FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hamburg Marathon Upgrades
The organisers of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, whose 27th running take
place on April 29, are looking forward to an upgrade of their race, in
keeping with the status of the city of Hamburg. Many people outside
Germany may not realise that Hamburg is the country's second city, and is
the sixth largest in Europe. Its fame stretches from being one of the
founding cities of the Hanseatic League (a precursor to the European
Union), the medieval trading organisation based around the Baltic and
north-sea ports and inland cities; to being the location where the Beatles
rose to international fame in the 1960s.
With 13 men under 2hrs 10min (two under 2.06) enlisted for the race on
Sunday, April 29, the revamped organising committee are hoping, if not
expecting two course records, in order to underline their case to be
considered one of the world's best marathons.
Course records belong to four-time winner, Spaniard Julio Rey, who ran
2.06.52 six years ago, and Irina Timofeyeva of Russia, who clocked 2.24.14
in 2008. Leading contenders to attack those marks are Dadi Yami of
Ethiopia, who ran 2.05.41 in Dubai in January, and his colleague Shami
Dawit who finished just one second behind him. There are three more
sub-2.07 men, Kenyans Evans Cheruiyot (2.06.25) and Paul Biwott (2.06.54),
and Ethiopian Chele Dechase (2.06.33), plus former world 10,000 metres
champion, Charles Kamathi of Kenya, whose marathon best is 2.07.33.
The women's field this year doesn't quite have the same depth, but
organisers are hoping that proven winner Robe Guta of Ethiopia (first in
Seoul, twice, and in Hamburg 2006) can improve on her best of 2.24.35.
In a statement from their launch press conference this morning, Wednesday,
Jos Hermens, whose Global Sports company has been enlisted by organisers
to upgrade the event, said, "After some difficult years Hamburg Marathon
now is back to where it belongs. It will again challenge to belong among
the top 10 best marathons worldwide, as it has done in the past.
"Having said that, the aim this year is to break both course records. That
ambition is underlined by having two sub-2.06 men in the field, both in
this year's top ten. We also want to accommodate the top German runners as
much as possible, both Falk Cierpinski and Martin Beckmann, who will try
to run the Olympic Games qualifier (2.12).
"The 2012 Haspa Marathon Hamburg will be an important edition for the
organization to show that they are back running a quality marathon with
some one million spectators along the course; and about 14.000 runners,
with over 4000 more in relays".