08 April 2021, 9am
Originally scheduled for 11 April in Hamburg, the City authorities withdrew permission after a rise in perceived risk of coronavirus infection.
Postponing by a week to 18 April was no help for the location in Hamburg but it allowed the organisers to scout another venue. This was going to be in Vienna’s Prater where in October 2019 Eliud Kipchoge had run his celebrated 1:59:40.2 time for 42195 metres under “assisted” conditions.
The venue has now changed again to Enschede in the Twente province of the Netherlands. A closed circuit at Twente Airport has been confirmed for the course. Organisers are expecting about 70 elite runners – including Kipchoge in his first Marathon since suffering his first marathon defeat since 2013 last October in London.
Frank Thaleiser, race director NN Mission Marathon says: “We are very happy that NN Mission Marathon can take place on 18 April in the Netherlands and we are very much looking forward to working with the Enschede Marathon team. We would like to thank the national and regional authorities for their support in this process.”
Sandra Melief, director of the Enschede Marathon, said: “It really is a dream come true: the absolute world’s best on Enschede territory. I am really proud! We welcome the athletes with open arms and with our Twente hospitality we will do everything we can to ensure that they have a top time as relaxed as possible on a flat and fast course."
Niels van den Berg, alderman for sports at the municipality of Enschede, said: “We are incredibly proud and honoured that the event is taking place in Enschede, in a race where the best of the international marathon athletes can also qualify for the Olympic Games.".
Most marathons have been moved to the fall, which means that the calendar is almost empty in the spring. The parties involved are happy that with this race they can contribute to realising the Olympic dreams of the athletes.