One year on from making a stunning marathon breakthrough, Guye Adola will contest his third race over the classic distance in Frankfurt on 28 October.
The Ethiopian clocked the fastest debut marathon in history when placing second at the 2017 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:46, finishing behind Kenyan superstar Eliud Kipchoge.
“We are looking forward to a thrilling men’s race with world-class runners,” said race director Jo Schindler. “We are pleased when athletes of this calibre choose Frankfurt for their autumn marathon. It is always our aim to present world-class athletes and at the same time to offer perfect conditions for every single runner.”
Adola almost broke Kipchoge’s marathon dominance in Berlin last year. The 27-year-old led the race as the pair approached 40 kilometres, but Kipchoge – unbeaten in the marathon since 2013 – was able to overhaul him in the closing stages to win by 14 seconds.
Adola’s 2:03:46 clocking makes him the second fastest Ethiopian ever to run the marathon behind Kenenisa Bekele and ahead of former world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie.
“I really enjoyed everything about my marathon debut until the last few kilometres,” said Adola.
Earlier this year he ran the London Marathon in a heatwave but, after going with the swift early pace, struggled across the finish line. He is now keen to reassert himself with a fast time in Frankfurt.
Adola will face two other notable runners-up at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon when he lines up against fellow Ethiopian Kelkile Gezahegn and Kenya’s Martin Kosgey, the second-place finishers at the past two editions of the IAAF Gold Label road race.
Gezahegn also sprang a surprise last autumn as the Ethiopian improved his best by two minutes to finish second in Frankfurt in 2:06:56. He improved to 2:05:56 for third place in Rotterdam earlier this year.
Kosgey ran what was then a personal best of 2:07:22 to finish second at the 2016 Frankfurt Marathon. Returning last year, he finished fourth in 2:09:39.
Hiroyuki Yamamoto will lead a strong Japanese contingent in Frankfurt. He ran his best of 2:09:12 in Tokyo in 2017 to finish 10th.
German record-holder Arne Gabius will be running the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon for the fourth time. The 37-year-old has run under 2:10 in all three previous marathons in Frankfurt and no other German runner has broken that barrier for over 25 years.
“Frankfurt is the best place for me; why should I do anything different?” said Gabius whose time of 2:08:33 here in 2015 took 14 seconds off the German record set by Jörg Peter 27 years earlier.
Organisers for the IAAF