FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pat Butcher
+44 7900 243460
Frankfurt, Friday, october 27, 1100gmt
The Messe Frankfurt Marathon celebrates its 25th anniversary with the
renewal of a Kenyan rivalry, between Wilfred Kigen and Boaz Kimaiyo, who
have won the race three times between them. Kigen, 31, and Kimaiyo, 30 both
come from Eldoret, the heartland of Kenyan long distance running in the
Rift Valley, but they train at opposite ends of the country. Kigen prefers
to stay near to the capital, Nairobi, and train in the Ngong Hills, made
famous by author Karen Blixen in her book, Out of Africa. Kimaiyo meanwhile
trains at close to the 3000 metres in Kapsait, near the Ugandan border, at
the camp founded by his elder brother, Eric, himself a 2.08 marathoner ten
Kigen won an extraordinary race last year, when five men were in the final
straight together for the unusual finish inside the 100 years old FestHalle
(Festival Hall), close to Frankfurt's famous banking district. Kigen won in
a sprint, with a new course record and personal best of 2.08.29. Kimaiyo,
who had won in the two previous years, had dropped out with a hamstring
injury by then.
The injury persisted, and forced Kimaiyo to drop out of the Los Angeles
Marathon in March. But he has since had two months' treatment in Italy, and
is hoping that the injury to the left leg will permit at least a finish
this time. He was confident enough on Friday to opt for the first group,
which was will be paced to a 64min ‘half', and Kigen says that Kimaiyo and
another colleague, Peter Chebet are the men he fears most.
Kigen trains with former steeplechase world record holder, Wilson Boit
Kipketer, who plans to run a marathon next year. Kigen welcomed the
predicted 13 degree centigrade weather forecast for Sunday, saying, "If we
have good weather and even pacing, I hope to be close to last year's time."
The women's race last year also produced a course record, 2.25.12 for
Alevtina Biktimirova. Although she cannot return to defend, the title may
go back to Russia, if debutant, Gulnara Vigovskaya fulfills the promise she
showed in finishing 12th in the world 20k championships in Hungary three
weeks ago. Vigoskaya, 25, ran 66.30 and finished among women who have run
2.24/25 for the full marathon.
But she won't have an easy ride. Former sub-four 1500 metres woman, Kutre
Dulecha should improve on her 2.30.06 debut win in Amsterdam last year, and
another Ethiopian, Robe Tola won Hamburg earlier this year in a personal
best 2.24.35. The other contender is Banuelia Kateswiga of Tanzania, who
won in Madrid in early summer, and whose personal best is 2.24.59.
There will be an unusual adjunct to this year's celebrations – a public
showing of the top German TV detective series Tatort (Crime Scene), which
was filmed at last year's race. One of the fictional detectives runs the
marathon, and is targeted on the start line by a disgruntled criminal, but
a fun-runner is killed instead. The chase to catch the killer before he
strikes again unfolds through the various stages of the race. The show goes
out to the general public on Sunday evening, but the expected 12,000
marathoners can stay and see it three hours earlier in the FestHalle.