Fate Tola missed victory at last year’s Mainova Frankfurt Marathon by just 15 seconds, but the 29-year-old German will return to the IAAF Gold Label road race on 29 October with the aim of taking her second victory on home soil this year.
Tola clocked 2:25:42 in Frankfurt last year, just 28 seconds shy of her lifetime best. She went on to win the Hannover Marathon earlier this year in 2:27:48, but she was hampered by a problem with her left hamstring at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 and eventually finished 22nd in 2:33:39.
Her aim in Frankfurt is to run considerably faster and show her true form, but following the World Championships she has had just two-and-a-half months to prepare for her third marathon of the year, so earning a place on the podium will be a tough challenge.
Ethiopia’s Abebech Afework is among the favourites in Frankfurt. The 26-year-old has a marathon win already this year, having triumphed in Australia’s Gold Coast event in July in 2:25:34. Her personal best of 2:23:33 was set in Dubai in 2015, following victories in Houston and Rotterdam in 2014.
Since making her marathon debut in 2015, USA’s Sara Hall has chopped almost 20 minutes from her personal best, reducing it to 2:28:26 with her sixth-place finish in Tokyo earlier this year. Having raced in Chicago, London and New York in recent years, the 30-year-old will be contesting her first marathon on German soil.
Other entrants include Bahrain’s Merima Mohammed, whose 2:23:06 PB is the fastest in the field, and Germany’s Katharina Heinig, who improved to 2:28:34 in Berlin last year and finished 39th at the recent World Championships.
Organisers for the IAAF