wo fastest marathon runners of 2012 compete in Pfixx Solar Montferland Run, a popular 15K road race in The Netherlands
Special rematch: Geoffrey Mutai vs. Dennis Kimetto
The organization of the Pfixx Solar Montferland Run will have a rematch of the two fastest marathon runners of 2012 – Geoffrey Mutai (2.04.15) and Dennis Kimetto (2.04.16) – this Sunday. Those two Kenyans participate in the Pfixx Solar Montferland, an international and – amongst top athletes – popular 15K road race in ‘s-Heerenberg, in The Netherlands. Other important names on the start list of this 17th edition are: Getu Feleke (ranked 7th on the marathon year list with 2.04.50), the strong Atsede Baysa (she won the Chicago Marathon 2012), Dutch marathon champion Patrick Stitzinger and course record holder Philip Langat; last year he broke the course record set by Haile Gebrselassie in 2007.
In the small Dutch village ‘s-Heerenberg, situated in between Arnhem and the German frontier, Geoffrey Mutai will try to win the Pfixx Solar Montferland Run this Sunday (December 2nd, starting time 12.00 p.m.). The Kenyan top athlete is not only the fastest marathon runner of 2012 but also the fastest runner of this year in a 10K road race; Geoffrey Mutai ran 27.29 minutes in Boston, June 24th. For this Sunday he is aiming to break the course record by Philip Langat (42.34 minutes).
Phenomenal marathon runner
For the last two years Geoffrey Mutai can be seen as ‘the best marathon runner in the world’. He scored throughout his career 6 out of 10; six victories in ten marathons. In 2011 he won the Boston Marathon in an incredible fast time of 2.03.02 and in November 2011 he smashed the course record of the New York Marathon by more than two and a half minutes with his superb 2.05.06. This year he won the Berlin Marathon in 2.04.15; the fastest time in 2012. With this victory he secured the overall win in the World Marathon Majors. For all those reasons you can easily speak of him as a phenomenal marathon runner.
The finish of this year’s Berlin Marathon was interesting, exciting but also a bit embarrassing at the same time. Geoffrey Mutai and his training partner Dennis Kimetto (he was running his first marathon in Berlin) showed impressive form. With some four kilometers to go, the world record was under serious threat. But in the final stage of the Berlin marathon both top athletes faded; Mutai was just one meter ahead of Kimetto. After passing the Brandenburg Gate everybody was expecting a thrilling sprint to the finish line, but a sprint never came. Mutai won in 2.04.15 – missing the world record by 37 seconds – and his training partner Dennis Kimetto finished just 1 second behind; he scored with his outstanding 2.04.16 the best debut at the marathon ever!
Langat, Feleke, Wolde and Getachew
This Sunday there will be a special rematch: Geoffrey Mutai vs. Dennis Kimetto. Will they work together for running an incredible fast time over 15K or fight against each other? Interesting to know is that Dennis Kimetto broke this year the world record over 25K! But those two Kenyan top athletes are not the only strong contenders in this 17th edition of the Pfixx Solar Montferland Run. As mentioned before Philip Langat, the course record holder, and the Ethiopians Getu Feleke (last year he won the Amsterdam Marathon and this year he finished 2nd in the strong Rotterdam Marathon with 2.04.50) and Dawit Wolde (winner of the Dutch Half Marathon in Egmond 2012 and Olympic competitor in London on the 1500 meters) will be there. The new Ethiopian promising runner Limenih Getachew is aiming to finish as close as possible to those ‘big names’.
The Pfixx Solar Montferland Run* has a strong tradition in securing top class athletes and young gifted runners. In 2000 the then unknown Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele ran his first race in Europe in ‘s-Heerenberg. He was already very fast with his winning 43.09 minutes; one year later he conquered Sileshi Sihine in this Montferland Run and broke his own course record with 42.42 minutes. In the years 2003 (winning time 43.20 for Richard Yatich, better known as Muburak Hassan Shami), 2005 (43.09 for Hailu Mekonnen) and 2006 (42.48 for Deriba Merga) some top class athletes came close to the course record.
It was until 2007 that the ‘best long distance runner of all time’ Haile Gebrselassie finally succeeded in breaking the best time ever run in the history of the Montferland Run. Last year the reigning world champions on the marathon Abel Kirui and Edna Kiplagat showed up in ‘s-Heerenberg. Kiplagat finished 2nd, some two seconds behind the Ethiopian winner Abebech Afework. Kirui was recovering from illness and finished 8th, more than one and a half minute behind the super fast Philip Langat. This Kenyan finished after 42.34 minutes and broke the course record set by Haile Gebrselassie in 2007 by two seconds.
Tomorrow, Friday 30 November – two days prior to the event – the organization of the Pfixx Solar Montferland Run* will hold a press conference in ‘s-Heerenberg, at the Town Hall, Hofstraat 1. It starts at 13.00 p.m. Geoffrey Mutai is prepared to answer questions from journalists. The highly successful Ethiopian coach Getaneh Tessema (in 2012 he prepared Tiki Gelana for Olympic marathon gold, Meseret Hailu for the word title at the half marathon, Tsegaye Kebede and Atsede Baysa for their wins in the Chicago Marathon) will be there too, accompanying his athletes Getu Feleke, Limenih Getachew and Atsede Baysa.