will now hope to show a similar performance on the flat course in Hannover. Ukraine’s Olena Burkovska ran the current course record of 2:27:07 in 2013.
While there will be more additions to the women’s field in the coming weeks at the moment Ethiopia’s Ayelu Lemma Geda looks to be the strongest rival for Fate Tola. The Ethiopian has a PB of 2:29:49 from Milan in 2015 where she was second. She is the Rome Marathon champion from 2014.
It was seven years ago in April when huge parts of Europe’s airspace were closed after the eruption of the Icelandic vulcano Eyyafyallayöküll. An ash cloud had spread over Britain and then the continent and flying was said to be too dangerous.
A number of major marathons struggled getting their African elite athletes and international runners in, among them Vienna and London. Most of the elite field made it in time before the closures to the Austrian capital, but among those missing was Eliud Kiptanui.
Seven years later it looks like he will finally find his way to Vienna. The Kenyan heads the men’s elite list of the Vienna City Marathon on 23rd April with a personal best of 2:05:21. The event is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race and adding races at other distances a total of over 36,000 runners has so far entered the 34th edition of Austria’s biggest annual sporting event.
A few weeks after missing the Vienna City Marathon Eliud Kiptanui produced headlines not that far away from Austria’s capital. The Kenyan ran an extraordinary course record in Prague, clocking a time of 2:05:39. No-one had thought this could be possible in Prague and no other runner has come close to this mark since then. It showed what Vienna probably has missed. In the meantime 27 year-old Kiptanui placed fifth in the World Championships in 2011 and has improved to 2:05:21 when he finished second in the Berlin Marathon in 2015.
There is a second sub 2:06 runner among the men’s elite runners announced by the organisers today: Ethiopia’s Deribe Robi has a personal best of 2:05:58. The 26 year-old clocked this time in Eindhoven in 2015, when he took second place. He showed good consistency with a total of eight sub 2:08 times. Robi won the Marrakech Marathon in 2014, placed third in Dubai a year later, fourth in Rotterdam in 2014 and fifth in Frankfurt in the same year.
Kiptanui and Robi will be challenged by Morocco’s Mustapha El Aziz as well as Kenyans Philipp Kangogo and Suleiman Simotwo. El Aziz has a personal best of 2:07:55 with which he took third place in Seoul four years ago. More recently the 32 year-old clocked promising personal bests at 10 k and in the half marathon. First he ran 27:33 in Marrakech, then he clocked his first sub-hour time with 59:29 in Valencia.
Philipp Kangogo is a promising newcomer to the marathon. Two years ago he won his debut at the distance in Barcelona with a fine 2:08:16 and then he was second in Ottawa in 2:09:56. Vienna will be his third marathon. In contrast fellow-Kenyan Suleiman Simotwo is a very experienced athlete. It will be the third time in a row that the 36-year-old competes in the Vienna City Marathon. In 2015 he was fifth, then he took third and clocked 2:10:15 despite heavy winds. The former world-class 1,500 m runner who features a personal best of 3:31.67 ran his fastest marathon in Frankfurt, where he finished with 2:08:49 in 2015.
The Bengaluru Midnight Marathon (IND) will take place on Sat 16 December 2017, not Sat 9 December 2017 as previously published.
Among the 410+ members of AIMS spread throughout 110 countries and territories there are 22 in Japan, many of them with more than 10,000 runners participating. By eliminating the language barrier, this new website is expected to bring Japanese runners and worldwide AIMS member races much closer to each other.
The site will provide the Japanese media with AIMS news releases translated from English into Japanese. This will contribute to smoother news distribution in Japan as well as a closer connection between Japanese runners/media and AIMS’ member races around the world.
AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “This new Japanese-language website will give AIMS a strong platform to enhance our relations with our members in Japan, other Japanese distance running events, Japanese runners and the media in Japan, all in the Japanese language. It offers the opportunity for Japanese Runners to access over 410 AIMS member races in 110 countries and territories. It will connect our member races with a large audience of Japanese runners who hold a great passion for running and travel.”
AIMS Board Member (also Senior Managing Director of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF)), Mitsugi Ogata, Ph.D. comments: “I am very pleased that AIMS has taken this step towards communicating directly with the large Japanese running audience. I can see this will have great benefits for Japanese races and runners and the media in Japan as well as AIMS. It is also providing access for millions of Japanese runners to the exciting variety of international running events around the world in AIMS membership.”
AIMS’ medical partner the International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) offers membership to AIMS members on an introductory basis for $100 for the first year.
Through the support of the UK-based Matthew Good Foundation a scholarship grant to cover the $100 membership fee is being offered to up to 100 AIMS members who apply.
Membership in the IIRM allows all event medical volunteers, EMS partners, and area hospitals to have access to the resources provided in the member-only area of the IIRM website. This includes guidelines for treating multiple medical conditions, samples of medical records forms developed by medical directors at the prominent marathons around the world, a comprehensive medical manual, and many educational videos addressing topics related to race medicine.
CLICK HERE for a recent press release announcing the grant and its application guidelines.
Fifty years after the attempt to bundle her out of the BAA Boston Marathon as an unauthorised entrant — a woman — running pioneer Kathrine Switzer will run the 121st BAA Boston Marathon on 17 April.
This time, she will be joined by 114 women and 7 men from 20 counties who are representing and raising funds for 261 Fearless, Inc., Switzer’s global non-profit organisation that empowers women around the world through a social running community.
“It is an honour and joy to participate in the 121st Boston Marathon,” said Kathrine Switzer. “That dramatic incident 50 years ago when an angry race official tried to throw me off the course became instead a defining moment for me and women runners throughout the world. The result is nothing less than a social revolution; there are now more women runners in the United States than men.”
Despite the inauspicious beginning, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) early on understood the seriousness of women’s desire to participate in the Marathon. In 1972, five years after the ‘Switzer Incident’, the BAA welcomed women as official competitors. Switzer placed third in that race, ran Boston eight times, and posted her personal best of 2:51:37 in the 1975 edition.
“We are pleased to welcome Kathrine back to the race which elevated and hastened the movement in women’s sports,” said BAA President Joann Flaminio “and we look forward to greeting her at the finish line on 17 April.”
“[The 71st BAA Boston Marathon] was a race that changed all of us,” said Switzer, now 70. “I’m running to say thanks to a race, a city and all those people who have done so much to give strength and self-esteem to women.”
Registration has opened for the oldest European marathon, the Košice Peace Marathon in Slovakia.
The 94th edition takes place on 1st of October 2017. For quick and easy registration, runners can visit the website www.kosicemarathon.com.
The marathon course, one of the fastest, was created in Košice 20 years ago for the 1997 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. That course is still fast and very attractive for both elite and fun runners.
In Košice, the gothic pearl of Europe where the fundamentals of the modern marathon movement were set in 1924, runners can discover why it was more recently chosen as European Capital of Culture 2013 and the Best European City of Sport 2016.
World champion Peres Jepchirchir broke the women’s world record, but was pushed all the way by former world and course record holder Mary Keitany writes Tim Hutchings.
Jepchirchir, who finished in 1:05:06, shaved three seconds off the time her compatriot Florence Kiplagat set in Barcelona two years ago. Fully recovered from a bout of pneumonia at the end of 2016 the 23-year old, 4th in RAK last year, also broke the world record for 20km (mixed race) with 61:40 — 14 seconds faster than the mark set by Kiplagat in Barcelona.
In the men’s race World Half Marathon runner-up Bedan Karoki surged to victory over the last 3km after having made much of the running in the second half of the race once the pacemakers had stepped aside. Behind him rising star Yigrem Demelash broke his personal best by 29 seconds.
For the first time in the history of the Haspa Hamburg Marathon an Olympic Marathon champion will be on the start line of the elite field: Stephen Kiprotich will be a star attraction on April 23 in Hamburg.
The Ugandan caused a sensation when he surprised the favourites to win the Olympic gold in London in 2012, promoted to sporting superstar status overnight in his home country. A year later Kiprotich added to his tally of gold medals in winning the World Marathon title in Moscow.
Although Stephen Kiprotich has won two major global titles, victory in a big city marathon is one achievement missing so far in his running portfolio. He did win the Enschede marathon in 2011 with 2:07:20 but success in Hamburg would be of a different order.
Another leading contender has also been announced and that is Tsegaye Mekonnen. The 21-year-old Ethiopian is considerably faster than the Olympic champion Kiprotich with his best of 2:04:32, achieved on his sensational marathon debut in Dubai in 2014. His performance was the fastest ever by a junior, though remains an unofficial world record since the world governing body of the IAAF does not recognise junior records in the marathon.
The race organiser Frank Thaleiser has a simple explanation why high quality athletes come to run in Hamburg, despite the relatively small budget for elite runners: “The top runners don’t come to Hamburg because of the money, because our prize monies are hardly the biggest out there. They come because we, in partnership with Global Sports Communication, can offer them perfect conditions. These include a strong field overall, top pacemakers and a first class service for them in terms of the race and build-up. The course in the city beside the River Elbe is one of the fastest in the world and, if the weather is favourable, very fast times are part and parcel of the event.”
The Golden Ring Yaroslavl Half Marathon (RUS) will take place on Sun 3 September 2017, not Sun 17 September 2017 as previously published.
The RAHAL Mémorial Casablanca (MAR) will take place on Sun 7 May 2017, not Sun 21 May 2017 as previously published.
Allan Steinfeld, a key figure in the world’s original running ‘boom’ that took place in United States during the 1970s, passed away on 24 January at the age of 70.
Born a New Yorker on 7 June 1946, Steinfeld was an accomplished college distance runner who attended Cornell University. After graduation in 1971 he began volunteering technical service to the New York Road Runners Club which was set up by NYC race founder Fred Lebow to co-ordinate the organisation of the Marathon and local races throughout the city.
As the race grew — from hundreds in the early 1970s to 2000 in the 1976 Five-Borough Bicentennial race and then took off in the late 1970s Steinfeld joined the race staff full-time. He became technical director in 1981. He was the person primarily responsible for getting the show on the road. While his contribution to the sport of distance running and to the organisation of the Marathon is widely acknowledged, what he and Fred Lebow did to promote the Marathon internationally is not so well known.
When London Marathon race founder Chris Brasher saw the 1979 New York Marathon and its impact on those who participated and spectated he immediately enlisted the help of Lebow and Steinfeld. They helped him convince the authorities in London that staging a marathon was both possible and worthwhile. But London was not the first. The New York example was the essential impetus behind the Barcelona and Stockholm Marathons when they were set up in 1978 and behind many other marathons the world over.
Steinfeld and Lebow became de facto marathon ambassadors advising organisers in places like Belgrade and Siberia on how to put on an event. Where they saw ideas they could use in the New York Marathon they promptly introduced these, rapidly spreading a culture of ‘best practice’.
Part of this effort was the establishment of the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) in 1982. Steinfeld had made accurate course measurement part of his field of technical expertise and was instrumental in spreading the practice both in the United States and internationally through the Association. He also instituted a chute system for assigning places and times to all runners even when hundreds were crossing the finish line every minute. This remained in place for mass marathons until the transponder timing system had proved its reliability by the late 1990s.
In 1984 Steinfeld was instrumental in the measurement of the Los Angeles Olympic Marathon course which became a model for later practice. He was also Chief Referee for both the men’s and the (inaugural) women’s events.
Steinfeld took over from Fred Lebow as the New York Road Runners’ President. After Lebow’s death in 1994 he assumed the posts of CEO and New York City Marathon race director. He retired from these posts in 2005. He was elected an Board member of AIMS in 1993 and a Vice-President in 1999. He became an Honorary Life Vice-President of AIMS in 2007.
The Niagara Falls International Marathon (CAN) will take place on Sun 15 October 2017, not Sun 22 October 2017 as previously published.
The AlAmerat Challenge Race (OMA) organisers have issued the following statement:
“Unfortunately we would like to inform all fans of road races, the participants and competing in AlAmerat Challenge race since the first edition in February 2014, second edition in February 2015 addition, and to the third edition in February 2016, that the race will not take place during this year 2017 as we have been informed by Oman Athletic Association that the Directorate General of Operations in Royal Oman Police rejected to execute the race this year due to the traffic congestion that occurred while closing AlAmerat/Boushar road to secure the race and the large number of complaints and reports received by Royal Oman Police operations from the road users expressing their discontent and dissatisfaction with the traffic stop that led to stop their interests.”
The Vodafone İstanbul Half Marathon (TUR) will take place on Sun 30 April 2017, not Sun 16 April 2017 as previously published.
The Dushanbe International Half Marathon (TJK) will take place on Sat 15 April 2017, not Sun 16 April 2017 as previously published.
During his recent business visit to AIMS Headquarters in Athens, Greece, the AIMS President, Mr. Paco Borao, had a meeting with the recently appointed new Greek Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr. Georgios Vasileiadis.
Along with Mr. Kostas Panagopoulos, President of the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), Mr. Makis Asimakopoulos, General Manager of “Athens Marathon. The Authentic” and Mr. Theo Livitsanos, AIMS HQ Administrator, the President and Deputy Minister had the chance to discuss future strategic plans between the Greek authorities, SEGAS, the Athens Marathon and AIMS, following the successful recently organised 21st World Congress of AIMS in Athens, the birthplace of our sport, and the close collaboration between these organisations which dates back to 2007.