HAMBURG, April 21 – Debutant and former world 5000m champion, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won Sunday’s Hamburg Marathon as the 15,000 runners in the northern German city paid tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bomb blasts.
The 28-year-old Kipchoge set a new course record of 2hrs 05.30mins with Ethiopia’s Limenih Getachew second 2min 5sec back, while countryman Lawrence Kimaiyo was third 4min 57sec adrift.
“I am very happy, because I certainly wanted to break the record,” Kipchoge, who won a 5000m silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, told broadcaster NDR having shaved 28 seconds off the previous record.
But thoughts of Boston were not far away and there was a minute’s silence before the Hamburg race for the three people killed and 180 injured in Monday’s attacks.
The Hamburg runners warmed up to the Boston Marathon’s signature tune “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond while many ran with green and yellow wristbands bearing the inscription “Run for Boston”.
Lithuania’s Diana Lobacevske won the women’s race in 2hrs 29.17mins finishing 1min 33sec ahead of Switzerland’s Maja Neuenschwander while Kenya’s Priscilla Lorchima was third 2min 6sec behind.
There had been security concerns before the race when a suspicious package was found at an inner city underground station.
Police closed down the U3 metro line, which runs under the port to the city’s town hall, but the object turned out to be an empty box and the all-clear was sounded.
Only eight runners had explicitly cancelled their places in the Hamburg Marathon due to the events in Boston, said organisers.