BMW Frankfurt Marathon

Champions Wilson Kipsang and Gilbert Kirwa return to Frankfurt, jubilee edition offers world record bonus for first time

Wilson Kipsang

Wilson Kipsang

This year’s jubilee edition will see a clash of the past two champions, who had both improved the course record by a significant margin: Kenyans Wilson Kipsang and Gilbert Kirwa will return for the 30th BMW Frankfurt Marathon on 30th October. Organisers of Germany’s oldest city marathon, which boosts a Gold Label for Road Races awarded by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), expect a record number of around 14,000 runners to compete on the fast city loop course. Online entry and further information are available at:

“We are ready to make the next step,” said Jo Schindler, the Race Director of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon. His race has made an astonishing progress in the past few years and has established itself as one of the fastest marathons in the world. After three course records in three years and an improvement from 2:07:58 to 2:04:57 the BMW Frankfurt Marathon has come quite close to the official world record time of Haile Gebrselassie (2:03:59). That is why organisers decided to offer a world record bonus for the first time in the event’s history. If the record should be broken the winner would take a total of 145,000 Euros, which is the highest prize money available in marathon running on German speaking territory.

It was in October 2010 when the race got worldwide recognition because of Wilson Kipsang’s sensational winning time. Clocking 2:04:57 the Kenyan became the eighth fastest marathon runner ever at that time. “Because of this superb time a lot more world-class athletes are now interested in coming to Frankfurt. They now know that it is possible to run very fast there,” said Christoph Kopp, who is responsible for the elite field of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon. “Additionally we were able to further improve the course. This year there will be eight bends less in the inner city,” he added.

This spring Wilson Kipsang took the Lake Biwa Marathon (Japan) with a course record of 2:06:13. When he now turns to Frankfurt again he is looking to further improve his personal best. “My aim is to get closer to the world record and to try to break it,” he had said in Frankfurt last year, adding: “I think it is possible to run a world record here.”

A very strong opponent has already been signed for the BMW Frankfurt Marathon as well: Gilbert Kirwa had won the race in 2009, when he improved the course record to 2:06:14. Coming back to Frankfurt two years later the 25 year-old Kenyan also targets a very fast time after some weaker performances in the past 12 months.

While Austria’s national record holder Günther Weidlinger (2:10:47 in Frankfurt 2009) had much earlier agreed to return, a promising German runner has now been added to the field: Former European 10,000 m champion Jan Fitschen will run his second marathon in Frankfurt. He was unfortunate at his debut race in Düsseldorf in May, where very high temperatures made it extremely tough for all participants. Jan Fitschen finished with 2:20:15 and will now target a time of around 2:15.

The women’s race will see the return of a former champion as well: Sabrina Mockenhaupt intends to qualify for the Olympic Games in Frankfurt. In 2008 she had surprisingly taken the event with a personal best of 2:26:22. She managed to improve this time by a single second in Berlin a year ago. But driving rain made it difficult in Germany’s capital in 2010. Sabrina Mockenhaupt will now target a time of around 2:25 at the BMW Frankfurt Marathon.


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