Even Debutants Can Achieve A 'World Record' In The Jubilee Race On The Coolsingel

Press Release
Rotterdam Marathon
April 7, 2010

ROTTERDAM – The Kenyan James Kwambai is the favourite, his compatriot Vincent Kipruto is his main rival, but the 30th Fortis Marathon Rotterdam on Sunday 11 April will also have a few promising debutants.  Therefore it is quite possible that Bernard Kipyego (Ken) or Jonathan Maiyo (Ken) will finish on the Coolsingel as the world’s fastest ever debutant.

Kipyego (23) was very impressive at last year’s Half Marathon in Rotterdam. The super talent from Africa finished fourth in 59.10. He came sixth with 1.00.02 in last month’s CPC Run The Hague, which is a brilliant time in preparation for the jubilee marathon in Rotterdam.

“Bernard Kipyego is a runner with potential, he can surprise everyone,” says marathon director Mario Kadiks. “His basic speed is so fast that he can run a marathon in 2.06 or faster.  He is an athlete who should be taken seriously.”

Kipyego’s compatriot Evans Rutto is the current fastest marathon debutant with 2.05.50. That was the time with which he won the Chicago marathon. If Kipyego can’t surpass that achievement perhaps Jonathan Maiyo can. He finished second in last year’s Half Marathon in Rotterdam with a personal best of 59.08.

Among the women Meseret Mengistu from Ethiopia is the debutant to watch. The 20-year old ran the half marathon in 1.09.45. Merel de Knegt, favourite for the national marathon title and the Belgian Xenia Luxem are also interesting debutants. The star of the participants’ field is the Chinese Zhu Xiaolin with a personal best of 2.23.57. Others with a chance (among many others) are Anne Kosgei (Ken, 2.27.46), Olga Glok (Rus, 2.28.27) and Irene Jerotich (Ken, 2.28.57).

Among the men Rotterdam has contracted atleast 11 runners with a personal best under 2.09.  They are the Kenyans James Kwambai  (2.04.27), Kipruto (2.05.47), Patrick Makau (2.06.14), Daniel Rono (2.06.58), Geoffrey Mutai (2.07.01), Francis Kiprop (2.07.04), Isaac Macharia (2.07.16) and Elias Chelimo Kemboi (2.08.15), and the Ethiopians Yirdaw Dejene (2.08.30), Dereje Tesfaye (2.08.36) and Feyisa Lelisa (2.08.47).

Tsegaye Gebrselassie (Eth, 2.09.44), Robert Kipchumba (Ken, 2.09.56) and Evans Kiplagat (Ken, 2.10.46) have been added to that list.

Koen Raymaekers (2.12.59) is the Dutch trump. He wants to prolong his Dutch title in Rotterdam.

Another remarkable participant is Richard Whitehead (33), the fastest marathon runner with prostheses. The Brit, born without legs, broke the three-hour barrier in Rome last year with 2.56.45: a unique achievement for an athlete with his disability.

The Fortis Marathon Rotterdam has a very strong field this year and this could mean another spectacular finish like last year. That was when James Kwambai was taken unawares by his compatriot Duncan Kibet during the last few metres of an exciting sprint to the end. Both men achieved 2.04.27 after their names. Only the Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie has ever run faster (2.03.59, Berlin 2008). “Rotterdam” delivered the three best marathon times last year (see rankings list below). The images of the much talked about finish were seen all over the world. They can also be seen at www.fortismarathonrotterdam.nl.

During the jubilee marathon bands, that represent and bring together the different cultures in the metropolis of Rotterdam, will play along the course. The ‘Heartbeat’ of Rotterdam is formed by the heartbeat of the runner and the urban beat of the city.

The NOS (Dutch Broadcasting Corporation) will be broadcasting the 30th Fortis Marathon Rotterdam live on TV from 11.00 am. RTV Rijnmond will broadcast a live report between 14.00 and 16.30 with among other things the arrival of the last participant. The marathon can be followed worldwide via Universal Sports (US) and the Internet.

(In order of time, place in the race, name, nationality, marathon city and date):


2.04.27 (1)    Duncan Kibet                              Ken     Rotterdam               05-04

2.04.27 (2)    James Kwambai                           Ken     Rotterdam               05-04

2.05.04 (3)    Abel Kirui                                  Ken     Rotterdam               05-04

2.05.10 (1)    Samuel Wanjiru                           Ken     London                   26-04

2.05.18 (1)    Tsegaye Kebede                         Eth     Fukuoka                 06-12

2.05.27 (3)    Jaouad Gharib                             Mor     London                   26-04

2.05.29 (1)    Haile Gebrselassie                        Eth     Dubai                     16-01

2.05.47 (1)    Vincent Kipruto                           Ken     Paris                     05-04

2.06.04 (2)    Abderrahim Goumri                       Mor     Chicago                  11-10

2.06.14 (4)    Patrick Makau                             Ken     Rotterdam               05-04




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