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Mission Marathon now moved from Hamburg to Twente in The Netherlands

By Kiprono Ericson
Friday, April 9th, 2021
World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge witnesses the wildbeast migration in Masai Mara Game Reserve last year. He will feature in the marathon. Photo/PD/SPORTPICHA
In summary

Organisers of NN Mission marathon have announced a new venue for the much awaited marathon.

The marathon is set to go ahead as planned on April 18 and has been moved from Hamburg to Enschede, The Netherlands, on the specially designed course near Twente Airport which will be closed for general audience.

The race, which was initially slated for April 11 in Hamburg, Germany had to be pushed forward by a week due to the current Covid-19 situation in the country.

In a statement, the organisers said: “NN Mission Marathon will go ahead as planned on April 18 and will be moved from Hamburg to Enschede, The Netherlands, on the specially designed course on Twente Airport which will be closed for general audience.”

“Due to the current Covid-19 situation forced the race organizers Hamburg Marathon and Global Sports Communication to postpone the event with a week and also secure a different location”.

Frank Thaleiser, race director NN Mission Marathon, explains: “We are very happy that, with permission from the authorities, the NN Mission Marathon can now take place on Sunday April 18th. Since last week, we have been really busy trying to find an alternative location. We were

grateful to the many organisations around the world who offered to help us out. The importance of giving athletes a fair chance to qualify or prepare for the Olympic Games gets a lot of support.”

Sandra Melief, director Enschede Marathon, about the race: “It is a dream come true. World-class athletes in Enschede.

I am super proud. We are very happy to welcome these athletes and we will do everything possible so they can run their best possible time on a flat and fast course.”

In these challenging times and with the road race calendar for the first half of 2021 decimated by the pandemic, the involved parties were keen to arrange the race to provide a much-needed competitive opportunity for the athletes.

The one-off marathon has been organised to serve up an opportunity for athletes to run a fast race and in many cases to help secure a qualification mark for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.

This is set to be the first marathon this year for world record holder Eliud Kipchoge after finishing eighth in London last year.

The one-off marathon has been organised to serve up an opportunity for athletes to run a fast race and in many cases to help secure a qualification mark for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.

Kipchoge is set to take part in the race alongside former Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda, Laban Korir, Jonathan Korir, Augustine Choge and Ethiopia’s Haven Hailu while Gladys Chesir will be competing in the women category.

Kipchoge is using the race as part of his build up towards the Olympic Games where he is looking forward to defend his title.

Upon confirmation that he will compete in the race, Kipchoge said that he wants to run a race that will inspire the world at this hard time.

In an earlier interview with People Sport Kipchoge said despite the postponement, he will continue with his training as he gears to the race.

“Over the past months we have learned that we need to be flexible and stay positive.

With this in mind, I thank everybody involved, keep working hard with positive minds to find a good alternative,” said Kipchoge.

“The world is going through a difficult situation now but we are looking forward to a good competition when the Olympics Games start as one way of encouraging others.

I will be out to defend my title after I was selected in the Kenyan team and I’m still preparing,” he said.

Kipchoge made his debut over the distance at the German City in 2013 winning the annual Hamburg Marathon title in 2:05:30 and since then he has won an impressive 11 out of 13 career marathons.

The 36-year-old who will be leading Kenya’s marathon team at the Summer Games will be making his first competitive appearance after finishing a distant eighth at the 2020 London Marathon.

Regarded as the Marathon King, Kipchoge became the first human to break the 2 hour –barrier in a marathon when he clocked 1:59:40 at the historic INEOS 1:59 Challenge that was held in Vienna in 2019.

Pacemakers for the NN mission marathon race include Victor Chumo, Gideon Kipketer, Noah Kipkemboi, Philemon Kacheran, Philemon Rono, Alex Kibarus, Jackson Kiprop, Moses Koech, Sylvester Kiptoo and Bernard Cheptoch.

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