Mutai says he is healthy again after suffering stomach problems and ready to race Hamburg Marathon

More than 25.000 athletes have registered for the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburg is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carries you to the finish.  Upfront the elite field is set to take on the Marathon. Kenyan's Emmanuel Kipchirchir Mutai, one of the best marathon runners in the world will be running for the first time in Hamburg. In 2014 he ran 2:03:13 in Berlin but finished second behind his compatriot Dennis Kipruto Kimetto, who finished in 2:02:57, a new world record. In 2011 Mutai won the prestigious London Marathon in 2:04:40, his biggest success so far. In the following years he was slowed down by chronic stomach problems.  After his arrival in Hamburg he said, "healthy again and fully resilient."  Five years ago Mutais countryman Eliud Kipchoge (33) set the course record in Hamburg at 2:05:30.   The favorites besides Mutai are: Sammy Kitwara (Kenya /2:04:28), Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda /2:06:33), 2012 Olympic champion, and Stephen Chebogut (Kenya /2:05:52). "But you can not plan a course record, it depends on many factors," says the athlete manager. An important aspect is the cooperation among the runners. "If we stay together from the start to km 38 or 40, no one pulls out, a quick time can come out," says Sammy Kitwara, who won the Valencia Marathon in 2:05:15 hours last year. Cooperation would pay off for everyone in the end. But “It all depends on the weather," says Kitwara, "if it rains from the start, it'll cost us two to three minutes."

posted Friday April 27th