Amanal Petros wins the half marathon in Frankfurt

The Frankfurt elite race produces more winners than Amanal Petros and Melat Kejeta. Arne Gabius follows and takes it easy.

Amanal Petros didn’t even think about slowing down. To the right of him is the fence to the new Hall 5 on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds, in front of him a red and white flutter tape. The 25-year-old pulled through to the last step of the 21.0975 kilometers, even though no one was on his heels that sunny morning. “There was no reason to hold back. We are so happy that we were able to run again, ”said the 25-year-old from TV Wattenscheid after his impressive victory in 1:03:31 hours in the official qualifying run for the World Half Marathon Championships on October 17th.

The Eritrean native, who once came to Germany as a refugee from Ethiopia, had confirmed his brilliant performance in Barcelona (1:02:18) before the pandemic. He didn’t mind that the three-kilometer circuit was hermetically sealed to the public. “As a runner, you have to be very strong in your head,” said Petros, who still remembered how he received the request during the spring training camp in Kenya to travel back to Germany because of the Corona crisis. Then came the cancellation of the Olympic Games.

In the meantime, he was so down that I went hiking in the Teutoburg Forest. The motivation only returned on his birthday in mid-May. Petros said with shining eyes how grateful he was now to be able to compete in a race officially recognized by the German Athletics Association (DLV), in which Simon Boch (1:04:28), Tom Gröschel (1:04:36 ) or Konstatin Wedel (1:05:25) bought their World Cup tickets. Petros, who on the same day traveled from the Main metropolis to the high-altitude training camp in St. Moritz, is aiming for a top ten placement in Gdynia, Poland.

Melat Kejata is also likely to be equally ambitious there. The 27-year-old from Ethiopia triumphed in 1:09:04 hours far ahead of Miriam Dattke (1:12:03) and came close to her own best time of the year (1:08:56), so that her club coach from the Kassel running team, Winfried Aufenanger believes “that the German record will soon fall”.

Katharina Steinruck from LG Eintracht Frankfurt set her personal best as third (1:12:23 hours) and is now suggested as a World Cup successor by her mother, national coach Katrin Dörre-Heinig. Steinruck admitted to having fallen into a mental hole after canceling three highlights (Olympic Games Tokyo, Frankfurt, Krakow).

The 31-year-old linked her praise for the organizers in Frankfurt with a swipe at the DLV. “It’s great what has been implemented here, if the association doesn’t get anything baked.” She misses “the appreciation for road running, but maybe we runners are too calm”.

After the elite race, race director Jo Schindler spoke of a “first step back to normality” for primarily 28 German men and seven women. It has been shown “how it could work if the stamp is made on the hygiene concept”. He even received inquiries from the USA and Japan.

Gabius has breathing problems
Of the big city marathons in autumn, only London (October 4th) is sticking to its orientation, but only for professionals: In St. James Park, Arne Gabius wants to break the Olympic norm (2:11:30) that he will see on Sunday Wife Anne and his three-year-old son Frederik gasped early because of breathing problems. The German marathon holder finished in 18th place (1:07:30), but the 39-year-old didn’t want to worry. “I was still able to enjoy it”

The city of Frankfurt and the state of Hesse contributed to the total costs of around 25,000 euros. “We are proud that something is going on again in the sports city of Frankfurt,” said Sports Department Head Markus Frank before the starting shot into the microphone. All three lighthouses of endurance sports – cycling races, Ironman and marathons – had been canceled due to Corona. Messe Frankfurt, said sports director Christoph Kopp with a wink, was also happy “that there is life again on the lonely site”. The idea generator found: “That was no substitute for the Frankfurt Marathon, but a nice change. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to hide the runners behind fences. “