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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Sunday October 27th, 2019
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Distance: Marathon

CHERUIYOT AND KITATA DOMINATE AT FRANKFURT MARATHON

Shura Kitata Tola of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Vivian Cheryuiot won the top prizes at the 36th edition of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (29).

Kitata chopped almost two minutes off his personal best in difficult conditions, clocking 2:05:50 while Cheruiyot, the reigning Olympic 5000m champion who's now concentrating on road racing, improved her best to 2:23:35.

Kitata finished ahead of compatriots Kelkile Gezahegn (2:06:56) and Getu Feleke who clocked 2:06:56 and 2:07:46, respectively, to ensure a clean sweep for Ethiopia.

MEN'S RACE - KITATA'S MOMENTUM CONTINUES

After a fast opening half of 1:02:30, the decisive move came directly after 30 kilometres with 1:29:42 on the clock as Feleke increased the pace with a 2:51 kilometre. Last year’s winner and runner-up, Kenyans Mark Korir and Martin Kosgey, dropped back while only Feleke’s compatriots Kitata and Gezahegn could maintain the pace.

Feleke was the first to falter, around five kilometres from the finish, despite going into the race as the fastest man with a lifetime best of 2:04:50. Gezahegn was next to succumb, leaving Kitata to forge on to the greatest win of his brief career which also includes a triumph at last April's Rome Marathon.

“I expected to win from the start," Kitata said. "From 30 kilometres I was confident I would win as the three of us went away from the others. I hoped to run faster but the weather didn’t make it easy."

The race was also notable for strong results by European men. Dewi Griffiths of Wales ran a fine debut with 2:09:49 for fifth. Finishing directly behind Griffiths was German Arne Gabius with 2:09:59 to win the national title while Poland's Henryk Szost was next across the line on the red carpet of the Festhalle with 2:10:09.

Glinting with glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers, Frankfurt-on-the-Main (pronounced ‘mine’) is unlike any other German city. The focal point of a conurbation of 5.5 million inhabitants, ‘Mainhattan’ is a high-powered finance and business hub, home to one of the world’s largest stock exchanges as well as the gleaming new headquarters of the European Central Bank. Frankfurt famously hosts some of the world's most important trade fairs, attracting thousands of business travellers. Its airport, the region’s biggest employer, is the third-largest in Europe, handling over 57 million passengers per year.

Yet at its heart, Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife and entertainment scenes are bolstered by a spirited student population. Franfurt am Main, home of the Franfurt Marathon.

The Frankfurt Marathon (official name until 2010: Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon, as of 2011: BMW Frankfurt Marathon) is a marathon which has taken place every year in Frankfurt am Main since its inception in 1981. It is the longest-established city marathon in Germany and in terms of the number of finishers, Germany's second-largest. It is organised by the agency motion events.

(2018)Ethiopia´s Meskerem Assefa breaks course record

Having finished on the lower steps of the podium at last year’s Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa and Kelkile Gezahegn topped the podium at this year’s edition of the Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday. In a high-quality women’s race in which the first seven athletes finished inside 2:23, 33-year-old Assefa triumphed in 2:20:36 to take 25 seconds off the course record set by compatriot Meselech Melkamu in 2012. Ethiopian athletes swept the women’s podium as Haftamnesh Tesfay finished second in 2:20:47, also inside the previous course record, and Bedatu Hirpa placed third in 2:21:32. After a thrilling duel, Gezahegn won the men’s race by just four seconds from Kenya’s Martin Kosgey, clocking 2:06:37. Marathon debutant Alex Kibet was third in 2:07:09, while Mark Kiptoo took 48 seconds off the world M40 masters best with 2:07:50 for sixth place. Assefa wins battle of the Ethiopians, leading a group of 12 women reached the half-way point in 1:09:55, it was obvious that something special was possible. The group was on course for a sub-2:20 finish and although weather conditions were far from ideal, the leading women maintained the swift pace until late in the race. Their 30-kilometer split of 1:39:30 suggested a sub-2:20 time was still possible, but the group later faced a stiff headwind for severalkilometers and their pace suffered slightly. At 35kilometers there were still five women in the lead group: Ethiopians Assefa, Tesfay, Hirpa and Dera Dida as well as Kenya’s Betsy Saina, the Paris Marathon champion. Saina struggled in the closing stages and eventually finished eighth. Hirpa and Dida also dropped back, leaving Tesfay and Assefa to battle for victory. It was only in the finalkilometer when Assefa, who finished third in Frankfurt last year, moved ahead and build a decisive lead before going on to win by 11 seconds in 2:20:36. “I did not really feel the wind,” said Assefa, a former 1500m specialist. “I prepared for Frankfurt for five months because I wanted to run 2:22 and win the race. Now I had to run a little bit quicker for first place.”

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