Yalemzerf Yehualaw runs sensational 2:17:23 marathon debut


Fastest debut ever smashes Hamburg course record.

Yalemzerf Yehualaw won the Haspa Marathon Hamburg in 2:17:23. It was the fastest debut ever, surpassing Paula Radcliffe’s time of 2:18:56 from London in 2002.


Yehualaw became the sixth fastest woman ever and broke the course record with a German all-comers’ record. Fikrte Wereta took second, almost nine minutes behind.


In the men’s race Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:05:30 course record from 2013 was broken by fellow-Kenyan Cybrian Kotut. He clocked 2:04:47, just edging Uganda’s debutant Stephen Kissa who crossed the line one second behind the winner. Ethiopia’s Workineh Tadesse followed in third place with 2:05:07.


A total of 20,000 entries from 68 nations were registered by organisers for the 36th edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, including shorter running events on Sunday. Around 10,500 of them competed in the marathon. Additionally 9000 children participated in a 4.2 k run on Saturday.


Yehualaw dominated the women’s race from the beginning and constantly increased her lead. She passed halfway in 68:30, already over two and a half minutes ahead. “The race went well for me considering this was my first marathon" she said. "The spectators helped me a lot.” Her time was four and a half minutes faster than the previous course record set by Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia (2:21:54 in 2016). She also broke the German all-comers’ record of Kenya’s Gladys Cherono who ran 2:18:11 in Berlin in 2018.


In the men’s race things looked a lot closer from the beginning. 17 men passed 10km in 29:29. A major surge came late in the race with only 4km to go. Cybrian Kotut and Stephen Kissa, a debutant from Uganda, broke away from the leading group which included six runners at that point. Both delivered a stunning showdown right to the finish line. In the final sprint Cybrian Kotut pushed himself to a close victory in 2:04:47, a second ahead of Stephen Kissa (2:04:48). Ethiopia’s Workineh Tadesse took third spot in 2:05:07. All three runners were within the former course record of Eliud Kipchoge which stood at 2:05:30. The Kenyan superstar set this record back in 2013 running his marathon debut in Hamburg. ’’I am very happy that I broke the course record. The pacemakers covered me well from the wind. It was not easy with the wind, but overall the conditions were very good,“ said Cybrian Kotut.

Our website uses cookies to provide a better service. By using the website or clicking OK, you agree to our privacy policy. Read more