Right from the beginning Luminita Zaituc (Germany) held her rivals at bay despite rain, wind and cold temperatures. In 2:26:44 hours she finished the Düsseldorf Marathon and was overjoyed. But she was not happy about the weather: “I couldn’t feel my legs”, Luminita Zaituc said after the race. The winning time is the fastest time of a German runner since Sonja Oberem ran 2:26:21 in Hamburg
three years ago.
After exactly 17:00 minutes Zaituc passed the 5 k mark along with her pacemakers Matthias Strotmann (Germany) and Francis Kiprob (Kenya). They then reached half way in 1:12:47. Zaituc not only smashed the course record. The runner-up of the European Championships in 2002 also qualified for the World Championships in Helsinki. She clearly met the standard of the German Athletics Federation (2:32:00). She is the first German marathon runner to qualify for Helsinki. Japanese Junko Akagi finished second, but was more than twelve minutes behind, clocking 2:39:20. She couldn’t live up to the expectations of a favourite. In the men’s race Brazilian Alan Bomfim Silva won in 2:17:19 hours. He had a two minute gap to Gideon Koech (Kenya/2:19:34).
Nürnberger and Schuri German Marathon Champions
At the German Marathon Championships in Regensburg Dirk Nürnberger won his second marathon title. The 39 year-old had won in 1997 for the first time. Now he celebrated his comeback in a time of 2:22:78. Second was Volker Fritzsch in 2:23:58.
In the women’s race Monica Schuri (36 years old) won in 2:39:17 hours. Carmen Siewert was second in 2:40:28 hours and the favourite Sylvia Renz (2:48:58) was third. She suffered of stomach problems. For Monica Schuri it was her third marathon race ever and she improved her personal best.
Despite thunder, icy wind and cold temperatures almost 4,000 runners participated in Düsseldorf. There were altogether 9,000 athletes in Regensburg in similar weather conditions. Times in Regensburg were still disappointing and reflect the misery of Germany’s long distance runners.
Lopuyet wins Hannover in 2:15:33
Simon Lopuyet won the third big German marathon race on Sunday. He ran 2:15:33 in the Hannover Marathon and finished ahead of two other Kenyans. In windy conditions Josephat Rob was second (2:16:09) while Daniel Keter took third place (2:17:08). Women’s winner Evelyne Kimuria (Kenya) clocked 2:48:18. Marisa Reich