Joshua Chelanga beats the heat en route to his victory in the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon (Olaf Kraak/AFP/Getty Images) © Copyright
General News 26 March 2008 – Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Impressive field for the Rotterdam Marathon

Rotterdam, The NetherlandsThe organisers of Fortis Marathon Rotterdam – an IAAF Silver Label Road Race – have announced impressive starting fields for the 28th edition of their event to be held on Sunday 13 April 2008.

“We think we have the best field ever starting line-up,” confirmed Mario Kadiks the race director of the event at a press conference yesterday afternoon. “After the very hot conditions at the marathon last year we hope this year to have better weather.”

“A goal is breaking the course record of 2:06:14 set by Felix Limo in 2004. Many athletes wanted to run this year on our proven fast course hoping to qualify for the Beijing Olympic marathon,” said Kadiks.

With five athletes with a personal best under 2:07:00 and another six under 2:08:00 the men’s field has the promise of fast times. Rotterdam is expecting 10,000 marathon runners and another 11,000 for the shorter distances.

The organisers are expecting a lot from the change which they have made to the direction of the course in the southern part of the city, hoping that runners will now avoid the mostly western wind blowing in April.

“The weather is the only thing we cannot arrange. In 2007 a lot of international marathons were hampered by the weather. Rotterdam and London were warm, Boston was cold and rainy, Chicago was extremely hot,” said Kadiks.

The start of the marathon is at 11.00hrs from the Coolsingel, the main street in the heart of the city. At the same place will be the finish. From the start athletes cross the Erasmus bridge over the river Maas. In the southern part of the city the athletes will run 25 kilometres, and then they go to the northern part of Rotterdam the most scenic part of the course through the Kralingse Bos (Kralingse Wood) and around the Kralingen Lake.

The fast Rotterdam course has three times been the scene of a World record/best:  Carlos Lopes (Por) 2:07:12 (1985), Belayneh Densamo (Eth) 2:06:50 (1988) and Tegla Loroupe (Ken)2:20:47 (1998).

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
Invited athletes:
Robert Cheboror (Kenya)  PB:  2.06.23 Amsterdam (1) 17-10-2004
William Kipsang (Kenya)  PB: 2.06.39 Amsterdam (1) 19-10-2003
Paul Kiprop Kirui (Kenya)  PB: 2.06.44 Rotterdam (2) 09-04-2006
Richard Limo  (Kenya)  PB: 2.06.45 Amsterdam (2) 21-10-2007
Driss el Himer (France) PB: 2.06.48 Paris (4) 06-04-2003
Joshua Chelanga (Kenya) PB: 2.07.05  Berlin (3)  26-09-2004 
Benjamin Maiyo (Kenya)  PB: 2.07.09  Chicago (2) 09-10-2005
Salim Kipsang (Kenya) PB : 2.07.29 Berlin (3)  30-09-2007
Rodgers Rop (Kenya) PB: 2.07.32 Hamburg (1) 29-04-2007
Francisco Javier Cortez (Spain) PB: 2.07.48  Hamburg (2)  22-04-2001
Jimmy Muindi (Kenya)PB: 2.07.50 Rotterdam (1) 10-04-2005
Daniel Kipkoech Yego (Kenya) PB: 2.08.16 Roma (3)13-03-2005
Solomon Bushendich (Kenya) PB: 2.08.52 Amsterdam (1) 15-10-2006
Elijah Chemwolo Mutai (Kenya) PB: 2.09.27Chunchon (1) 23-10-2005
Daniel Rono (Kenya)  PB: 2.09.36 Toronto (2) 30-09-2007
Luc Krotwaar (The Netherlands) PB: 2.10.13   Fukuoka (11) 07-12-2003     
Charles Kamathi (Kenya) PB : 2.11.25 Milan (4)02-12-2007   
Tom van Hooste (Belgium) PB: 2.11.55Rotterdam (6) 04-04-2004
Arkadiusz Sowa (Poland) PB: 2.12.00 Berlin (7) 30-09-2007  
Janne Holmen (Finland) PB:   2.12.10 Berlin (13) 28-09-2003          
Mostafa Errabbah (Italy) PB: 2.12.22 Verona (1) 19-05-2002 
José  Telez de Souza (Brasil) PB: 2.12.24 Milan (6) 02-12-2007
Shane Nankervis (Australia) PB: 2.12.33 Berlin (12) 25-09-2005
Ignacio Caceres (Spain) PB: 2.12.46 Berlin (10) 30-09-2007           
Koen Raymaekers (The Netherlands)  PB: 2.13.02 Amsterdam (14)  21-10-2007 
Jussi Utriainen (Finland) PB : 2.13.10  Sacramento (2) 08-12-2002
Youssef Othman Qader (Qatar)PB: 2.13.18 Hamburg  (13)29-04-2007
Juan Carlos Cardona (Colombia) PB: 2.14.30Nashville (4)26-04-2003
Francis Kibiwott (Kenya)Debut
Mokhtar Benhari (France) Debut
William Naranjo (Colombia) Debut
Moustafa Ahmed Shebto (Qatar) Debut
Malgorzata Sobanska (Poland) PB: 2.26.08 Chicago (4) 07-10-2001
Ljubov Morgunova (Rusland) PB: 2.26.33 London (8) 16-04-2000
Akemi Ozaki (Japan) PB : 2.28.39 Tokyo (4) 18-11-2007
Nadja Wijenber (The Netherlands) PB: 2.28.45 Eindhoven (1) 10-10-1999 
Jemima Chelagat (Kenya) PB: 2.29.41Frankfurt (4) 28-10-2007
Shiru Deriba (Ethiopia)  PB : 2.30.30 Amsterdam (4) 21-10-2007
Isabel Eizmendi (Spain)  PB: 2.31.53Rotterdam (3) 09-04-2006
Anna Thompson (Australia) PB: 2.33.20 Rotterdam (4) 10-04-2005      
Lauren Shelley (Australia) PB:  2.33.42  Tokyo (8)20-11-2005
Yesenia Centeno (Spain) PB: 2.36.43 Rotterdam (6) 10-04-2005 
Maria Dolores Pulido  (Spain) PB: 2.36.44Padova (3) 25-04-2004
Ana Casares (Spain) PB: 2.36.58 Berlin (11)30-09-2007  
Alessandra Aguilar (Spain) Debut 
Ines Monteiro (Portugal) Debut
Derebe Alemu (Ethiopia) Debut
Bertha Sanchez (Colombia) Debut