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Former double World Marathon Champion Abel Kirui will try to break Eliud Kipchoge’s course record in Sunday’s Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The current world record holder clocked 2:05:30 in his debut marathon here back in 2013. Kirui also wants to break 2:05 for the first time in his career. With a personal best of 2:05:04 the Kenyan is the second fastest runner on the start list behind Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero, who features a personal record of 2:04:23. In an extraordinary deep men’s field 16 athletes have already broken 2:10. There are five women who have run sub 2:25.

Mexico’s Madai Perez and Dibabe Kuma of Ethiopia head the entry list with personal records of 2:22:59 and 2:23:34 respectively. Jessica Augusto of Purtugal, who won the race two years ago, returns to Hamburg. A very strong group of Japanese elite runners will be in contention as well.

Organisers expect a total of 35,000 athletes to compete in the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. This includes all the races.  Almost 14,000 have entered Germany’s biggest and fastest spring marathon.

In the men’s race no one has come close to Eliud Kipchoge’s course record since the Kenyan ran 2:05:30 six years ago. But Abel Kirui is confident that he can change this. Asked about his goals for Sunday, he said, "My ambition is to break the course record...I know that the course is a flat one. So if the weather is cool then I will go for a fast race,“ said the 36 year-old, who won the World Championships’ marathons in 2009 and 2011. Additionally he won the silver medal in the London Olympic marathon in 2012.

"I hope to go through half way in 62:30 and then run the second half a bit faster to finish sub 2:05,“ explained Kirui, who ran 2:07:07 in very warm conditions in London a year ago.

Two Ethiopians who placed second and third at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg last year return to the race: Ayele Abshero is the fastest runner on the start list with a personal best of 2:04:23. The 28 year-old ran his best time for four years last year in Hamburg, when he clocked 2:07:19 for third place. „

"Winning this race would be great. But the field is a very strong one. I would be happy if I could finish in the top three. I will go with the first group,“ said Abshero. Tadu Abate was the runner-up in 2018 with 2:06:54 as a debutant, crossing the line just 20 seconds behind fellow-Ethiopian Solomon Deksisa. "My training went well, I had no problems and I am in fine form,“ said 21 year-old Abate.

There are two Olympic Champions in Sunday’s race. For the third time in a row Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda will compete in the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. The marathon gold medallist from London 2012 was second here in 2017 and fifth last year with 2:07:31 and 2:07:57 respectively.

It will be interesting to see if Ezekiel Kemboi can have an impact in the marathon. The 36 year-old Kenyan won two Olympic titles (2004 and 2012) and four World Championship gold medals in a row (2009 to 2015) in the steeplechase.

With a total of 16 runners who feature personal bests of sub 2:16 and another seven who have run under 2:12 the Haspa Marathon Hamburg has a depth few other marathons can match. 

In the women’s race two years ago Jessica Augusto celebrated one of her biggest career victories in Hamburg, when she took the race in 2:25:30 despite very tough weather conditions including hail showers.

"If you have been successful then you are happy to come back to that race,“ said Jessica Augusto, who suffered of a career threatening tibia bone head injury in 2018.

"I did not opt for surgery and the conservative treatment did work. Since December I am able to train normally again,“ explained Jessica Augusto, who targets at least a podium place on Sunday.

Regarding times she wants to make an early statement regarding Olympic qualification. "While the international qualifying time is 2:29:30 I will need to run considerably faster to be selected, because there are six of us who compete for three places. I hope to run around 2:25 on Sunday,“ said Augusto.

Jessica Augusto is the fourth fastest on the start list behind Madai Perez of Mexico (2:22:59), Ethiopia’s Dibabe Kuma (2:23:34) and Mao Kiyota from Japan (2:23:47). Unfortunately world half marathon Joyciline Jepkosgei cancelled her start in Hamburg. The Kenyan felt not ready yet for her marathon debut. 

Fellow Kenyan Jackline Chepngeno could produce a surprise on Sunday. The 26 year-old moved up to the marathon distance last year and clocked a personal best of 2:24:38 in Amsterdam, where she finished sixth.

"I want to break my personal best in Hamburg and compete well,“ said Chepngeno.

(04/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line. ...

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Past Olympic champion Uganda´s Stephen Kiprotich is set to run the Haspa Marathon Hamburg April 28

Stephen Kiprotich, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 world marathon champion, will return to the northern German port city for the third time, after finishing second in 2017 and fifth one year ago.

The 29-year-old, who is the national record holder at 2:06:33, clocked sub-2:08 performances in both of his Hamburg appearances.

Ezekiel Kemboi meanwhile, a two-time Olympic and four-time world champion in the 3000m steeplechase, will be making his eagerly-anticipated marathon debut.

The fastest runner in the field is Ayele Abshero, who clocked 2:04:23 in his marathon debut at the 2012 Dubai Marathon. The Ethiopian returns after finishing third last year.

World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei, who will also be making her marathon debut, and two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui were previously announced.

Abel Kirui, the world champion over the distance in 2009 and 2011, has already announced his intention of chasing the course record of 2:05:30, set by Eliud Kipchoge in his marathon debut in 2013. Compatriots Jonathan Korir and Amos Mitei, who have personal bests of 2:06:51 and 2:07:28 respectively, are expected to join the hunt.

Japan's Taku Fujimoto, who clocked his personal best of 2:07:57 in last year’s Chicago Marathon, will also be in the race.

(03/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line. ...

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Kenyan´s Abel Kirui hopes to get the title at Hamburg Marathon

Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui has landed an invite for this year’s Hamburg Marathon set for April 28th in Germany.

The two-time world marathon champion, who registered back-to-back IAAF world marathon titles in 2009 and 2011, said he is already looking beyond the event as he wants to cap the year with his third World Championship marathon medal in Doha, Qatar.

“I have had a good training since joining Global Sports Communication and my skills have improved tremendously. I look forward to a good event in Hamburg,” said the Kapsabet-born runner.

The 2012 London Olympic Marathon silver medallist failed to retain his Chicago Marathon title last year after winning in 2016. Galen Rupp won the title in 2017 while multi Olympic champion Mo Farah won last year.

Kirui said has been motivating and refreshing training with top athletes including world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2:01.39), former New York marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, two-time Toronto marathon winner Philemon Rono and 2012 Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. Kirui, the 2008 Vienna marathon winner, suffered a knee injury that kept him off competition for about three years and on his return in 2016, he won Chicago (2:11.23).

“I want to end the Ethiopian dominance in Hamburg and I know I now have what it takes to deliver,” he added.

The man, who started his career as a pacesetter, finished second at the 2007 Berlin Marathon, third at 2009 Rotterdam Marathon, won 2007 Paderborn Half Marathon and finished 4th at 2010 London Marathon. Lucas Rotich is the last Kenyan to have won Hamburg in 2015 and Ethiopians have since dominated for the last three years.

(03/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line. ...

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Former Olympic and world steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi will begin another chapter in his career as he plans to make his marathon debut in Hamburg on April 28

The steeplechase legend, 37-year-old Ezekiel Kemboi, believes he still has a lot to offer as he transits from the track to the marathon distance. So far he has run nine 10km road races, with the latest two being in Prague where he clocked 29:59, later improving his time to 29:54 in Italy last year. His personal best in the 10km race is 28:38, set in 2011.

"Today I did my speed work in readiness for the Hamburg Marathon in April. It will be my debut after a long steeplechase season," said Kemboi on Wednesday in Eldoret.

The steeplechase champion has joined a team of marathon runners to try to help him polish his skills and improve his endurance to last the full distance in a competition believed to be the hardest in athletics.

"I am motivated by Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, with whom I ran during the 2003 World Championships. I will be venturing into the 42km race, where I want to perform as well as on track," added Kemboi.

But Kemboi should not expect any favors as he moves up to the marathon distance. Former two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui, who will also be running in Hamburg, has stated his own intentions ahead of that event.

"It will be a big challenge for me as I will be preparing to beat Eliud Kipchoge's course record of 2:05:30. It will be a big show and I welcome the fans to cheer me on."

Kirui and Kemboi will not only face the challenge of beating the course record, but will come up against the formidable Ethiopian duo of Ayele Abshero and Dibabe Kuma.

The course record has remained since 2012 when Kipchoge first ventured into the marathon, also picking Hamburg for his debut. However, Kemboi does not expect anyone to compare him with Kipchoge, as he seeks to chart his own course in the unknown waters.

The athlete, who trains in Eldoret, said that he has been training hard and has already had his fair share of success.

"Many people have been asking where I have been and they will get answers soon after seeing my performance. I have competed in 10 road races and won seven of them, and that shows good progress," said Kemboi.

(02/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line. ...

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World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will make her marathon debut at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Joyciline Jepkosgei's debut over the marathon distance has been fervently anticipated since the Kenyan, now 25, produced her sensational 2017 season, breaking six world records. Four of those came in one race, the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, where she clocked 30:05 at 10km, 45:37 at 15km and 1:01:25 at 20km en route to a 1:04:52 performance over the full distance.

She clipped another second from that mark in Valencia the following October, lowering the world record to 1:04:51 where it currently stands. In 2017, again in Prague, Jepkosgei shattered the 10km record at the Birell Prague Grand Prix, clocking a phenomenal 29:43.

Slowed in part by illness, her follow-up year didn't produce the same record-shattering achievements, but she did race to silver at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia in March.

Hamburg organizers were quick to draw a parallel to another high profile marathon debut on their course, that of Eliud Kipchoge in 2013 when the Kenyan ace cruised to victory in 2:05:30. He's since gone on to be considered the best marathon runner of all time. Jepkosgei insists that parallel wasn't on her mind when choosing the setting for her debut.

"My manager and my coach both told me that Hamburg has a fast and flat course," she said.

"I would like to achieve a time of around 2:22. But there are still two months of preparation to come. I have to wait and see how my body reacts to the training. Once I am a week away from the race I will see what kind of form I am in. Then I will determine my final goal."

As a final preparation, Jepkosgei will run the United Airlines NYC Half on March 17 in New York.

(02/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line. ...

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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." (04/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Marathon Olympic champion Kiprotich ready for Hamburg

At the 33rd edition of the Hamburg Marathon on April 29 London Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) wants to run again for the victory. The best time of the world champion from 2013 and last year's second from Hamburg is 2:06:33 hours. One of Kiprotich's strongest competitors is Kenya's Sammy Kitwara, whose personal record time is 2:04:28. (03/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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