Three years after breaking the course record at the HAJ Marathon Hannover, Lusapho April will return to the IAAF Silver Label Road Race on 10 April.
One of South Africa’s leading marathon runners, April clocked 2:08:32 on the flat course in central Germany in 2013, which still remains a personal best and course record. Having also won in 2011, April will be chasing a record third win in Hannover.
It will be April’s fifth appearance in Hannover and each time he has run quicker than the previous occasion.
“My main goal is to win in Hannover for the third time,” said April, who finished third at the 2013 New York Marathon. “I hope that the pace will be targeting the course record. I would like to go for that as well.”
But it won’t be an easy task for the 33-year-old. Jacob Cheshari is one of five strong Kenyans in this year’s field and he will be defending his title from 2015.
Last year Cheshari defeated five runners with superior personal bests to win in 2:09:32. The 31-year-old’s PB of 2:07:46 was also set in Germany when finishing fourth at the 2013 Frankfurt Marathon.
Another former Hannover winner has been confirmed for the race:
Duncan Koech is another former Hannover winner in this year’s race. The 34-year-old won back in 2008 in 2:14:29 on what was his marathon debut. His personal best of 2:07:53 was set when finishing third in Cologne in 2012.
Martin Kosgey is also familiar with the Hannover Marathon. He finished fourth in this race in 2014 and third in 2015, setting personal bests on both occasions. If he continues that pattern, he could contest for a top-two finish this year.
Philipp Kimutai is the fastest in this year’s field. The experienced 32-year-old has a PB of 2:06:07 set when finishing fourth at the 2011 Frankfurt Marathon.
Moses Masai is the most prominent name on the start list. The 2009 world 10,000m bronze medallist has only contested three marathons to date, setting a PB of 2:10:36 in Dusseldorf in 2014.
Hahner leads women’s field
For the first time in more than 10 years, there could be a German winner in the women’s race.
Anna Hahner is the fastest woman in the field. The 26-year-old won the 2014 Vienna City Marathon and then improved her PB to 2:26:44 at the Berlin Marathon later that year. She contested the same two races in 2015 but finished fifth in Vienna and clocked 2:30:19 in Berlin. Her main aim in Hannover this year is to secure Olympic selection.
Hahner’s toughest rivals will be Ethiopia’s Tizita Terecha Dida and Kenya’s Edinah Kwambai. Dida won last year’s Guangzhou Marathon with a PB of 2:28:02 while Kwambai – who finished second in Hannover three years ago – has a personal best of 2:29:35.
Organisers for the IAAF