FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Frankfurt Prepares For Fast and Thrilling Races
Christoph Kopp lives in Berlin but since the end of last week the Elite
Race Coordinator for the BMW Frankfurt Marathon has been regularly checking
the weather forecast for the city beside the River Main. That's where an
imposing field will line up for the race's 32nd edition on Sunday. A year
ago the thermometer dropped to freezing point on race day morning and the
organisers took the precaution of having salt scattered around the bends to
prevent runners slipping on any potentially icy surface. Judging by the
current meteorological predictions, Christoph Kopp and Race Director Jo
Schindler will not need salt on Sunday – that is for sure. The elite field
is loaded with talent, showing 21 runners with personal bests of sub 2:10
and five have broken 2:05:30. The BMW Frankfurt Marathon is an IAAF Gold
Label Road Race and around 15,000 runners are expected to take part.
Since 2003 the men's course record has been broken on eight occasions. The
current record is 2:03:42, set by Wilson Kipsang two years ago, and makes
Frankfurt the second fastest marathon behind Berlin. Given good weather
conditions, another fast race is highly likely. However, Elite Race
Coordinator Christoph Kopp is not making an attack on the course record the
priority. This is currently only 19 seconds slower than Wilson Kipsang's
world record (2:03:23).
"It is our aim to get a big group of runners to the 30 k mark. If we get
there with a compact leading group we will be in a very good position to
achieve very fast times," said Christoph Kopp, who is hoping for a winning
time of under 2:05.
The Ethiopian duo of Dino Sefir (2:04:50), Feyisa Lilesa (2:04:52) and the
Kenyan trio of Vincent Kiprutu (2:05:13), Levy Matebo Omari (2:05:16) and
Albert Matebor (2:05:25) are the ones who have PBs of sub 2:05:30. "But I
also rate Kenyans Eric Ndiema and Gilbert Kirwa highly. I saw Kirwa looking
very good in training when I was in Iten recently," said Christoph Kopp.
Ndiema has a PB of 2:06:07 while Kirwa won in Frankfurt with 2:06:14 in
2009. Kopp also thinks that Kenyans Moses Masai (2:11:00) and debutant
Edwin Kipyego, who is the winner of the Den Haag Half Marathon from this
year, could do very well.
"When I took over as Race Director in Frankfurt and then introduced
Christoph Kopp a year later in 2003 the goal was to deliver high-class
races and achieve top results," said Jo Schindler. "We improved in all
aspects and managed to provide very good conditions for both elite and fun
runners." Schindler said that a sub 2:05 time would be a superb result on
Sunday. "We are the second fastest marathon and we want to confirm this
position in the future."
Kopp has a habit of giving bib number 7, traditionally considered as a
"lucky number", to an athlete he expects to produce an outstanding
performance - and they usually do. While Gilbert Kirwa will wear this
number on Sunday, the woman starting with F7 is Gelete Burka. The Ethiopian
debutant with an outstanding career on the track and cross country behind
her is tipped to make a strong impression. "I don't know her well enough to
make a prediction, but I've heard she is in good form," said Christoph
Kopp, who gave the F7 bib to Meselech Melkamu a year ago. The Ethiopian
duly won the race with a course record of 2:21:01 and returns to Frankfurt
as defending champion. Tirfi Tsegaye (Ethiopia/2:21:19), Eunice Jepkirui
(Kenya/2:21:41), Mamitu Daska (Ethiopia/2:21:59) and Caroline Kilel
(Kenya/2:22:36) are the other favourites.
"The men's race is very open, but this one is as well. It would be great if
we could see a women's course record for the fourth time in a row," said
Christoph Kopp. Jo Schindler added: "It would be a dream to get a sub 2:20
time for the first time in Frankfurt. And I hope that we will see two
thrilling races on Sunday."
For the first time, the BMW Frankfurt Marathon will be shown live by a
number of international TV stations. The following stations will broadcast
the race live: Super Sport South Africa, Fox International / ESPN Star,
Solar Sports Philippines, Starhub Singapore, OSNetwork, Zuku TV, The Sports
Channel Israel, EBU, Slovak Sport Slovakia, Sky Mexico, Band Sports Brazil,
Direct TV Latin America, Fox Sports Australia, Dolce Sport Romania, NTV
Turkey, Canal+ France. For other territories the live stream will be
accessible through the website of the race: www.bmw-frankfurt-marathon.com
The race begins at 10.30 am local time (clocks go back one hour during the
night before the race).
More information is available at: www.bmw-frankfurt-marathon.com