Kenyans Kipruto & Kilel Win Frankfurt Marathon

Vincent Kipruto and Caroline Kilel make it
a Kenyan day in Frankfurt’s stormy weather

Kenyans Vincent Kipruto and Caroline Kilel triumphed in the 32nd BMW
Frankfurt Marathon, where stormy and wet weather ruined hopes for record
performances. Kipruto braved high winds to clock 2:06:15, beating
fellow-Kenyan and debutant Mark Kiptoo by just one second. Elijah Kemboi
finished third with 2:07:34. The women’s race also produced good
performances where Caroline Kilel ran a personal best of 2:22:34,
achieving her second Frankfurt victory following success in 2010.
Flomena Chepchirchir (Kenya/2:23:00) and Ethiopia’s Birhane Dibaba
(2:23:01) were second and third across the finish line in the splendid
setting of Frankfurt’s Festival Hall. 14,964 runners from 96 nations
entered the BMW Frankfurt Marathon, which is an IAAF Gold Label Road

The elite fields going into the race revealed unprecedented strength in
depth for a marathon in Germany with five runners with personal bests of
2:05:30 and three women who had run sub 2:22 awaiting the starting gun.
But with wind speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour, corresponding to 6
to 7 on the Beaufort scale, any prospect of achieving fast times soon

A group of 14 runners reached the half way mark in 63:06, around 45
seconds slower than planned. Time and again they were strung out like a
string of pearls, running behind each other in an attempt to shelter
from the wind. The fact that there was no pacemaker still in the race
made it even more difficult. At least one was supposed to run to 30 k.
“I was surprised that there was no pacemaker left after half way. But we
made our own pace,” said Vincent Kipruto, who was leading a group of six
runners at the 30 k mark (1:29:21). There were still hopes for a
finishing time of around 2:05 since the next seven kilometres were
supposed to be a section with tailwind. “But the wind swirled and there
was no wind from the back,” said Christoph Kopp, the elite race

With Kipruto and his fellow Kenyans Gilbert Kirwa, Lani Rutto, Mark
Kiptoo, Jacob Chesari and Levy Matebo Omari forming the first group the
expected Ethiopian challenge never materialised. Feyisa Lilesa looked
fine in the first half, but then he fell behind due to a back problem
and finally dropped out at 37 k. His fellow Ethiopian Dino Sefir, the
fastest in the field with 2:04:50, had lost contact to the first group
before half way. But at least he made it to the finish, taking seventh
position with 2:09:22.

Vincent Kipruto then pushed the pace between 32 and 34 kilometres. He
left all but one rival behind: Mark Kiptoo. The 37 year-old ran his
marathon debut on Sunday and staged a major surprise by running with
Kipruto for 42 k. Shortly before they entered the Festival Hall, Kipruto
made the decisive break. He crossed the line in 2:06:15, just one second
ahead of Kiptoo. “He was strong, so I had to watch him and decided to
wait until the final moment with my attack,” said Vincent Kipruto, who
had hoped to improve his PB of 2:05:13. “The goal was to run sub 2:05.
But I am still happy.” Kenyans took the first five places and continued
their impressive Frankfurt winning streak, which began back in 2002.

“I have spoken to a number of athletes and coaches. And we think that
the wind probably cost us around one and a half minutes. Additionally
the pacemaking in the men’s race was terrible today,” said Christoph
Kopp. “It was different with the women. They were better protected from
the wind by their pacemakers.” Indeed with five women running sub 2:24
this marked unprecedented depth in any German marathon.

Six women reached the half way mark in 71:10 minutes, only slightly
slower than planned. Flomena Chepchirchir, Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa,
Caroline Kilel (all Kenya), Mamitu Daska, Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene and
debutant Gelete Burka (all Ethiopia) formed this group. Burka’s hopes of
making a major impact in her first marathon soon began to fade. She
started to lose ground before 25 k and finished 12th with 2:30:40. The
other five were still together at 35 k. Then Caroline Kilel began to
build a lead before 40 k.

“I wanted to run 2:21, but with the wind and rain, this wasn´t
possible,” said Caroline Kilel. “But I am very happy, because I managed
to improve my personal best by two seconds. It was my second race in
Frankfurt and my second personal best here. I want to come back in

Results (including bib numbers):

1 Vincent Kipruto (KEN / # 4) 2:06:15
2 Mark Kiptoo (KEN / # 64) 2:06:16
3 Elijah Kemboi (KEN / # 15) 2:07:34
4 Jacob Chesari (KEN / # 19) 2:07:46
5 Albert Matebor (KEN / # 6) 2:08:17
6 Feyisa Bekele (ETH / # 9) 2:09:17
7 Dino Sefir (ETH / # 3) 2:09:22
8 Lani Rutto (KEN / # 65) 2:10:01

1 Caroline Kilel (KEN / # F5) 2:22:34
2 Flomena Chepchirchir (KEN / # F8) 2:23:00
3 Birhane Dibaba (ETH / # F6) 2:23:01
4 Mamitu Daska (ETH / # F4) 2:23:23
5 Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa (KEN / # F3) 2:23:45
6 Yeshi Esayias (ETH / # F9) 2:24:06
7 Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene (ETH / # F2) 2:26:57
8 Anna Hahner (GER / # F20) 2:27:55

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