In a riveting GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON on Sunday, Kenyan athletes Bernard Muia and Catherine Cherotich emerged victorious. Under optimal weather, Muia registered a time of 2:09:17, making it the second quickest win in the marathon's 37-year history. On the women's side, Cherotich clinched her victory with a time of 2:31:34 inside the Munich Olympic Stadium. The fastest European contender, Germany’s Sebastian Hendel, secured fifth place but fell short of the Olympic qualifying time, despite a personal best of 2:10:14.
The male frontrunners kept a steady pace, hitting the halfway mark at 64:29. However, in the race's final stretches, Kenyans Bernard Muia and Benson Nzioki upped the tempo, gaining a significant lead. Eventually, Muia outpaced his countryman in the last kilometer, crossing the finish line in 2:09:17. Notably, Muia's participation was only confirmed the previous Tuesday after another athlete withdrew. Nzioki, making his marathon debut, secured second place, while Mica Cheserek rounded off the Kenyan top three.
A mishap occurred when the leading male group took a wrong turn just before the 10k point, resulting in a 30-second delay. Despite this setback, Sebastian Hendel commented on his growth since last year and optimism for future races. Similarly, the women's group faced a challenge when misdirection led them off course. In a unique solution, the organizers added two laps in the Olympic Stadium to ensure the race's validity.
The women's race too saw a Kenyan sweep. Catherine Cherotich led the pack, followed by Teclah Chebet and Flomena Ngurasia. Cherotich later praised the crowd's support during the additional stadium laps, noting their energy in propelling her to the finish.
Race Director Gernot Weigl acknowledged the unprecedented challenges this year, attributing the missteps to ongoing major road works. Still, he celebrated the event's success, emphasizing the excitement and competitive spirit. This year's GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON welcomed 21,647 participants from 87 countries, with 5,210 marathoners, solidifying its position as Germany's fourth-largest marathon.
1 Bernard Muia KEN 2:09:17
2 Benson Nzioki KEN 2:09:21
3 Mica Cheserek KEN 2:09:26
4 Cosmas Kiplimo KEN 2:10:07
5 Sebastian Hendel GER 2:10:14
6 Amos Birgen KEN 2:11:15
7 Luke Kibet KEN 2:11:41
8 Merhawi Ghebreslasie FRA 2:17:33
1 Catherine Cherotich KEN 2:31:34
2 Teclah Chebet KEN 2:32:13
3 Flomena Ngurasia KEN 2:33:17
4 Caroline Chepkwony KEN 2:36:32
5 Beatrice Cheburet KEN 2:46:42
More information about the GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON is available at: www.generalimuenchenmarathon.de