German winners Amanal Petros and Domenika Mayer smashed the course records at the ADAC Marathon Hannover. Defending champion Petros improved his own course best of 2:07:02 from last year by almost one minute, winning in 2:06:05 despite windy conditions and warm temperatures during the final part of the race. Petros, who is the national record holder with 2:04:58, ran the second fastest time ever achieved by a German marathon runner. Kenyans Boaz Kipkemei and Victor Kiplimo took second and third with 2:07:06 and 2:09:58 respectively.

Domenika Mayer clocked 2:23:50 after battling with former Boston Marathon winner Sharon Cherop for much of the race. The Kenyan finished second in 2:24:41 and fellow Kenyan Lilian Jebitok was third in 2:27:13. Domenika Mayer was almost two minutes faster than the previous course record of Croatia’s Matea Parlov Kostro, who ran 2:25:45 last year.

Petros’ race

Men’s winner Amanal Petros, Photo credit: Norbert Wilhelmi

“I am really happy with these results. We got two German winners who both broke the course records,“ said Race Director Stefanie Eichel. Including races at shorter distances organisers registered a total of around 26,600 entries from over 100 nations for the 32nd edition of the ADAC Marathon Hannover. Almost 4,000 of them were marathon runners.

With a very even pace the men’s leading group reached the halfway point after 63:10 and then 25k in 1:14:48. However at this stage there were only two Kenyans left besides Amanal Petros: debutant Boaz Kipkemei and pacemaker Evans Kimtai, who could not hold on to the pace much longer. He dropped out shortly after 27k. When Petros and Kipkemei then reached the 35k point their split time of 1:44:58 pointed towards a 2:06:30 finish. However besides the course record Amanal Petros also chased the German leading time of the year, Samuel Fitwi’s 2:06:27 from Dubai. Petros was able to put in another gear, moved away from Kipkemei and covered the final four kilometres in 2:55, 2:55, 2:55 and 2:50. “I did not expect to run 2:06:05 today,“ said Amanal Petros, who can take plenty of motivation from this finish for the Olympic race in Paris in the summer. “Without the wind, I think I would have been around one minute faster.“ 

Mayer’s race

Women’s winner Domenika Meyer. Photo credit: Norbert Wilhelmi

Right from the start Domenika Mayer and Sharon Cherop separated themselves from the rest of the contenders. The 40 year-old Kenyan, who was third at the World Championships marathon in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011 and then took the Boston Marathon in the following year, showed a surprisingly strong performance at the age of 40. Mayer and Cherop were already one and a half minutes ahead when they reached half way in 71:43. The Kenyan had problems picking up her bottle at refreshment stations multiple times. She lost up to 20 metres each time, but always closed the gap. However with five kilometres to go Domenika Mayer finally pulled away. With 2:23:50 she missed her PB by just three seconds but improved the course record of Croatia’s Matea Parlov Kostro (2:25:45 from last year) by almost two minutes. 

“I am really happy with my race. I was surprised that Sharon held on for so long, but I just concentrated on myself and ran my own race,“ said Domenika Mayer. Now I am looking forward to the Olympic Marathon. It will of course be a very different race on a hilly course and without pacers.“ Sharon Cherop hopes to continue elite running for some more time. “I am happy with my race and I think I will be able to run 2:22 again,“ said the Kenyan, whose PB from 2013 stands at 2:22:28. “I think I can run for a couple of more years and will now target an autumn marathon.“

Results, Men:

1. Amanal Petros GER 2:06:05

2. Boaz Kipkemei KEN 2:07:06

3. Victor Kiplimo KEN 2:09:58

4. Hammington Cherop KEN 2:12:01

5. Jackson Rutto KEN 2:12:12

6. Amos Mitei KEN 2:14:49

7. Tom Thurley GER 2:14:52

8. Polat Arikan TUR 2:16:38

Women:

1. Domenika Mayer GER 2:23:50

2. Sharon Cherop KEN 2:24:41

3. Lilian Jebitok KEN 2:27:13

4. Sardana Trofimova KGZ 2:27:32

5. Failuna Matanga TAN 2:27:33

6. Nora Szabo HUN 2:30:04

7. Juliette Thomas BEL 2:31:40

8. Vanessa Wilson AUS 2:31:45

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