Skip to main content

Gebrehiwot Takes Over Five Minutes Off Muenster Marathon Course Record

by Brett Larner

Click here for Dr. Helmut Winter's German-language article on this year's Muenster Marathon including a large number of high-quality photos.

The day dawning with heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightning, the 12th edition of the Volksbank Muenster Marathon saw the worst conditions in the race's history, but with radically opposing results in the men's and women's races the weather's impact on the race was hard to determine.  In the men's race things went out very slow on the twisting roads in the course's first 10 km, understandable given the slick cobblestone surface.  The designated Kenyan pacer was more than 10 seconds per km off the target pace of 3:06/km, but still the almost entirely Kenyan lead pack lagged behind.  Japanese runners Yuko Matsumiya (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) and Yuya Shiokawa (Team Subaru), in Muenster with support from JRN, gestured for the pacer to run the designated splits but he repeatedly looked over his shoulder and slowed to let his countrymen catch up.

Going through 10 km just under 33 minutes and halfway just over 69, things didn't get moving until Evans Kipkorir Taiget (Kenya) threw in a surge around 25 km and another at 33 km.  The first broke up the ten-strong pack, while the second opened the race up as Taiget moved clear into the lead.  Running unchallenged to the finish, he crossed the line in 2:15:56 for the win, far off the anticipated sub-2:10:25 course record time.  Joel Kipsang Kositany (Kenya) was next in 2:16:44.

Following a brief pit stop at 37 km followed by a sub-3-minute km to catch back up to the leaders, Matsumiya, the identical twin brother of 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta), dueled with Peter Kariuki Wanjiru (Kenya) before inching away to take 3rd in 2:17:58. Shiokawa, a graduate of defending National University Ekiden champion Komazawa University, faded to 6th but rallied after 40 km to run down John Kyalo (Kenya) for 5th in 2:18:41. Matsumiya later endeared himself to the crowd at the award ceremony when he jumped from the stage to present his bouquet of flowers to a young woman in the audience to a roar of approval.

The women's race, on the other hand, was a far faster and more focused event.  Newly a German citizen, Eleni Gebrehiwot was dead set on a sub-2:30 clocking to get the qualifying standard for next year's European Championships.  Running with two male designated pacers, she went out on target and stayed there, grinding down the competition regardless of the conditions and knocking three minutes off her best and five and a half minutes off the course record as she won in 2:29:13.  Last year's winner Joan Rotich (Kenya) was also under her PB and the old CR but was a distant afterthought in 2nd, more than a kilometer behind in 2:33:57.  The top five all broke last year's winning time, with at least four of the top six setting new personal best marks.  Veteran Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) finished just out of the prize money in 7th in 2:43:19, 1st among 40+ women.

Winners Taiget and Gebrehiwot post-race.

The disparity between the men's and women's results was hard to figure as the men's results were understandable given the conditions, while the same handicap applied to the women's race would make it something truly remarkable.  If the overall women's results are taken as only good then the men's are very lackluster and suggest a lack of initiative given the number of sub-2:10 and sub-2:12 men in the field.  Chalk it up to poor pacing or the enigmatic flow of a race, and/or to the extra motivation Gebrehiwot brought that powered the rest of the women's field.  In any case, Gebrehiwot's performance helped elevate Muenster's profile and hopefully sets the stage for the men to follow suit next year with a sub-2:10 record.


12th Volksbank Muenster Marathon
Muenster, Germany, 9/8/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Evans Kipkorir Taiget (Kenya) - 2:15:56
2. Joel Kipsang Kositany (Kenya) - 2:16:44
3. Yuko Matsumiya (Japan/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:17:58
4. Peter Kariuki Wanjiru (Kenya) - 2:18:06
5. Yuya Shiokawa (Japan/Team Subaru) - 2:18:41
6. John Kyalo (Kenya) - 2:19:37

Women
1. Eleni Gebrehiwot (Germany) - 2:29:13 - PB, CR
2. Joan Rotich (Kenya) - 2:33:57 - PB (CR)
3. Frashiah Nyambura Waithaka (Kenya) - 2:35:51
4. Mahlet Melese Behailu (Ethiopia) - 2:37:23 - PB
5. Gelane Senbete (Ethiopia) - 2:38:09
6. Meseret Eshetu Deme (Ethiopia) - 2:40:26 - PB
7. Chihiro Tanaka (Japan/AthleC AC) - 2:43:19

text and photos (c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kawauchi Breaks Sub-2:20 World Record in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Battling freezing temperatures and wind chill that took things down to -23C, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a 2018 world-leading 2:18:59 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, taking 30 minutes off the course record and breaking American Doug Kurtis' historic sub-2:20 world record with his 76th career sub-2:20.

Kawauchi spent Dec. 29 to 31 training on the Boston Marathon course ahead of his upcoming appearance as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and planned to run Marshfield at the tail end of his trip. The Marshfield Road Runners club, organizers of the marathon, had their longstanding race USATF certified ahead of his appearance.


Wearing full-length tights in a marathon for the first time, in Marshfield Kawauchi planned to run the first of the hilly course's two laps in 1:09 flat to give himself room to work with in breaking 2:20. But in the wind and cold he struggled to stay on pace, ice crystals coating his face as he hit halfway in 1:10:29…

Aoyama Gakuin Runs Down Toyo for Fourth-Straight Hakone Ekiden Title

In a rare reversal of Day One standings, Aoyama Gakuin University ran down Toyo University early in on Day Two to win its fourth-straight Hakone Ekiden title. At both the Izumo Ekiden and National University Men's Ekiden this season, Toyo struggled to cope with the absence of its entire senior class due to injury, running up front much of the way but lacking the depth to keep the lead in the final stages. Hakone played out like an opera-scale version of the same familiar story, its brilliant Day One win backlit by the headlights of rapidly approaching fate.

Second on Day Two's opening stage, the 20.8 km Sixth Stage with around 800 m elevation loss, both of the last two years, AGU 3rd-year Yuji Onoda just missed the course record en route as he ran down Toyo's Shunsuke Imanishi and put AGU almost a minute ahead by the time he handed off. AGU's next two runners Keisuke Hayashi and Yuta Shimoda both won their stages, Hayashi, a relative unknown on the roster, running 1:0…