Sendai Ikuei H.S. graduate Ruth Wanjiru (Kenya) and 2:06:46 man Eshetu Wendimu (Ethiopia) headline the international field at Sunday's New Taipei City Wanjinshi Marathon, where with good weather in the forecast the 2:17:17 and 2:34:52 course records are bound to fall. Special guests in attendance to celebrate Wanjinshi's first edition as an IAAF bronze label race, the first label race in Taiwan, include include former pole vault world record holder and IAAF vice president Sergey Bubka.
Wanjiru at the pre-race press conference.
Wanjiru leads the small women's field of seven, the only woman there to have broken 2:30 in her career with a 2:27:38 at the 2009 Osaka International Women's Marathon. In the absence of last year's winner Ji Hyang Kim (North Korea), Wanjiru's main competition look to be her countrywoman Rose Kosgei (Kenya) and Aregu Lechisa Awaki (Ethiopia).
His 2:06:46 in Dubai in 2010 makes Wendimu look like the favorite, but with a best time in the last three years of only 2:14:29 he's certainly vulnerable to others, especially in the Ethiopian contingent and Kenyan Eliud Kiplagat Barngetuny. Adam Draczynski (Poland) is the best of the non-Africans in the field with a 2:10:49 in Vienna in 2010, but with nothing to show since then but a 2:15:01 at the 2012 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon his current fitness is doubtful. Running with support form JRN, independent Etsu Miyata (Japan), with a 2:13:19 best from Nagano in 2010 and more recently a 2:14:09 in Nobeoka in 2013, hopes to be among those at the front contending for the win over the mostly downhill last 7 km.
JRN will be onhand to cover the New Taiepei City Wanjinshi Marathon live. Check back for photos, results and more.
New Taipei City Wanjinshi Marathon Elite Field
New Taipei City, Taiwan, 3/22/15
click here for complete field listing
Eshetu Wendimu Tsige (Ethiopia) - 2:06:46 (Dubai 2010)
Abdelmounaim Harroufi (Morocco) - 2:09:11 (Dubai 2014)
Andre Sambu Sipe (Tanzania) - 2:09:52 (Seoul 2004)
Eliud Kiplagat Barngetuny (Kenya) - 2:11:07 (Beijing 2014)
Adam Draczynski (Poland) - 2:10:49 (Vienna 2010)
Ahmed Nasef (Morocco) - 2:10:59 (Chongqinq 2012)
Etsu Miyata (Japan) - 2:13:19 (Nagano 2010)
Debesay Tsige (Eritrea) - 2:13:58 (Frankfurt 2012)
Dadi Tesfaye Beyene (Ethiopia) - 2:14:38 (Porto 2012)
Artur Kern (Poland) - 2:17:15 (Poznan 2011)
Chin Ping Ho (Taiwan) - 2:17:42 (Lake Biwa 2015)
Girma Hailu Firo (Ethiopia) - debut
Ruth Wanjiru Kuria (Kenya) - 2:27:38 (Osaka Int'l 2009)
Rose Chekurui Kosgei (Kenya) - 2:30:52 (Toronto 2010)
Aregu Lechisa Awaki (Ethiopia) - 2:31:56 (Cannes 2012)
Lucia Mwihaki Kimani (Bosnia & Herzegovina) - 2:34:57 (Zagreb 2011)
Eliana Patelli (Italy) - 2:36:18 (Carpi 2011)
Tigist Teshome Ayanu (Ethiopia) - 2:36:29 (Marrakesh 2015)
Almaz Negede Fekade (Ethiopia) - 2:37:42 (Shanghai 2014)
text and photos (c) 2015 Brett Larner, all rights reserved