Ethiopia's Dereje Debele Tulu clocked a course record of 2:07:48 and fellow-Ethiopian Melkam Gizaw ran 2:26:24 to take take Sunday's METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf. After the 11th edition of the event Race Director Jan Winschermann gave the following interview:
What do you think of the development of the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf after Sunday's race?
Jan Winschermann: "We had more spectators than ever before which shows that the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf is more and more accepted by the people here. The atmosphere was fantastic. Regarding the elite race we are very happy with a men's course record and the second fastest time ever in the women's race. But I think we still have some potential for further improvement. For us it is also very important to keep the high standard in organisation. We will always try to improve and widen the service for our runners."
What is possible regarding the number of participants in the marathon in the future?
Jan Winschermann: "This year we had 4,250 marathon entries. 3,200 of them started the race. I don't think we can get many more German runners. But internationally we could well improve. At present around 15 percent of our runners are foreigners. We should get more than 20 percent relatively soon since we do worldwide promotion for our event. And generally our foreign runners are very happy with the standard of our organisation. The course is good for a much bigger field as well. I hope we will one day see 5,000 finishers -- but this will take some time."
What are your goals regarding the elite race?
Jan Winschermann: "We want to compete with other international marathons. So we will try to improve the course record towards 2:05. We now got a 2:07 time. A couple of years ago such a result was considered a good one internationally. But times have changed. Of course we also want to improve the women's course record of 2:25:49. Overall we are planning to have a bigger elite field in the coming years."
In the past you often supported German runners. However this year you got a big number of national athletes cancelling their starts for various reasons. Will this have an influence for your future plans?
Jan Winschermann: "We have invested heavily in some German runners in the past, but it did not work for us. We are disappointed, because we got nothing back. There is no trust. That is the reason why we will change our strategy. We will work less with German runners in the future. Instead we will shift the money towards the international elite field so that we will hopefully get faster times."
More information is available at: Metrogroup-Marathon.de.
Race Director Jan Winschermann -. Photo: Victah Sailer / photorun.net