Defending champion and course record holder Bernard Koech will return for the 38th edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on April 28th. The 36-year-old Kenyan, who improved the course best to 2:04:09 last year, will face very strong opponents in Germany’s major spring marathon. Samwel Mailu of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Abdisa Tola, who both produced breakthrough performances in 2023, will challenge the defending champion. In Martin Musau there will be another former winner of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg returning to the race: The Ugandan was the winner in 2021.

Bernard Koech winning in Hamburg in 2023. Photo credit: Haspa Marathon Hamburg / Henning Angerer 

“After consecutive course records, we can look forward to another high-quality men’s race. Bernard Koech, Samwel Mailu, and Abdisa Tola are all capable of running world-class times on the fast course. We are happy that these three have chosen Hamburg for their spring marathon,“ said chief organizer Frank Thaleiser, who expects a total of around 12,000 marathon runners on 28th April. Online registration for the race is still possible at: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de

“I am looking forward to returning to Hamburg. Last year’s victory was a perfect comeback performance for me because I had problems for some time and there were the Corona lockdowns as well,“ said Bernard Koech, who tied his two-year-old personal best of 2:04:09 last year in Hamburg. However, after achieving his biggest career victory in that race the Kenyan was unlucky when he ran the Amsterdam Marathon in autumn. An injury forced him to drop out of the race. Looking ahead to his Hamburg return Bernard Koech said: “Although I broke the course record last year I believe that I can still run faster in Hamburg.“

A fast pace should suit Samwel Mailu, who wants to improve his personal best. The Kenyan newcomer, who is already 31 years old, stormed to a sensational course record of 2:05:08 despite warm weather conditions at the Vienna Marathon last spring. Later that year he produced another exceptional performance. Added to the Kenyan team at very short notice Samwel Mailu took the bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships in Riga, Latvia. “I chose Hamburg for my spring marathon because of the fast course. Hopefully, I can improve my current 2:05 personal best to 2:04,“ said Samwel Mailu.

Twenty-three-year-old Ethiopian Abdisa Tola will be another top contender on 28th April. The younger brother of Tamirat Tola, the World Marathon Champion from 2021 and current New York Marathon winner, ran a stunning marathon debut a year ago: Abdisa Tola won the competitive Dubai Marathon in 2:05:42.

Besides Bernard Koech there will be another runner in the elite field who has already won the Haspa Marathon Hamburg: Martin Musau of Uganda took the race at 2:10:15 in 2021, when the fields were much reduced due to the pandemic. It was last year in Hamburg when Musau improved to a fine 2:08:45 and finished in seventh position.

More information about the Haspa Marathon Hamburg and online entry is available at: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de 

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