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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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Former world champions Linet Masai and Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya plan to break into the marathon elite runners after retiring from the track competition

Masai, a former World 10,000m champion, will reignites her rivalry with former Olympic champion Meseret Defar at the Amsterdam marathon in Netherlands in Oct. 21. Masai has not been active for the last two years since her baby was born.  "I am ready for the marathon," she said. "My management has been able to get me a race in Amsterdam and I want to see how my body will react to it. I have hopes of doing well, but am also not certain how it will go. It is my first marathon race." In Amsterdam, Masai will face twice Olympic 5,000m champion Meseret Defar, with whom they have dueled a lot on the track and at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa. Both Masai and Defar will be making their marathon debut in Amsterdam on Oct. 21.  The Ethiopian has run several half-marathons with a best of 66:09 for second in the Great North Run in 2013. Compatriot Tadelech Bekele, who won last year in 2:21:54 and went 14 seconds quicker for third and a personal best time at the London Marathon in 2018.  Masai, the 2009 world 10,000m champion who has run 68:11 for the half is also keen to break the 42km jinx. Other athletes to watch out for include Meseret Belete, who set a world junior record of 67:51 in Copenhagen this year and was eighth at the World Championships. Former world junior cross country bronze medalist Jackline Chepngeno will also be eyeing victorious debut in marathon. Ethiopia's Guteni Shone, who has a PB of 2:23:32, could also challenge. (09/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Morris Gachaga wins Cape Town 12 OneRun 15 seconds off his world best time for 12k

Morris Gachaga and Jackline Chepngeno made it a Kenyan double, taking line honours at the FNB CApe Town 12 ONERUN in dramatic fashion on Sunday May 20.   Almost 13 000 runners of all shapes and sizes finished the traditional harbourside 12km dash from Milnerton into the city centre in perfect running conditions, the colourful mass transforming the usual silent Sunday city centre into a bustling party-town.  Gachaga crossed the finish line in Bree Street in 33:42, some 15 seconds off of his world best time from 2017. “Racing for the win was more important than chasing my time from last year,” Gachaga said after the race. “We did start out fast, for the first three kilometres we were on record pace, but then we started watching each other and the pace dropped a bit.” Those first 3km were passed in 8:15, 5km going by in 14:02 with all the main contenders in the lead pack of twelve athletes.  Gachaga, after driving the pace to the 3km mark, then slipped back into the pack with Kenya’s Victor Chumo taking up the front running. The South African challenge fell away just after 8km which was covered in 22:47, with only Stephen Mokoka, the 2016 Champion, still in the mix. 10km came and went in 28:25 and it was at this point that Gachaga and Chumo kicked again, dragging Mande Bushendich with them.  On the climb up Wale Street, Chumo surged again and as they entered the final 800m in Bree Street, Chumo and Gachaga had broken away from John Langat (Kenya), Abdallah Mande and Mande Bushendich, with Mokoka dropping off further. Chumo and Gachaga raced down Bree Street where Gachaga’s knowledge of the route giving him the advantage as he timed his sprint to the line perfectly, passing Chumbo in the final 300m to defend his title. The female race saw Kenya’s Jackline Chepngeno take control after 2km. Uganda’s Stella Chesang, who was widely tipped to win the race after winning the 10 000m title at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, hung on till 9km, before she had to give way to the relentless surging of Chepngeno. For Chepngeno the victory was the perfect start to 2018 after having taken 2017 off from racing, having given birth to her son. “The last kilometre I was worried about Stella (Chesang) after her win in Brisbane (Commonwealth Games), so I ran really hard. I did not know where she was, so I needed to race to the line,” said Chepngeno. “Winning was really good for me. This was my first race back after my pregnancy and it is a big confidence booster for me.” (05/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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