NN Running Team

World marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge will headline a top-class international field – many of whom will be chasing Tokyo Olympic qualification marks – at the 2021 elite-only NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, Holland on Sunday (April 18).

The race was originally set to take place in Hamburg on April 11, however, Covid restrictions forced the race organisers – NN Running Team, Hamburg Marathon, and Global Sports Communication – to postpone the event and secure a different location. Thankfully organisers of the Enschede Marathon helped out to organise a specially designed eight-lap course at Twente Airport, which will be closed to the general public, to ensure the race would go ahead.

Dubbed ‘the fastest way to Tokyo’ – the race, which has attracted more than 50 elite athletes from 20 countries, will provide a much-needed opportunity for athletes to bank an automatic Olympic standard for Tokyo, which stands at 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women.

Eliud will look to mount a successful defence of his Olympic marathon title in August having already been selected as part of the Kenyan team for Tokyo. However, the 36-year-old will hope to return to winning ways in Enschede after he suffered a rare marathon defeat in his most recent outing in October’s London Marathon.

Among his chief rivals in the men’s race will be 2012 Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, who boasts a PB of 2:06:33, and Eliud’s training partner, the vastly experienced Kenyan Laban Korir (2:05:54). Look out too for the second fastest man in the field – Filex Chemonges (2:05:12) of Uganda.

In the women’s race, former New York Marathon podium finisher and 2016 European half-marathon champion Sara Moreira of Portugal (2:24:49) will expect to be prominent. Kenya’s NN Running Team athlete Gladys Chesir (2:24:51) is another to be respected while Mexican veteran Madai Perez (2:22:59) is the fastest in the women’s field.

The NN Mission Marathon will be screened live. Check where you can watch here: https://www.nnrunningteam.com/news/2021-04-08-where-to-watch-nn-mission-marathon/