It was a cold and blustery day, as Vivian Cheruiyot battled Mother Nature at the 2017 Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, winning in 2:23:35

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The 2017 Frankfurt Marathon was a race for the ages. For the first 27 kilometers, the wind was in the face of the runners, battering them and daring them to go out too fast. From 27 kilometers to 37 kilometers, the wind was at their back. And then, again, Mother Nature was back in the faces of marathoners, reminding them that tired legs come from many things.

Cheruiyot_Vivian-Frankfurt17.JPGVivian Cheruiyot, photo by PhotoRun.net

Vivian Cheruiyot want to run her best time, which she did. Having gone out much easier that in her first race, London, Vivian should have expected a 2:21 time, but with Mother Nature throwing counter punches, much of the race, Vivian will have to wait until her third race to show her true talent. Patience is key to being a fine marathoner.

From the start of the race, Vivian Cheruiyot was on a mission. That the wind was as well was quite evident. Photographer Victah Sailer, of PhotoRun, is a man who has seen many events and dealt with a myriad of weather conditions, including a shopping cart going airborne in Oslo, after having been hit by lightning.

Victah told us the following: "the wind was bad other there, if you did not surround yourself with athletes, you were not going anywhere."

image5.jpegVivian Cheruiyot with her pacers, photo by Ricky Simms/Pace Sports Management

The marathon is a cruel mistress. Going out too fast and you will pay. The conditions are key, and those change each and every day. This day, the 70:07 was very fast, for these conditions. Vivian Cheruiyot went out like the the proverbial bat out of hell. As the wind pushed runners around the course for the first 27 kilometers, the fierce Vivan Cheruiyot took them on.

16:45 for 5k. That gave Vivian 27 seconds on her competition. At 33:35 for 10k, she had a 73 second lead. The marathon is seductive, and Vivian continued her tough early pace, hitting the 15k in 49:39, which gave her 1:46 lead. At 20k, Melese Arage was 1:58 behind, as Vivian Cheruiyot, hell bent on breaking the course record, hit 20k in 66:24, to the Ethiopians' 68:22.

Cheruiyot_VivianFH-Frankfurt17.JPGVivian Cheruiyot, photo by PhotoRun.net

The half way was hit in 1:10:07, as the pace makers provided Vivian Cheruiyot some shelter, but the diminutive Kenyan continued her attack on the course record. At 25 kilometers, Vivian Cheruiyot hit 1:23:20, which was now two minutes and 12 seconds ahead of the Ethiopian duo of Meese Arage and Assefa Meskerem, who hit the 25k in 1:25:32.

The course record for Frankfurt is 2:21:32, and management hoped that Vivian Cheruiyot could break this CR. Vivian was ahead of the record until 30k, which she hit in 1:40:14. Cheruiyot was 2:32 ahead of her chasers, she would no longer be chasing the record. Her chasers would be chasing her.

40 kilometers of running at break neck pace, with Mother Nature making body punches on you has to have an effect. At 35km, which Vivian passed in 1:57:24, with Arege and Meskeram at 1:59:57, two minutes and thirty-three seconds behind.

The rope had stretched as far as it could, and with the law of physics, Cheruiyot had to begin to come back.

Vivian Cheruiyot, who had battled so long and so hard, hit the 40 k in 2:15:25. 85 seconds back, Melese Arage and Assefa Meskerem moved of the last 2.2k bringing the lead down to 55 seconds.

While that seems a big change over 2.2 kilometers, Vivian Cheruiyot, while crashing, knew that she had a big enough lead to hold it.

Vivian Cheruiyot won the Frankfurt Marathon in a PB of 2:23:35.

Melese Arege, Ethipia, took second in 2:24:30. Assefa Meskerem, ETH, took third in 2:24:36, and Abebach Afework Bekele, ETH, took fourth in 2:26:45.

Hall_Sara-Frankfurt17.JPGSara Hall, photo by PhotoRun.net

In fifth, a focused Sara Hall ran a PB of 2:27:21! Into those headwinds, Sara Hall had some time with Mother Nature, as the pacers could not help the entire way. The big surprise in 8th place was Katherina Heinig, who took the German title in a big surprise. Twenty years ago, Katrin Dorre, the mother and coach of Katherina Heinig, won Frankfurt. Katherina ran 2:29:29. In ninth place was Fate Tola, who ran 2:30:12 for the German Championships second placer. Tenth was Italy's Anna Incerti, who ran 2:32:11.

Heinig_Katharina-Frankfurt17.JPGKatherina Heinig, photo by PhotoRun.net

The womens' elite race was surprising in many ways, the weather did not affect the depth.

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