29 June 2023, 10am
hella hamburg half marathon
Sun 25 June 2023
Teams of helpers, lead cars, police and many others make sure that the logistics for around 10,000 participants run like clockwork.
As in the previous year a hot summer day was predicted, but at least the temperature stayed in a running-friendly range in the morning. The talk was even of course records.
The fastest man momentarily measured a top speed of 64km/h. The average 21km/h of the elite runners seemed relatively slow compared to that, but can be maintained over two laps of the ground.
Excitement was guaranteed for the spectators. The closeness of the lead runners and the technical delay of the live broadcast meant that even on the finishing stretch it was not clear whether the course records were in danger. At 19km even a time under an hour for the men seemed possible. Or would it be 1:01:30? The atmosphere was that of a festival as the runners began the long last stretch in Jungiusstrasse. Samwel Mailu (KEN), last year’s winner, was able to put distance between himself and the next runner with 1.5km to go.
He was able to maintain this gap until the finish and crossed the line in 1:01:09, 25 seconds before Edwin Kipruto – just 17 seconds slower than the course record set in 2015.
Then came the two fastest women. A sprint to the finish: several hundred metres in a straight line and uphill. Only up close was it possible to see that Lonah Salpeter finished a few steps ahead of Naom Jebet. Both beat the course record of 1:10:13 set by Gladys Jeptepkeny in 2018.
The fastest German runners were Hendrik Pfeiffer in 1:05:35 and Esther Jacobitz in 1:16:34. Among local runners from Hamburg itself, Erik Hille crossed the finishing line in 1:08:48 and Lara Hülsebusch in 1:24:32.
The party was only just beginning as streams of runners started to flow through the finish. After two hours, with the temperature reaching 26ºC, 1,500 had completed the course and by 11.20am it was 3,000.