Ethiopian distance runner Meseret Mengistu (© Getty Images)
Meseret Mengistu Biru, the winner of the Paris Marathon in April, will head a strong Ethiopian women’s quartet at this year’s Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday 25 October, the organisers of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race announced on Wednesday (1).
Mengistu will arrive in Frankfurt aiming to continue her winning streak., having won her last three marathons. She won in Cape Town and Soweto last year but the 25-year-old had a breakthrough performance in the French capital, triumphing on the streets of Paris with 2:23:26, an improvement in her personal best of almost six minutes.
However, victory far from a foregone conclusion for Mengistu.
Among her rivals is Ashete Bekele, who has a very similar personal best. In Dubai at the start of this year, Bekele improved to 2:23:43 yet, such was the quality of the field, it was only good enough for 10th place.
Bekele also has the advantage of knowing the course of the Frankfurt Marathon already, having finished third here a year ago in 2:24:59. Another Ethiopian marathon runner on the Frankfurt start line will be Dinkinesh Mekash. Since 2012 she has been admirably consistent, running between 2:25 and 2:30 each year.
Her personal best is 2:25:09 from Paris in 2013, where she placed fourth, but she also won this year’s Mumbai Marathon in January, despite difficult weather conditions, with 2:30:00. The victory in India was Mekash’s biggest success of her career so far. Meseret Kitata is a relative newcomer to the marathon distance.
Just 21-years-old, she was the surprise winner of the 2015 Rome Marathon with 2:30:25, her personal best after only starting to compete internationally last year. With the German Championships included in this year’s Frankfurt Marathon, Lisa Hahner will be among the favourites to win the national race.
The 25-year-old last finished a marathon two years ago but it was in Frankfurt’s indoor finishing area of the ‘Festhalle’, crossing the line in what remains her personal best of 2:30:17.
A series of injuries hindered her progress in 2014 and this spring she suffered a stress fracture in her fibula.
However, Hahner now feels ready to run a new personal best and intends to meet the German qualifying standard for Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This stands at 2:28:30 and has yet to be achieved by a German runner.
Around 15,000 runners are expected to participate in the marathon.
Jorg Wenig (organisers) for the IAAF