A newly structured Gutenberg Mainz Half Marathon will go ahead with a good international field for the first time on Sunday. Kenyans Victor Kimutai and Collins Kipkemboi head the men’s field while Spain’s Chakib Lachgar hopes to run inside the qualifying time of 61:40 for the European Championships in Rome next month. The trio have personal bests of sub 62:00. Belgium’s Hanne Verbruggen is the fastest woman in the field with a PB of 70:23. 

The event was known as the Gutenberg Mainz Marathon until last year, but a half marathon had always been part of the program. The new organizing team decided to focus on the half marathon from now on. While there is no longer a marathon a 10k race will be staged parallel on Sunday. Organisers so far registered over 10,000 entries with 6,200 of them half marathon runners. 

Tom Thurley, Collins Kipkemboi, Hadas Shimuye and Jo Schindler. Credit: RNS

“It is our goal to establish a strong half marathon that will be an international attraction for the city of Mainz. There are only very few German half-marathons which feature good elite fields. So we think there is room for a high-quality race. Entry figures are already showing that we are on the right track,“ said new Race Director Jo Schindler, who took over the Frankfurt Marathon over 20 years ago and developed the race into one of the world’s finest marathons. 

The Mainz course records should be smashed on Sunday with the help of the international elite field. Selama Testamariam of Eritrea ran 66:06 in Mainz in 2019 while two years earlier Germany’s Fabienne Königstein had established the women’s mark with 73:13. “It is our goal to see considerably faster times on Sunday – that would be a good start,“ said Philipp Kopp, who coordinates the elite fields in Mainz.

Kenyans Victor Kimutai and Collins Kipkemboi are the fastest runners on the start list with personal bests of 61:29 and 61:34 respectively. “My goal is to improve my PB. If weather conditions are fine then I want to try to run sub 61:00,“ said Collins Kipkemboi who trains in Iten, Kenya. Spain’s Chakib Lachgar and Austrian Timon Theuer are the next fastest on the list with 61:45 and 62:34 respectively. Just three weeks after taking second place in the German Marathon Championships in Hannover Tom Thurley will run the half marathon on Sunday. “My training went really well, so I decided on short notice to run in Mainz,“ said Thurley, who has a personal best of 64:30.

Belgium’s Hanne Verbruggen, who is qualified for the Paris Olympic marathon and the European Championships’ half marathon, heads the women’s start list with a PB of 70:23. However Philipp Kopp expects an Ethiopian to do really well on Sunday: 24-year-old Hadas Shimuye is entered with a PB of 73:20. But she ran this time in high altitude in Addis Abeba in March. So she should be able to achieve a significantly better result in Mainz. “I am in fine form and my goal is to run under 70:00,“ said Hadas Shimuye, who will compete outside of Africa for the first time. Ethiopia’s Lelisa Wakweya and Tecla Lokrale of Kenya are among a group of African elite runners, featuring PBs of 71:59 and 72:59. 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.