The 38th Mainova Frankfurt Marathornr is hours away, and we are enjoying the extra hour of sleep permitted with the changing of the clocks back one hour. 14,000 marathoners are hours away from toeing the line and seeking the answers to the questions they have faced, day in, day out, for the past six months to the year.
We see big times on the women’s side, and some surprises on the men’s as well. Lonah Saltpeter has run 2:19:46, how fast can she go? Defending champion Meskerem Aseffa will not give anything away.
Mark Kiptoo wants a new master WR in Frankfurt, but he could also get the win. Tsegaye Mekkonenen, who has 2 times in the 2:04 time range. Mr. Mekkonnen is in need of a win, surely he will make it difficult for Mark Kiptoo.
The truth is, the marathon is a crap shoot. Great training and plans can go out the window with too fast a start or too much inspired running early on.
Again, we will know in six to ten hours, good luck to all 14,000 in the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon.
MAINOVA FRANKFURT MARATHON ON SUNDAY:
World Class Lonah Salpeter brings yet more quality to strong Elite Field in Frankfurt
The addition of Lonah Salpeter completes the elite field for the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon which takes place next Sunday. The Kenyan-born runner who competes for Israel has a personal best of 2:19:46 which makes her the fastest woman ever to be on the start list of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. Among her rivals will be the course record holder and last year’s women’s champion, Meskerem Assefa from Ethiopia, who ran 2:20:36 here 12 months ago. The men’s race on Sunday features a rare, perhaps unique contest over the marathon distance: junior against veteran or masters world record holder – Tsegaye Mekonnen against Mark Kiptoo. Mekonnen of Ethiopia has a best of 2:04:32 which means he is the fastest man in the field while the Kenyan Kiptoo’s personal best is 2:06:00.
Many athletes competing in Frankfurt will have their eyes on the qualifying times for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. The target for the men is 2:11:30 and 2:29:30 for the women.
Around 14,000 entries are expected for the race. The Mainova Frankfurt Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label race, the highest category in international road running. Entry is still possible during the marathon expo on the days before the race. Details can be find here: www.frankfurt-marathon.com
Eight men with best times under 2:08 will be on the start line which suggests yet another high quality and exciting race for top honours in Frankfurt with finishing times to match. Tsegaye Mekonnen is looking to re-establish himself with a fast time after injury problems on a Mainova Frankfurt Marathon course renowned for speedy performances. The world masters record holder Mark Kiptoo, who set an age group record here last year, should also have a say in the outcome this time. If he can match his younger rivals, his own masters world record will be under pressure.
Given the extraordinary strength in depth of the women’s race, the course record could well fall after just one year in existence – and the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon might record the first sub-2:20 women’s time in its history. Four women who have run under 2:22 will be on the start line: alongside Israel’s Lonah Salpeter (2:19:46) will be the title holder Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia, who set the course record of 2:20:36 last year, the Kenyan Valary Aiyabei with a best of 2:20:53 and the Ethiopian Bedatu Hirpa (2:21:32). The latter finished third in Frankfurt last year. Another expected to produce a strong performance is the Ethiopian Megertu Kebede whose best is 2:22:52.
Two Europeans seeking both big improvements on their personal bests and the Olympic qualifying times will be Britain’s Stephanie Twell (2:30:14) and the local runner Katharina Steinruck (2:28:34).
Leading Runners and their Personal Bests:
Tsegaye Mekonnen ETH 2:04:32
Mark Kiptoo KEN 2:06:00
Dawit Wolde ETH 2:06:18
Benard Kipyego KEN 2:06:19
Fikre Tefera ETH 2:06:27
Martin Kosgey KEN 2:06:41
Tebalu Heyi ETH 2:07:10
Kenneth Keter KEN 2:07:34
Nicodemus Kimutai KEN 2:10:00
Daniele Meucci ITA 2:10:45
Blazej Brzezinski POL 2:11:27
Fernando Cabada USA 2:11:36
Bethwel Rutto KEN 2:11:59
Mogos Solomon ERI 2:12:23
Derek Hawkins GBR 2:12:57
Adam Nowicki POL 2:13:28
Homiyu Tesfaye GER Debut
Lonah Salpeter ISR 2:19:46
Meskerem Assefa ETH 2:20:36
Valary Aiyabei KEN 2:20:53
Bedatu Hirpa ETH 2:21:32
Megertu Kebede ETH 2:22:52
Caroline Rotich KEN 2:23:22
Askale Wegi ETH 2:24:13
Sylvia Kibet KEN 2:25:52
Antonia Kwambai KEN 2:27:43
Katharina Steinruck GER 2:28:34
Nataliya Lehonkova UKR 2:28:58
Sylvia Medugu KEN 2:29:09
Hanna Lindholm SWE 2:29:34
Stephanie Twell GBR 2:30:14
Samantha Bluske USA 2:31:56
Hayley Carruthers GBR 2:33:59
Aleksandra Brzezinska POL 2:34:51
More Information and online entry are available at: www.frankfurt-marathon.com