Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop won the HAJ Hannover Marathon that was held on Sunday (8) in Hannover, Germany.
Due to the rise of temperatures the lead group slackened their pace and the prospect of attacking the course record of 2:27.07 that was set by Olena Burkowska in 2013 slipped out of reach after last years winner Fate Tola dropped at the 17 kilometres after suffering from a heavy cold and cough.
Kiprop held on to cut the tape in p in 2:32:35 with Akmaral Meirman of Kazakhstan finishing a distant second in 2:55.58.
The women’s elite field was seriously affected by withdrawals because of injury and visa problems in the days leading up to the race which included a group of Ethiopian runners who were unable to arrive in Hanover in time.
1.Agnes Kiprop (KEN) 2:32.35
2.Akmaral Meirman (KAZ) 2:55.58
3. Aida Stahlhut (GER) 3:03.35
Fate Tola will be able to rely on the cheers from the crowd lining the course when she lines up in the HAJ Hannover Marathon on 8 April.
The HAJ Hannover Marathon first took place back in 1991 and this year’s edition has been bestowed a five-star certification by European Athletics Running for All, thus guaranteeing runners the highest level of safety and organisation.
Tola will be announced on the start-line as the reigning champion after winning last year’s race in 2:27:48. She is likely to receive a rapturous reception for not only is Tola one of Germany’s leading marathon runners, she also competes for local running club Hannover Athletics.
Tola, whose lifetime best of 2:25:14 dates back to the 2012 Berlin Marathon, is looking to improve the course record of 2:27:07 which is held by Ukraine’s Olena Burkovska. If she was to achieve that, Tola would almost certainly be guaranteed a spot on the marathon team for the European Championships in Berlin this August.
The HAJ Hannover Marathon has in recent years established itself among the best German races at the classic distance. The race day programme also includes a range of other distances on the programme and the German Half Marathon Championships will also be incorporated into the programme.
The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.
Kenya’s Gilbert Kirwa will be targeting the course record at the 28th edition of the Hannover Marathon that will be held on 8th April in Hannover, Germany.
Kirwa who is coming to this race with a personal best of 2:06.14 that he got in 2009 at the Frankfurt marathon, will be targeting to lower the course record that was set in 2013 by Lusapho April from South Africa.
Kirwa is hoping to return to his best on Hannover’s very flat course, which was improved for this year’s race by taking out several corners. The 32-year-old has run sub-2:08 times on five occasions, but has been slowed by injuries in recent years. Not having run any other races this year, he’ll arrive in the norther German city fully focused on this marathon appearance.
Kirwa will battle for honors with his fellow country-mate Jacob Cheshari, who won the title three years ago with a time of 2:09.32. The Kenyan has a personal best of 2:07:46 which he ran in Frankfurt in 2013 when he finished fourth.
Another title contender is Poland’s Henryk Szost, who has a personal best of 2:07.39. He finished seventh in Frankfurt last October, clocking 2:10.09 in very windy conditions.