Abera of Ethiopia, the world's leading marathoner this season won the Hamburg Marathon on Sunday by covering the distance in two hours, six minutes, 59 seconds while two Kenyans, Philemon Rono was second in 2:07:20 and Josphat Kiprono third in 2:10:44.
Wind was a strong factor as shown by the race splits and the way the men’s race developed. In the early stages a tail wind gave the leading group an extra boost between 7 and 15 kilometres, giving them a split time for the latter of 44:17 and on course for a finishing time of 2:04:30. The course record of 2:05:30, set by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge three years ago, appeared to be in danger.
They couldn’t maintain this kind of pace consistently as headwinds began to blow strongly. The leading group comprising ten men reached halfway in 62:49 but by 30km the numbers were cut in half. This quintet consisted of four runners plus the Kenyan pacemaker Albert Kangogo and reached 30km in 1:29:29. The pacemaker then dropped out, leaving the outcome to be decided between Tesfaye Abera and Philemon Ron along with the Ethiopian Abayneh Ayele and Eritrea’s Yekeber Bayabel. It came down to a duel between the lanky Abera, 1.92m tall, and the diminutive Rono. After 35km the Ethiopian made a break but the Kenyan was back with him two kilometres later. The decisive attack came shortly before 40km when Abera attacked and Rono had no response..