24. October 2018 | Press-News

Elite race preview of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

A dozen runners who have broken 2:10 and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba, World Marathon Champion in 2015, are on the start lists of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. Dibaba will be the first woman to run Frankfurt with a personal record of sub-2:20. There are ten women who have run below 2:25. Should weather conditions be suitable some very fast times and thrilling races can be expected. The organizers expect up to 15,000 entrants for the 37th edition of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon which is an IAAF Gold Label race, the highest category in international road running.


Men’s Race

Frankfurt will feature a contest between two runner-ups, setting Ethiopian Kelkile Gezahegn against the Kenyan Martin Kosgey. They finished second in Frankfurt in the previous two years. Gezahegn ran 2:06:56 in Frankfurt for second place last year and then improved to 2:05:56 for third place in Rotterdam in the spring. Kosgey ran his PB of 2:07:22 to finish second in the 2016 edition of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. Three time Amsterdam winner Wilson Chebet of Kenya is the fastest runner on the start list with a time of 2:05:27.


A number of debutants from East Africa could cause an upset. Among them is Kenya’s Alex Kibet, who has run a world-class time of 59:06 in the half marathon.

Germany’s Arne Gabius will return to the race, where he clocked sub 2:10 times on three occasions and broke the national record in 2015 with 2:08:33.


Women’s race

While the 2:21:01 course record could come under threat may be there is also a chance for a first sub 2:20 time in Frankfurt. Four Ethiopian women are on the start list who have each run under 2:22 with one having cracked the 2:20 barrier: Mare Dibaba, who has twice run her best of 2:19:52. In 2015 victory crowned her World champion in Beijing before she took the bronze medal at the Olympics in Rio the next year.


Three of Dibaba’s compatriots are likely to be among her strongest rivals. Haftamnesh Tesfay made an impressive debut to her marathon career in Dubai this January with fifth place in 2:20:13. Two places behind Tesfay in Dubai came another Ethiopian debutant, Dera Dida and her impressive showing also makes her appearance in Frankfurt highly anticipated following her 2:21:45 in the United Arab Emirates. Meskerem Assefa finished third in 2:24:38 last year in Frankfurt. She made a solid improvement in winning the Nagoya title in mid-March, running 2:21:45. Kenya’s Betsy Saina is expected to challenge the Ethiopians. She achieved a breakthrough performance in the marathon this April, winning in Paris with a fine 2:22:56.


Local hero Katharina Heinig carries national hopes on Sunday. A year ago she showed an excellent race finishing in eighth place.


Topathletes with besttimes:



Wilson Chebet                        KEN                2:05:27

Kelkile Gezahegn       ETH                2:05:56

Gilbert Yegon             KEN                2:06:18

Martin Kosgey            KEN                2:07:22

Arne Gabius               GER               2:08:33

Bira Seboka                ETH                2:08:51

Weldon Kirui               KEN                2:09:06

Hiroyuki Yamamoto    JPN                2:09:12

Tsedat Abeye Ayana  ETH                2:09:26

Tadashi Isshiki                       JPN                2:09:43

Akinobou Murasawa  JPN               2:09:47

Amos Mitei                 KEN                2:09:56

Vincent Yator              KEN                2:10:38

Alex Kibet                   KEN                Debüt

Asefa Tefera              ETH                Debüt

Kenneth Keter            KEN                Debüt



Mare Dibaba               ETH                2:19:52

Haftamnesh Tesfay    ETH                2:20:13

Dera Dida                   ETH                2:21:45

Meskerem Assefa      ETH                2:21:45

Betsy Saina                KEN                2:22:56

Valentine Kipketer      KEN                2:23:02

Abebech Afework      ETH                2:23:33

Nancy Kiprop              KEN                2:24:18

Belaynesh Oljira         ETH                2:24:21

Reia Iwade                 JPN                2:24:38

Bedatu Hirpa Badane  ETH               2:25:50

Janet Rono                 KEN                2:26:03

Sara Hall                     USA                2:26:20

Gladys Tejeda                        PER                2:28:12

Katharina Heinig         GER               2:28:34

Sylvia Medugu            KEN                2:29:09

Lindsay Flanagan       USA                2:29:28



Best times overall Mainova Frankfurt Marathon



2:03:42            Wilson Kipsang           KEN                2011

2:04:57            Wilson Kipsang           KEN                2010

2:05:16            Levy Matebo               KEN                2011

2:05:25            Albert Matebor            KEN                2011

2:05:50            Shura Kitata Tola       ETH                2017

2:06:07            Philip Sanga               KEN                2011

2:06:08            Patrick Makau            KEN                2012

2:06:14            Gilbert Kirwa               KEN                2009

2:06:15            Vincent Kipruto           KEN                2013

2:06:16            Mark Kiptoo                KEN                2013



2:21:01            Meselech Melkamu    ETH                2012

2:21:39            Georgina Rono           KEN                2012

2:21:59            Mamitu Daska            ETH                2011

2:22:21            Aberu Kebede            ETH                2014

2:22:34            Caroline Kilel              KEN                2013

2:23:00            Flomena Chepchirchir           KEN                2013

2:23:01            Birhane Dibaba          ETH                2013

2:23:12            Gulume Tollesa          ETH                2015

2:23:12            Dinknesh Tefera         ETH                2015

2:23:23            Mamitu Daska            ETH                2013


Text: race-news-service.com

Fotos: Mainova Frankfurt Marathon / photorun.net