The Paris Marathon this weekend will be the biggest marathon since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic.
According to the organizers, it could even be the biggest marathon ever. There were a total of 60,000 registrations from over 150 nations. However, it must be strongly assumed that many foreign participants cannot or will not take part due to travel restrictions. In addition, participation is only possible with a negative test result or a Covid vaccination.
"Catch me if you can"
Interesting this year at the Paris Marathon is also the starting procedure. This is because there is to be a pursuit race between the fastest men and women. In the women's race, Priscah Jeptoo leads the field with a personal best of 2:20:14 hours, while Nicolas Kirwa has the best entry time in the men's race with 2:05:01 hours. The conditions for an absolute world class time are therefore less good.
That is why the course of the race should provide excitement. Because the elite women start exactly 15 minutes before the elite men. This is the difference in the best times between the fastest male and the fastest female competitor. So it could happen that the winner and the female winner reach the finish line almost at the same time. An approach that has also created excitement in some races in the past.
High tension in the men's race
Excitement can also be expected in the men's race for victory. Although there is no participant with a best time under 2:05 hours, there are six runners with best times under 2:06 hours.
So a win for Nicolas Kirwa, who finished 5th in the Milan Marathon (elite race) this year, is not a foregone conclusion. The Kenyan will be challenged for the most part by his compatriots. There is, for example, the experienced marathon runner Elisha Rotich, who won the marathon in Eindhoven in 2018. Joel Kimurer is also expected to do well. He finished second in Abu Dhabi in 2019. Stephen Chebogut also has Paris experience. Four years ago, he finished 2nd over the marathon distance in the City of Love.
3 strong Frenchmen at the start
Abdi Fufa will compete for Ethiopia. From the French point of view, the participation of Florian Carvalho, a former top runner on the track, is particularly interesting. Also hoping for good finishes are his teammates Hassan Chahdi and Yohan Durand.
Will Jeptoo make a successful comeback?
In the women's race, the starting position is a bit clearer, at least if you consider the best performance. Because with 2:20:14 hours, the Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo is the clear favorite in the field. But she already ran this time in London more than nine years ago. That is why the men also have an advantage in the "pursuit race" in Paris. For Jeptoo, it is the first marathon since the beginning of the pandemic. In recent years, however, she has not been able to run any top-class times anyway.
So the other top runners are also expected to win the day, such as her compatriot Antonia Kwambai, who won the Paris Half Marathon in 2018. Best times under 2:25 hours also have the Ethiopians Sifan Melaku, Tigist Memuye, Wagnesh Mekasha, Yeshi Chekole, Zinash Mekonnen and Yenenesh Dinkesa.
Start lists and LIVE results for the Paris Marathon
These can be accessed directly on the event page: