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Race news Haspa Marathon Hamburg

01 May 2024, 10am

Disappointment for Steinruck as hopes dashed of beating mother's PB

Defending champion Bernard Koech and debutant Irine Cheptai win in Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg
Sun 28 April 2024

1 20240428michael strokosch part7 0019

Defending champion Bernard Koech and fellow Kenyan Irine Cheptai won the Haspa Marathon Hamburg with world-class times. Koech crossed the line in a brilliant 2:04:24 and clocked the eighth fastest time in the world this year.

Missing his own course record and PB by just 15 seconds Koech became the first man to successfully defend the title in Hamburg since Julio Rey of Spain in 2006. Ethiopia’s Haymanot Alew took second with 2:05:30 and Philemon Kiplimo of Kenya was third in 2:05:37.

There was a thrilling duel in the women’s race. Irine Cheptai won the battle and produced one of the fastest marathon debuts in history with 2:18:22. Fellow-Kenyan Winfridah Moseti smashed her PB with 2:18:25 for second place. These are the second and third fastest times in the history of the race. Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase took third with 2:21:19.

Organisers registered a record entry number of 38,210 athletes for the 38th edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. This includes races at shorter distances. 15,000 marathon runners were among the entries. “It was a superb race which produced some of the fastest times ever in Hamburg. However for many athletes conditions became tough when it suddenly warmed up strongly during the race,“ said Chief Organiser Frank Thaleiser.

For long periods of the race the leading group was on course to break the course record of 2:04:09 which Bernard Koech established a year ago. After a 1:28:14 split time at 30k the last pacemaker dropped out and then Koech took off, immediately leaving behind Haymanot Alew, Philemon Kiplimo and fellow-Kenyan Ronald Korir. Koech covered the next 5k section in a breathtaking 14:17 and when he went through 35k in 1:42:31 it looked like he might finish in around 2:03:30. “But then I had a difficult section and because of that I missed the course record,“ Bernard Koech later explained. „But this is sport, I am not at all disappointed. It was a great race and I might well come back again next year.“ For the second time since 2022 four athletes ran sub 2:06:00 in Hamburg.

Germany’s Sebastian Hendel finished in a strong tenth place with a huge PB of 2:08:51. The 28 year-old had a personal record of 2:10:14 before and now became the ninth fastest German marathon runner ever.

For over 30 kilometres Gotytom Gebreslase, the Marathon World Champion from 2022, ran together with Kenyans Irine Cheptai and Winfridah Moseti in the leading group. However with 10k to go the Ethiopian dropped back. With the leaders out of sight her dream of competing in the Olympics probably vanished. In the end Gotytom Gebreslase finished a distant third in 2:21:19. The battle for victory continued right into the home straight. Then the 2017 World Cross Country Champion Irine Cheptai opened a small gap and crowned her strong marathon debut with a win in 2:18:22. She was three seconds ahead of Winfridah Moseti. The two Kenyans managed to run the second half quicker than the first (69:44) and placed themselves on positions eleven and twelve in the 2024 world list.

“I never expected to win the race. I had hoped to maybe finish second or third,“ said Irine Cheptai. “Perhaps I can now run between 2:14 and 2:15 in my next marathon. I would like to run here in Hamburg again next year.“ In seventh place Argentinian Daiana Ocampo was the only athlete in Hamburg to achieve Olympic qualification.

There was very bad luck for Katharina Steinruck once more. The German, who hoped to break her mother’s PB (Katrin Dörre-Heinig, the Olympic bronze medallist from 1988, ran 2:24:35 in Hamburg 25 years ago), had to side step at a refreshment point when a pacemaker stepped into her way. She then collided full speed with a drinks table, fell and had to give up injured shortly after that. This happened shortly before the half way point and she had been running 2:23 pace. Rabea Schöneborn was the best German with 2:35:07 in 13th place.


1 Bernard KOECH KEN 2:04:24
2 Haymanot ALEW ETH 2:05:30
3 Philemon KIPLIMO KEN 2:05:37
4 Ronald KORIR KOR 2:05:41
5 Tsedat AYANA ETH 2:06:40
1 Irine CHEPTAI KEN 2:18:22
2 Winfridah MOSETI KEN 2:18:25
3 Gotytom GEBRESLASE ETH 2:21:19
4 Jackline CHERONO KEN 2:21:40
5 Aminet AHMED ETH 2:23:27

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