FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former Boston Champion Dire Tune and European Champion Zivile Balciunaite
Will Run in Frankfurt on 31st October
Former Boston Marathon champion Dire Tune and the reigning European
Champion Zivile Balciunaite have been signed for the Commerzbank Frankfurt
Marathon. Organisers, who annouced these two names today, are eager to
improve their women's course record of 2:25:12. Recently Kenyans Wilson
Kipsang (PB: 2:07:13) and Wilfred Kigen (2:07:33) had been signed to run
the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon. The race, which boosts an IAAF Gold
Label, will take place on 31st October. A record field of around 13,000
runners is expected to take part in the race. Online entry is still
available at: www.frankfurt-marathon.com
While the men's course record has been broken a couple of times in recent
years and now stands at 2:06:14 the women's best stands for five years now.
Russia's Alevtina Biktimirova had won in 2:25:12 in 2005. "We hope to
finally see a women's course record this year. It is the goal to get a good
sub 2:25 time," said Race Director Jo Schindler.
With the signing of Dire Tune a fast women's race could very well
materialize. The Ethiopian had some extraordinary success in the marathon
in recent years. And her personal best of 2:24:40 is a good half minute
faster than the course record of the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon. Around
two and a half years ago Dire Tune was regarded as one of the favourites in
the race for the Olympic marathon gold medal. She had started the Olympic
year by winning the Houston Marathon in January (clocking her PB of
2:24:40) and then taking the Boston title as well three months later with
2:25:25. In this race she beat Frankfurt's course record holder Alevtina
Biktimirova by just two seconds after a thrilling duel.
But probably the effort it took to win in Boston harmed her form in the
Olympic Marathon. In Beijing Dire Tune had to be content with 15th place.
Additionally she then ran the New York Marathon as well, where she finished
seventh. In 2009 Dire Tune returned to Boston and this time she was the one
beaten in a sprint finish. It looked as if she would retain her Boston
crown, but before she broke the tape Kenya's Salina Kosgei snatched
victory. In the closest women's finish in the history of the Boston
Marathon Dire Tune was beaten by just one second. In the summer she again
could not show her potential in a major championship. In the Berlin World
Championships she finished 23rd in 2009.
This year however Dire Tune chose a different approach to the marathon.
After running six races in less than two years in 2008 and 2009 the
Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon will be her first one in 2010. Still only 25
years old Dire Tune hopes to bring her marathon career back on track with a
great performance on 31st October. She has run a couple of half marathons
plus shorter distances in 2010. While her personal best in the half
marathon stands at 67:18 she ran 67:58 in February finishing fifth in Ras
Al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates).
In contrast to Dire Tune Lithuania's Zivile Balciunaite achieved the
biggest triumph of her career little more than a month ago. The 31 year-old
took the gold medal at the European Championships in convincing style. In
tremendous heat Balciunaite dominated the marathon in the final stages. She
finished in 2:31:14 and was more than a minute ahead of her nearest rival.
It will be exactly three months after her Barcelona race when she competes
at the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon. On the fast course Zivile
Balciunaite intends to transform her fine championships' form into a good
time although it will already be her fourth marathon this year. Her
personal best of 2:25:15, which she ran when placing second in Tokyo, is
five years old. In between she also had another great championships' race,
when she came in 11th at the Olympic Marathon in 2008.
For more information and online registration visit: