Julio Rey has achieved a unique performance in the history of the Olympus Hamburg Marathon. On Sunday he won the event for the third time. And at all three times the 33 year-old Spaniard broke 2:08 hours. This time Julio Rey clocked 2:07:38 and missed his own course record by just eleven seconds. Two years ago he had won the event in 2:07:27. May be this is a good omen once again since in 2003 he went on to take the silver medal at the World Championships’ marathon in Paris. Additionally he had won the Hamburg Marathon in 2001, when he set his first course record in the northern German city by clocking 2:07:46. A nasty wind probably cost Julio Rey another course record on Sunday. But he will now surely have qualified for Helsinki. Apart from the wind runners had perfect conditions in sunshine. About half a million spectators lined the city course.
The women’s race saw a perfect debut of Edith Masai. The Kenyan, who had won three gold medals at the World Cross Country Championships before, won her first marathon in 2:27:06. A record number of 23,103 runners had entered this year’s 20th Olympus Hamburg Marathon, which is the number two marathon in Germany behind Berlin. The Berlin race will take place on 25th September. Adding participants from other events the Hamburg Marathon had about 33,000 entries.
“I intended to run faster, but the pacemakers were not able to help me long enough during the race”, Julio Rey said. The Spaniard had picked up the pace after half way and was then soon on his own. “But at least the spectators helped me”, Rey said. He had dropped Jote Ashebir Demissu (Ethiopia/2:10:40) and Jacob Losian (Kenya/2:11:49), who later finished third and fourth. Coming from behind Wilfred Kigen (Kenya) finished strong and was rewarded with second place in 2:09:18.
In a late marathon debut at the age of 38 Edith Masai ran with confidence right from the start. The Kenyan soon built a substantial lead though she also slowed in the final stages of the race. Partly this was due to the windy conditions. For some time it looked as if she might be capable of breaking Katrin Dörre-Heinig’s six year-old course record of 2:24:35. But in the end she missed the mark clearly, clocking 2:27:06. “I am happy with this result since it is my first marathon”, Edith Masai said. Malgorzata Sobanska (Poland) was second in 2:28:48 while Claudia Dreher (Germany) took third in 2:29:49, beating the national qualifying time for the World Championships in Helsinki. “Conditions were not easy, but I was very happy to break 2:30 today”, Claudia Dreher said.
1. Julio Rey ESP 2:07:38
2. Wilfred Kigen KEN 2:09:18
3. Jote Ashebir Demissu ETH 2:10:40
4. Jacob Losian KEN 2:11:49
5. Dmitri Baranovski UKR 2:11:57
6. Artur Osman POL 2:12:47
1. Edith Masai KEN 2:27:06
2. Malgorzata Sobanska POL 2:28:46
3. Claudia Dreher GER 2:29:49
4. Alina Ivanova RUS 2:31:22
5. Kutre Dulecha ETH 2:32:29