When Sports Senator Andy Grote (SPD) watches the sporting challenge over 42,195 miles in front of the showrooms at the television tower on Sunday, the first major spectator event in Hamburg since March 2020 will begin without major crown restrictions. However, all runners need to be vaccinated or cured. “It’s the start signal for the 2022 sports year in Hanseatic City. And it’s an important signal that we have overcome difficult times,” said State Sports Adviser Christoph Holstein.
Just over 29,000 participants registered for the 36th edition of the various routes, including about 10,600 marathon runners. The expectation of 11,500 registrations was not fully met. But the humor is back. “We have over 25 groups along the way. The runners will experience the marathon as in 2019 or in previous years,” said organizer Frank Thaleiser.
The elite field is run by Abebe Negevo. The Ethiopian, who holds the number one start, arrives with the personal best of 2:04:51 hours from 2019. Barselius Kipyego (Kenya) ran just 2:04:48 in Paris last year. Tsegaye Mekonnen (Ethiopia), the winner of Hamburg in 2017, also stayed under 2:05 hours, but his best times of 2:04:32 and 2:04:46 come from 2014 and 2016.
The Ethiopian aims to reach the course record in marathon debut
In the women’s category, world record holder of 10 kilometers (29:14 minutes) Yalemzerf Yehualaw from Ethiopia wants to make one of the fastest debuts over 42,195 kilometers on a flat course and clearly reduce the course record. Her compatriot Meselech Melkamu has been holding her since 2016 (2:21:54). “I am very excited because it is my first marathon, but of course I am also happy because it is the first marathon,” she told NDR.
In the men’s race, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge has set the best time of 2:05:30 since 2013. Athletic manager Jurrie van der Velden is confident there could be two better times on Sunday. If the coup succeeds, there is an additional bonus of 15,000 euros. Winners receive 25,000 euros per hour under 2:08 or under 2:23 hours.
German beginners want to recommend themselves for the European Championship and the World Cup
While thousands of amateur runners mostly want to reach the finish line, German athletes are worried about qualifying for this year’s major international events: for the Eugene World Championships in July, 2:11:30 (men) and 2:29:30 must to complete the hours (women) for the European Championship in Munich on August 2:14:30 and 2:32.
The German Athletics Association (DLV) has six starting places each for the coveted European Championship at home and three for the World Championship. A double start is excluded. For the assets that start in Hamburg, it is not only about breaking the norm, but also about affirming oneself in the national rankings in the face of great competition.
From the German point of view, the focus of the men is on Philipp Pflug (best time 2:12:15) and Johannes Motschmann. Born in Hamburg, he improved his time to 2:12:18 last year and aims for a time under 2:10 in what is only his third marathon. At the Berlin Half Marathon three weeks ago, he impressed with a time of 1:01:45 hours. “It gave me confidence,” Motschmann said. The former Hamburg Pfluger, who now starts for SCC Berlin, also wants to attack his domestic record and recommend himself to the international arena.
Schöneborn wants to do the same as her twin sister
In the women’s race, Deborah Schöneborn (Berlin) would like to imitate her twin sister Rabea, who recently came second in Hanover at 2:27:34. has already met both standards. “Around 2:32 is the minimum. Anything faster than that is great,” said the 28-year-old.
Also in attendance is Kristina Hendel, who achieved her fastest marathon debut by a German runner in Essen last year (2:27:30). The athlete from LG Braunschweig has Croatian citizenship and also has a two-year German passport. She still does not have the right to start for Germany internationally, but hopes that this will change in due time before the European Championship. In Hamburg she wants to increase the time to 2:25 hours.
“Some say, would you not prefer to take it a little slower, a little more carefully. But I’m not a careful guy. Go strong or go home. “
“My goals are high. The time I have set for myself is very dangerous. Not so many runners in Germany have run it. But I think I am very well prepared,” she told NDR.