A deep field is targeting on the men’s course record at the Lanzhou International Marathon this weekend
Eight runners toeing the line have career bests faster than the 2:10:10 course record set by Abayneh Ayele of Ethiopia in 2015, with Ethiopia’s Limenih Getachew the fastest thanks to his personal best of 2:06:49 set at the 2014 Paris Marathon.
The 29-year-old came close to that mark last October when he registered a winning mark of 2:07:34 to break the Portuguese all-comers’ record at the Lisbon Marathon. He achieved his second career best time of 2:07:30 in March with a fifth finish in Barcelona.
It will be Getachew’s second race in China following his fourth place finish at the Hengshui Lake Marathon in 2016.
Bahrain’s Benson Seurei is another man to watch. The 35-year-old, who used to compete mainly in middle distance events and grabbed a 1500m silver medal at the Asian Indoor Championships in 2016, only debuted over the classic distance in 2017 but progressed rapidly with his PB of 2:07:37 set last December in Valencia.
Seurei clocked 2:08:08 to finish fourth at the Lake Biwa Marathon in March and is yet to gain his first title after five marathon races.
Shumet Akalnew of Ethiopia is also chasing his first marathon title in Lanzhou. The 31-year-old clocked a life-time best of 2:08:50 to finish third in Kosice last year and achieved another third place finish in Mumbai four months ago with a 2:10:24 clocking.
The Ethiopian contingent also include Bira Seboka, a 2:08:51 performer, and Afewerk Mesfin, who improved his PB to 2:09:28 in Xiamen this year. The other sub-2:10 runners in the field are Bahraini Zelalem Bacha with a PB of 2:09:16, Kenya’s Mike Kiprotich Mutai, whose PB of 2:09:18 dates back to 2012, and Motlokoa Nkhabutlane of Lesotho.
posted Friday May 31st