FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wilfred Kigen Chases Course Record
Strong German Runners Intend to Qualify for Berlin
Düsseldorf, GER - The METRO Group Düsseldorf Marathon is Germany's
newest upcoming event over the classic distance. Having signed world-class
runner Wilfred Kigen for the sixth edition for their race organisers
hope to make another step forward regarding the quality of their race.
While Wilfred Kigen will chase the 2:09:47 course record the expected
400,000 spectators could well witness some thrilling races by German
athletes as well. For years no race in the country has managed to put
together such an exciting national field. Qualifying for the World
Championships' marathon in Berlin in August will be the main goal for them.
Adding other running events organisers of the METRO Group Düsseldorf
Marathon expect about 10,000 athletes from more than 65 nations to take
part on Sunday.
Never has there been a runner of the calibre of Wilfred Kigen at the
previous editions of the METRO Group Düsseldorf Marathon. The 34 year-old
has a personal best of 2:07:33 and has won the Frankfurt Marathon three
times in a row from 2005 to 2007. "I have trained very well and want to
break the course record on Sunday. My aim is to run a low 2:09," said
Wilfred Kigen. In contrast to him the defending champion Bellor
Yator(Kenya), who had established the present course record a year
earlier in 2007, had been unlucky because he had to withdraw from the race
through injury at the very last moment. "Unfortunately he stepped on a
stone when training in Kenya. Bellor suffered a foot injury and is unable
to run a marathon," said Christoph Kopp, who is the elite field coordinator
of the METRO Group Düsseldorf Marathon. Pacemakers are instructed to guide
Wilfred Kigen through half way on Sunday in 64:20 minutes and then carry on
at least to the 30 k mark.
While ironically the German marathon championships will take place next
week in Mainz it is this race further down the Rhine in Düsseldorf that has
attracted the national elite runners. Apart from London Marathon champion
Irina Mikitenko and Sabrina Mockenhaupt, who has decided not to run a
marathon this spring, all the other major names will compete in the METRO
Group Düsseldorf Marathon. The men's race will see the first duel between
Falk Cierpinski (son of double Olympic champion Waldemar, who is his coach)
and André Pollmächer. They were the strongest German marathon runners in
2008. 30 year-old Cierpinski had improved to 2:13:30 in Berlin while 26
year-old Pollmächer ran a fine debut in Frankfurt with 2:14:18.
Additionally Martin Beckmann (2:14:30 in Frankfurt in 2008) is also on the
start list for Düsseldorf. "I am looking forward to this," said André
Pollmächer, who had caused a major upset when taking the European 10,000 m
Challenge in 2007. "In March I have trained very well in Mexico," said
Pollmächer and added with regard of the current crisis: "I returned
healthy." Pollmächer will go for a 66 minute pace for half-way on Sunday.
"It will then depend on the weather if we will be able to maintain that
pace." Cierpinski, who suffers of a minor hip problem, might choose a
slightly slower approach. No German runner has clocked a sub 2:13 time,
which is the Berlin qualifying standard, since 2000.
Germany's defending champion Melanie Kraus is the favourite again for
Sunday's race. The 34 year-old, whose personal best still stands at 2:27:58
from her marathon debut in 2000, said: "May be I have the chance to finally
clock a new personal best on Sunday." Susanne Hahn, who intends to run a
more aggressive race than usual, could be the main rival for Melanie Kraus.
She has a personal best of 2:29:33 and still needs to break the German
qualifying standard for Berlin (2:32). Claudia Dreher is another one
running the METRO Group Düsseldorf Marathon and hoping to qualify for
Berlin. To be nominated for the marathon team she probably has to run
faster than Ulrike Maisch in last week's Hamburg Marathon (2:34:28) and
finish ahead of debutant Melanie Schulz.
More information is available online at: www.metrogroup-marathon.de