Kenyans Wilson Kipsang and Wilfred Kigen are the the first two world-class signings for this year’s Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon set for 31 October.
The Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
Kipsang is one of the most promising recent Marathon newcomers. The 28-year-old Kenyan ran his debut in Paris earlier this year where he finished third in a high-class field in 2:07:13. Now Kipsang is eager to further improve this time and the experience from his debut will surely help him in Frankfurt where the course is regarded as a fast one.
Before turning to the Marathon, Kipsang was a very strong runner over half the distance. His personal best stands at 58:59 which he ran in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, in February 2009, which ranks him still as the sixth fastest Half Marathon runner of all times. At last year’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham he placed fourth, missing a medal by just eight seconds. Kipsang should have the potential to clearly improve on his 2:07:13 from Paris which may well lead to another great course record in Frankfurt. In 2009 Kenyan Gilbert Kirwa won the race in 2:06:14.
With more strong Kenyans soon to be signed the race may even be on the way to a sub-2:06 time. One has already agreed to return again - Kigen, who has achieved unique success in Frankfurt. The former course record holder (2:07:58) won the Frankfurt Marathon three times in a row from 2005 to 2007. After putting behind some injury problems the 35-year-old returned with a win at the Hamburg Marathon in April this year. He clocked 2:09:22 there and is now eager to attack his personal best of 2:07:33.
Organisers of Germany’s oldest city marathon expect a record entry of around 13,000 marathon runners. Online entry is still available at: www.frankfurt-marathon.com