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Munich Marathon restores pro grounds and brings back Frank Shorter to celebrate

Both course records targeted in Munich, unofficial junior world record holder Tsegaye Mekonnen leads the men’s field

by: Generali Munich Marathon
October 7, 2022

CRL Note: 50 years after Frank Shorter won Olympic gold, the Generali Munich Marathon is hosting an elite field for the first time since 2001, and it’s brought back some big names and Frank Shorter to celebrate. Unofficial junior world record holder Tsegaye Mekonnen and fellow Ethiopian Mare Dibaba, who was the 2015 marathon world champion, headlined.

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The marathon starts and ends inside the Olympic Stadium. The race will start at 9:00 a.m. (CEST) on Sunday / 3:00 a.m. Eastern US and a live stream is available at: www.generalimuenchenmarathon.de

50 years after winning gold in the Olympia marathon in Munich, Frank Shorter is back in the city as guest of honour. “I am very happy to have the opportunity to be back in Munich – the city where I was born in 1947 and where I celebrated my biggest career victory in 1972,” said Frank Shorter, 74. .

“We look forward to the strongest elite roster in our history. With former world champion Mare Dibaba and rider who holds the unofficial junior world record, Tsegaye Mekonnen, we managed to bring two big names to Munich for the return of the elites. As the weather forecast is favourable, we hope that both course records will be broken on Sunday,” said race director Gernot Weigl.

Tsegaye Mekonnen caused a major upset when he won the Dubai Marathon in 2014 aged just 19. His time of 2:04:32 is still the unofficial junior world record (World Athletics does not ratify junior marathon records). In 2017 Mekonnen also won the Hamburg Marathon. Now 27, the Ethiopian hasn’t raced the classic distance since 2018 and now plans to return with a strong performance in Munich. “I had injury problems and then the pandemic also played its part, so I didn’t run a marathon for three years. Now my training went well and I intend to run a 2:06 a.m. Sunday,” Tsegaye Mekonnen said.

German debutant Sebastian Hendel with Tsegaye Mekonnen, Agnes Keino and Aberu Zennebe in the Olympic Stadium in Munich
photo credit: Norbert Wilhelmi

Two other runners are on the start list with personal bests under 2:10 and under the course record of 2:09:46: Ethiopian Mengistu Zelalem has a PB of 2:08:48 while Kenyan Edwin Kimaiyo is in a similar range with 2:09:12. Currently, a half marathon split time of around 64:00 is targeted for the first group.

A big improvement in the course record seems possible for the women in Munich. Germany’s Susanne Hahn set the current mark of 2:32:11 ten years ago. Mara Dibaba leads the women’s field with a world-class personal best of 2:19:52. Besides the 2015 world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, there are two fellow Ethiopians who ran in less than 2:25: Atsede Bayisa has a nice personal best of 2:22:03″ and Aberu Zennebe has a PB of 2:24: 30. “I prepared for three months and my goal is to achieve a personal best,” Aberu Zennebe said. reaches the halfway mark around 71:30 a.m. There are eight athletes on the start list who have run in less than 2:30 a.m.

Elite runners with personal bests:

Men:

Tsegaye Mekonnen ETH 2:04:32

Mengistu Zelalem ETH 2:08:48

Edwin Kimaiyo KEN 2:09:12

Meshack Koech KEN 2:10:17

Emmanuel Sikuku KEN 2:11:05

Ngonidzashe Ncube ZIM 2:11:46

Justus Kangogo KEN 2:13:34

Berhane Tesfay ERI 2:14:42

Vincent Kiprotich KEN Debüt

Philimon Kipchumba KEN Debüt

Rodgers Keror KEN Debüt

Sebastian Hendel GER Debut

Women:

Mare Dibaba ETH 2:19:52

Atsede Bayisa ETH 2:22:03

Aberu Zennebe ETH 2:24:30

Agnes Keino KEN 2:25:08

Viola Yator KEN 2:26:51

Mercy Kwambai KEN 2:27:32

Souad Kambouchia TUE 2:27:49

Helen Jepkurgat KEN 2:29:10

Caroline Nahimana BUR 2:30:09

More information about the GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON and online registration is available at: www.generalimuenchenmarathon.de


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