Amsterdam, 17 October 2013
Strongest ever field of marathon runners looks to break the TCS Amsterdam Marathon course record
The 38th TCS Amsterdam Marathon, which will be held this coming Sunday, announced the field of marathon runners during a press conference at the Olympic Stadium earlier today. Wilson Chebet, Bernard Koech and Getu Feleke, the three main contenders for first place and the runners most likely to break the marathon course record of 2:05:41, said they were ready to compete. Koen Raymaekers and Miranda Boonstra also bettered their times while preparing for the event and are both hoping to set a new personal record.
Kenyan Wilson Chebet is something of a celebrity in Amsterdam. He won the 2011 and 2012 editions of the marathon and has been performing well during training.
„I‚m in better shape than last year. My target time for the half marathon is 62:20,‰ says the 28-year-old who is always ready to laugh. Having already won the marathon twice, he is now known as ŒMister Amsterdam‚ in the Netherlands and Kenya. „I feel comfortable and very much at home in Amsterdam,‰ he adds. Getu Feleke won the marathon in 2010. His personal best for a full marathon is 2:04:50. „I am aiming to set a new personal record,‰ says the Ethiopian athlete. „I want to show what I‚m capable of at the Amsterdam marathon.‰ People also have high expectations of lightweight Bernard Koech, who ran a very impressive debut time of 2:04:53. „With such a fast course, anything is possible,‰ he says.
The forthcoming TCS Amsterdam Marathon has the strongest ever field of marathon runners. Bantayehu Assefa and Abrha Gebretsadik, who came second and third last year, are running again this year. Gilbert Yegon, who won the marathon in 2009, will also be there at the start line. Abdullah Shami Dawit, Dickson Chumba and Franklin Chepkwony, with personal bests of 2:05:42, 2:05:46 and 2:06:11 respectively, also stand an excellent chance of winning the event.
Jos Hermens of Global Sports Communication believes a large lead group of approximately ten athletes will set the pace. „These athletes will definitely be looking to beat the marathon course record of 2:05:41,‰ said the sports manager. Under favourable conditions on Sunday, a time of less than 2:05 is not inconceivable.
Koen Raymaekers will be starting the race with group of athletes who are expected to cross the finish line with a time of around 2:10. „I should be able to set a new personal record. I‚m sure I can complete the course in less than 2:10:35. Last year Michel Butter was the third Dutch athlete ever to complete the course in less than 2.10. I‚d be delighted if I could achieve that. I‚ll certainly be giving it my best shot,‰ he says. Based on his performance during training in the Netherlands and Kenya, he is confident that he will perform well on Sunday. „I planned my training differently this year and ran a lot of marathon times on asphalt.‰
Miranda Boonstra is also hoping to cross the line with an impressive finish time. „I simply want to run a fast race,‰ she says with fierce dedication. In the back of her mind she has set her sights on Carla Beurskens‚ record of 2:26:34. „I‚d be thrilled if I could achieve that.‰ She also planned her training schedule differently this year and did part of her training on a push bike without pedals. She is curious to see if this approach will result in a better time.
The TCS Amsterdam Marathon, which is organised by Le Champion, has seen a huge increase in entries again this year. No less than 42,600 runners are expected to line up for the different distances ˆ an increase of 4,500 entrants in relation to last year. Eric van der Burg, Sports Alderman for the municipality of Amsterdam, is delighted to see the growth in this international event and is also very pleased that Amsterdam will be playing host to so many people, with 17,000 runners coming from other countries.
The TCS Amsterdam Marathon will set off from the Olympic Stadium at 09:30 on Sunday and will be broadcast live in 129 countries through channels such as Eurosport 2, Sport 1, RTV N-H and AT5, and as a live video stream on www.tcsamsterdammarathon.nl.
Strongest Amsterdam Field Ever Looks For CR