FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kimaiyo and Mohammed beat the heat and the field
Nahashon Kimaiyo and Merima Mohammed took the METRO Group Marathon
Duesseldorf. Taking into account the very warm weather the 28 year-old
Kenyan clocked a remarkable time of 2:10:54. Vasyl Remshchuck
(Ukraine/2:13:09) and Jonathan Yego (Kenya/2:13:50) took second and third.
Austria's Günther Weidlinger did not finish the race. He collapsed and had
to get medical treatment after finally dropping out around the 25 k point.
Merima Mohammed had been the big favourite ahead of the race. The 18
year-old Ethiopian clocked 2:28:15 and was more than five minutes ahead of
her nearest rival. Leah Malot (Kenya/2:33:21) was second, followed by
Agnieszka Gortel (Poland/2:33:48). High temperatures of above 20° Celsius
in the shade and a strong wind had ruined hopes of much faster times and
course records. Adding other running events around 14,000 athletes competed
in the METRO Group Marathon Duesseldorf.
Quite a number of the elite runners could not cope with the heat and the
additional wind. Some of them already dropped out well before the 20 k mark
and pace making also did not go as planned. Germany's André Pollmächer was
supposed to guide the first group to the half way point, but he started
dropping back after 18 k. It was at this point, when Nahashon Kimaiyo made
an early move. Having entered the race with a personal best of 2:10:36 it
was a brave decision by him to keep the pace of Pollmächer and take the
lead. None of the others dared to follow him in the high temperatures with
24 kilometres to go. When Nahashon Kimaiyo passed the half way mark in
63:55 minutes he was almost 40 seconds ahead of a chasing group. He
continued to increase his advantage and was still on course for a course
record (2:08:32) at 25 k.
"When the pacemaker dropped back early I had the choice of either running
in the group and probably finishing in around 2:15 or trying to give it a
go myself. So I went for it, but I was surprised that none of the others
went with me," said Nahashon Kimaiyo, who had won the Antwerp Marathon in
2010 with 2:12:00 and had established his personal best when finishing
third in La Rochelle in the same year. He just missed his personal record
in Duesseldorf. "I really wanted to break the course record, but it was
simply too warm. Additionally I got the wind into my face after around 31
k. It was getting very tough then. It is a pity, because the course is a
fast one," the Kenyan said.
While German debutant Jan Fitschen battled through with a time of 2:20:15
place Günther Weidlinger was in much more trouble. The Austrian record
holder (2:10:47) originally hoped for a personal best, but he collapsed in
the heat. He had passed the half way mark in 60:45 minutes, looking good
behind two pacemakers. But suddenly he started staggering at 23.5 k.
Weidlinger continued but collapsed at 25 k, which was the end of his race.
He had to have medical treatment, but was not in a serious condition and
In the women's race Merima Mohammed was as superior as Nahashon Kimaiyo had
been in the men's event. With the help of pacemakers she ran her own race
right from the start. Already after 10 k (34:53 minutes) the young
Ethiopian was more than half a minute ahead of a chasing group. By half way
she had increased her lead to more than 90 seconds. Merima Mohammed, who
had come to Duesseldorf with a personal best of 2:23:06, passed this point
in 1:13:25. But in the rising temperatures she had to give up her initial
hopes for a personal best or for at least breaking the course record
(2:26:44). "I did not feel comfortable in the heat. I am used to cooler
conditions because I train at an altitude of around 2,000 metres," said
Merima Mohammed. But she still coped very well in the extreme conditions.
Among those who dropped out was the defending champion Natalya Volgina
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