FRANKFURT, Germany― Shura Kitata Tola of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Vivian Cheryuiot won the top prizes at the 36th edition of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. Shura chopped almost two minutes off his personal best in difficult conditions while Vivian Cheruiyot, the reigning Olympic 5,000m champion but now concentrating on road racing, improved her best for the marathon to 2:23:35 after her distance debut in London this April. Shura ran 2:05:50 to win the men’s title and his compatriots Kelkile Gezahegn (2:06:56) and Getu Feleke (2:07:46) ensured a clean sweep for Ethiopia. The Ethiopians Yebrgual Melese (2:24:30) and Meskerem Assefa (2:24:38) finished second and third behind Cheruiyot in the women’s race. The women’s champion had been on course to improve the course record of 2:21:01 but was slowed by strong winds in the closing stages.

The race was also notable for strong results by the European men. Dewi Griffiths of Wales ran a fine debut with 2:09:49 for fifth place and at one stage looked capable of breaking the UK record for a marathon debutant, held by his fellow Welshman and former world record holder Steve Jones with 2:08:05 when winning Chicago in 1984. Directly behind Griffiths came the German record holder Arne Gabius with 2:09:59 and Poland’s Henryk Szost was next across the line on the red carpet of the Festhalle with 2:10:09. 14,513 runners from 108 countries took part in the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon which is an IAAF Gold Label Race.

■ The 36th Mainova Frankfurt Marathon: Top Results
· Men’s Title
  1. Shura Kitata Tola (ETH), 2:05:50
  2. Kelkile Gezahegn (ETH), 2:06:56
  3. Getu Feleke (ETH), 2:07:46

· Women’s Title
  1. Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:23:35
  2. Yebrgual Melese (ETH), 2:24:30
  3. Meskerem Assefa (ETH), 2:24:38

“The conditions were better than expected for the runners but still demanding enough for the runner. We were very anxious about the weather but in the end the running conditions were pretty good and that is reflected in many top quality performances among the results,” said the race director Jo Schindler. Despite difficult conditions the winner Shura Kitata Tola ran 2:05:50 for the sixth fastest winning time for the marathon in the world this year. It was also the eleventh fastest performance of the year. Arne Gabius commented on the solid European performances, notably from Dewi Griffiths, himself and Henryk Szost, that: “Things are on the up in European marathon running and that is all to the good.” As for the women’s field, eight runners finished under 2:30, another notable achievement.

Source: Mainova Frankfurt Marathon
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