Never have there been so many entries for the Olympus Hamburg Marathon, which
is Germanys number two behind the real,- BERLIN MARATHON. 21,551 runners plus
2,000 skaters were accepted. But very bad weather during the night before the
race was probably a reason for many not to turn up. So only 16,300 starters
were counted. But still the two winners – Julio Rey (Spain) and Hellen
Kimutai (Kenya) – made it a very successful day for the organisers.
Road running gets more and more popular in Germany. And it is just days ago
that the organisers of the real,- BERLIN MARATHON, which sees its 30th edition
on 28th September, announced that nearly 26,000 runners have already entered
Germanys biggest marathon. That means little more than 9,000 athletes can still
enter, before the record limit of 35,000 runners will close the door.
The opponent most difficult to beat for Julio Rey was not a runner: When the
Spaniard won the 18th Olympus Hamburg Marathon for a second time on Sunday he
met little resistance from other athletes but instead had to fight hard against
the wind. Although conditions were partly difficult for the Spaniard, Julio Rey
achieved a remarkable time. With 2:07:27 he broke his own course record and
personal best by 19 seconds.
It was two years ago, when Rey had won in Hamburg in 2:07:46. This time he
ran the fifth fastest time of the year and proved once again that fast times
can be run on Hamburgs marathon course – provided first class marathoners
are running, which was not always the case in recent years. For the first time
Hamburgs winner produced a faster time than in London, Rotterdam and Boston.
The womens winner achieved a personal best as well: Hellen Kimutai (Kenya) ran
Rey, who was guided by pacemakers during the first part of the race, had
soon left behind his rivals. At 10 k a chasing group led by last years winner
Christopher Kandie was trailing 200 metres behind. Already a couple of
kilometres earlier he had lost a pacemaker: His brother Fernando could not
stand his pace. It was little after half way, which Rey had reached in 63:41
minutes, when the last pacemaker dropped out. For nearly 20 k the 31-year-old
Spaniard was on his own. And surprisingly he hardly slowed, although the wind
was hindering him especially during the last part of the race.
Rey covered the second half just five seconds slower and finished in quite a
contrast style compared to 2001. Two years ago it was down to a sprint finish
with his countryman Francisco Javier Cortes loosing by just two seconds. This
time second placed Henry Cherono (Kenya/2:11:55) was nearly four and a half
minutes behind. “I had hoped to run faster, but the wind was a problem.
It took some strength to rund against it. Additionally I had to run alone for a
long time – in other circumstances I could have run a European
record“, Julio Rey said, who missed Fabián Ronceros Spanish record
by just four seconds. The continental mark held by António Pinto
(Portugal/2:06:36) had been tight by Benoit Zwierchiewski (France), who was
runner up in the Paris Marathon three weeks ago. It is Paris, where Julio Rey
is looking to next. After a rest he wants to prepare for the IAAF World
Championships in August.
Hellen Kimutai was well ahead of her rivals as well. But it was a different
race. The 25-year-old Kenyan was chasing Marleen Renders in the first part of
the race. The Belgium record holder (2:23:05) once again set a fast pace, but
could not stand it. While Renders got problems and faltered to a disappointing
fourth place (2:28:31) Kimutai, who was third in last years Berlin Marathon
(2:26:10), ran another personal best of 2:25:53. “I did not expect such a
result after my training“, the Kenyan said. She was nearly two minutes
ahead of Shitaye Gemechu (Ethiopia/2:27:46).
It was not a good day for German women, who had dominated the Hamburg
Marathon so often in past years. Sonja Oberem, who had won in 2002 and 2001,
had not been able to start due to an inflamed disc in her back column. A back
problem then stopped Luminita Zaituc, runner up in last years European
Championships in Munich, after just 15 k. And for Claudia Dreher the race was
over at 28 k because of muscle problems.
Results, Men: 1. Rey ESP 2:07:27, 2. Cherono KEN 2:11:55, 3. Rutto KEN
2:11:59, 4. Lima BRA 2:12:16, 5. Shvetsov RUS 2:12:43, 6. Isaac Kiprono KEN
2:12:54, 7. Wyatt NZL 2:13:00, 8. Keijzar SLO 2:13:26, 9. Polisa GRE 2:14:14,
10. Beckmann GER 2:15:15.
Women: 1. Kimutai KEN 2:25:53, 2. Gemechu ETH 2:27:46, 3. Javornik SLO
2:28:13, 4. Renders BEL 2:28:31, 5. Paradowska POL 2:29:17, 6. Narroch BRA
2:29:59, 7. Chirita ROM 2:32:55, 8. Silva POR 2:32:57, 9. Jensen DEN 2:33:36,
10. Renz GER 2:35:39.