When it comes to the depth of the elite field, the BMW Frankfurt Marathon is Germany’s number one road race, and once again there is an amazing quality to this year’s event, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 27 October.
The extraordinary quality of the field will inevitably lead to expectations of a very fast race, especially if the weather conditions are better than last year, when temperatures were just above freezing in the morning. Nevertheless, whatever the conditions, it will still be a tough task to break the course record, which stands at 2:03:42, set two years ago by Kenya’s recently minted World record holder Wilson Kipsang.
The Ethiopian duo of Dino Sefir and Feyissa Lelissa and the Kenyan trio of Vincent Kipruto, Levy Matebo Omari and Albert Matebor are the five fastest men on paper. The women’s field sees two major additions, apart from those already announced. Ethiopia’s Tirfe Tsegaye returns to Germany a year after her second place finish in the Berlin Marathon when she ran a career best of 2:21:19. This year, she won the Dubai Marathon in January and placed fifth in the Boston Marathon.
Like last year, there is an interesting debutante from Ethiopia; Gelete Burka will run her first Marathon in Frankfurt. Now 27, Burka has won medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships and IAAF World Cross Country Championships and has also demonstrated her all-round talent on the roads in the last 12 months, running a world class 30:53 in Madrid’s famous San Silvestre Vallecana 10km race on New Year’s Eve in 2012.
She has not run further than 15km in competition, but this might not necessarily turn out to be a disadvantage since the same applied to another Ethiopian, Messelech Melkamu, last year and her compatriot made a great debut, winning the BMW Frankfurt Marathon 2012 with a course record of 2:21:01. Messelech will return to Frankfurt and will need no reminding of Burka’s achievements and this potent combination could put the course record under threat. Around 15,000 runners are expected to compete in the 32nd edition of Germany’s oldest city Marathon.