Mekuant Ayenew in Hannover in 2013. Photo: photorun.net

TUI Marathon Hannover: Former champion Evans Ruto returns

Former champion Evans Ruto will return to the TUI MarathonHannover on 27th April. The Kenyan won the race five years ago with a time of 2:10:47.

One of his strongest rivals should be Ethiopia’s Mekuant Ayenew who finished runner-up last year with a personal best of 2:10:05. Algeria’s Souad Ait Salem heads the women’s field with a personal best of 2:25:08.

The TUI MarathonHannover continued its rise with two course records in 2013 and has now been upgraded to an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.

A year ago South Africa’s Lusapho April clocked 2:08:32 while Ukraine’s Olena Burkovska crossed the line in 2:27:07 in Hannover. These marks could be targeted on this very flat course in the heart of Germany. At today’s press conference in Hannover organisers released a first set of names for the elite fields.

Among them is one former champion: Evans Ruto will have very good memories of the TUI Marathon Hannover. It was here, where his career got a significant boost in 2009: Ruto won his first marathon and broke 2:11. In the meantime the 30 year-old Kenyan improved by another three minutes.

He ran 2:07:49 in Kosice in 2012. Ruto already won a marathon early this year, when he took the Mumbai race in January with 2:09:33.

Mekuant Ayenew improved his personal best by more than two minutes in Hannover a year ago. The Ethiopian was second with 2:10:05, just missing out on a sub 2:10. Dennis Ndiso (Kenya/2:10:47), Abdelhadi El Hachimi (Belgium/2:11:30) and Hosea Kipkemboi (Kenya/2:12:05) are among other runners on the start list.

Ndiso was just eight seconds behind the winner in last year’s Chongqing Marathon in China, where he ran his personal best. El Hachimi took the Antwerp Marathon in 2013 while Kipkemboi should be able to do much better than his PB suggests. He ran that time in high altitude, when he was second in Nairobi in 2013.

The women’s field will see the return of the runner-up from last year as well: Edinah Kwambai (Kenya) clocked 2:29:49 in her debut marathon in Hannover – a time which was still inside the former course record. She then improved by 14 seconds in Ljubljana, where she was second once more.

For now Kwambai is the second fastest woman entered into the TUI Marathon Hannover as Souad Ait Salem heads the list with a time of 2:25:08.

The Algerian record holder and 2007 Rome Marathon champion has not run a marathon in 2013. The 35 year-old was fourth in Prague in 2012 with 2:27:21 and then finished 31st in the Olympic marathon in London.

While Salem and Kwambai could attack the course record Germany’s Lisa Hahner will hope to break 2:30 in Hannover. Her personal best stands at 2:30:17 from Frankfurt in 2013. Hannover will be Hahner’s fourth marathon.

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