With half a dozen runners featuring personal bests of sub 2:08 and another eight runners having achieved sub 2:10 times so far the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon promises to produce yet another thrilling and high-class men’s race on 31 October.
If weather conditions are suitable the course record of 2:06:14, which was established by Gilbert Kirwa of Kenya a year ago, will be attacked, and Germany’s oldest city marathon could well see its first sub 2:06 result.
A record field of around 13,000 runners is expected to take part in the race.
The Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
The two men that could be the strongest in a deep field are Kenyans Sylvester Teimet and Wilson Kipsang. 26 year-old Sylvester Teimet broke into world-class this March, when he won the Seoul Marathon in 2:06:49. It was a close race until the final two kilometres, when Teimet finally was able to leave behind Gilbert Kirwa. The Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon course record holder was second in 2:06:59. For Sylvester Teimet it was already the second time he had won a marathon in Seoul. In 2008 he had clocked 2:09:53, which was his personal best until this year.
Wilson Kipsang, whose start had been announced earlier by the organisers of the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon, is reported to be in good shape. The 28-year-old ran a great marathon debut when finishing second in Paris in April with 2:07:13 and features a superb half marathon best of 58:59 minutes. He belongs to the same training group as Geoffrey Mutai, who ran 2:05:10 for second place in the Berlin Marathon last Sunday.
Four more runners signed for the Commerzbank Frankfurt-Marathon have sub 2:08 times. The fastest in the field will be 27-year-old Elijah Keitany. The Kenyan has a personal best of 2:06:41, which he achieved in Amsterdam in 2009. Keitany was second in this race.
David Mandago is just twelve seconds slower. The 32-year-old clocked 2:06:53 in Paris last year, but since this was an extraordinary strong race he finished only sixth. However, Mandago has achieved some remarkable placings in major marathons. Two years ago the Kenyan was second in the Chicago Marathon with 2:07:37, in the same year he won the Hamburg Marathon (2:07:23) and he also took the Rome Marathon in 2006 (2:08:38).
While the three-time winner of the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon Wilfred Kigen (2005 to 2007 / PB: 2:07:33) had been announced earlier a new addition to the field is Francis Kiprop. The 28-year-old Kenyan was second behind world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) in the Berlin Marathon 2009. He clocked his personal best of 2:07:04 in this race.
At least four more runners could be in the race for victory at the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon: Elias Chelimo (Kenya, 2:08:15), Yared Asmerom (Eritrea/2:08:34), Siraj Gena (Ethiopia, 2:08:39) and Henry Sugut (Kenya), who won this year’s Vienna City Marathon with 2:08:40.
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF