Kenya’s Valary Jemeli Aiyabei became the first female marathoner to run under 2 hours and 20 minutes during the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon held on Sunday.
Valary Jemeli Aiyabei wins the #FrankfurtMarathon women's race in 2:19:09. The Kenyan set off at 2:12 pace and inevitably slowed but she still becomes the first woman to break 2:20 in Frankfurt.
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) October 27, 2019
She trounced Ethiopia’s Megertu Alemu (2:21:00) and Meskerem Assefa (2:22:01) to the second and third positions respectively to bag the gold. Her race was described as the fifth-fastest in 2019.
#frankfurtmarathon Valary Aiyabei smashes the course record with 2:19:10 – first sub 2:20 time in Frankfurt. The fifth fastest time in the world this year!
— Frankfurt Marathon (@ffm_marathon) October 27, 2019
“My aim was to break my personal best,” said Aiyabei, whose previous PB was 2:20:53. Despite her tremendously fast early pace, she hadn’t planned an attack on the world record. “Running alone isn’t easy. I had to struggle and grind it out,” she said as quoted by IAAF.
In the mens’ race, Ethiopia’s Fikre Tefera broke clear from his compatriot Dawit Wolde to win by just two seconds in 2:07:08.
It was only at about 35km that the group started to break up. Mark Kiptoo, the Kenyan who set a world M40 best of 2:07:50 on this course last year, dropped off the pace and eventually finished sixth in 2:08:09. Four men pulled away: Kenya’s Martin Kosgey, Ethiopia’s Fikre Tefera and Dawit Wolde and Bahrain’s Aweke Yimer, the latter making his marathon debut.
1 Fikre Tefera (ETH) 2:07:08
2 Dawit Wolde (ETH) 2:07:10
3 Aweke Yimer (BRN) 2:07:12
4 Martin Kosgey (KEN) 2:07:20
5 Maru Teferi (ISR) 2:08:09
6 Mark Kiptoo (KEN) 2:08:09
7 Kenneth Keter (KEN) 2:09:29
8 Daniele Meucci (ITA) 2:10:52
9 Benard Kipyego (KEN) 2:11:38
10 Derek Hawkins (GBR) 2:12:49
1 Valary Aiyabei (KEN) 2:19:10
2 Megertu Kebede (ETH) 2:21:10
3 Meskerem Assefa (ETH) 2:22:11
4 Lonah Salpeter (ISR) 2:23:11
5 Caroline Rotich (KEN) 2:24:42
6 Askale Wegi (ETH) 2:25:03
7 Sylvia Kibet (KEN) 2:26:04
8 Stephanie Twell (GBR) 2:26:40
9 Hiwot Yemer (ETH) 2:26:40
10 Katharina Steinruck (GER) 2:27:26