American continues fine form at the Anniversary Games, while Karsten Warholm also impresses on day one of the Diamond League meet
Dewi Griffiths makes his mark in FrankfurtOctober 29, 2017
Welshman storms to 2:09:49 marathon debut in Germany as Shura Kitata of Ethiopia wins in 2:05:50
Dewi Griffiths enjoyed a memorable breakthrough run on the roads of Germany on Sunday when he blasted to a 2:09:49 marathon debut in Frankfurt.
The race was won by Shura Kitata of Ethiopia in 2:05:50 but the 26-year-old Swansea Harrier finished fifth in the race to go No.2 on the Welsh all-time rankings behind the legendary Steve Jones.
Griffiths also overtook Callum Hawkins’ UK 2017 leading mark of 2:10:17, which was set when finishing fourth at the IAAF World Championships in London.
On the UK all-time rankings, Griffiths now sits in 15th place, ahead of runners like Bernie Ford, Tony Milovsorov and fellow Welshman Steve Brace.
A typical down-to-earth Welshman, Griffiths has spent recent years ploughing away in cross-country races and bringing his track PBs down. He doesn’t possess a great turn of speed but is full of stamina and has improved as he has moved up through the distances – with PBs of 13:33 for 5000m, 28:16 for 10,000m and 61:33 for the half-marathon this year.
As Kitata blasted to a sub-2:06 performance, Ethiopians filled the top three places in the men’s race with Kelkile Gezahegn Woldaregay second in 2:06:56 and Getu Feleke third in 2:07:46.
Martin Kiprugut of Kenya was next, followed by Griffiths as the Briton beat the big local favourite, Arne Gabius – the German clocking 2:09:59 in sixth.
Britain’s Nick Torry ran 2:17:37 in 20th, while Lee Merrien clocked 2:20:25 in 28th.
The women’s race saw Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya run 2:23:35 to beat Yebrgual Melesem Arage and Meskerem Assefa by a minute.
Sarah Hall of the United States was first non-African home in 2:27:21.
Fionnuala Ross ran 2:48:44, while Guernsey’s Louise Perrio broke the Channel Island record on her marathon debut, clocking 2:49:59. Rebecca Hilland was forced to withdraw mid-race.
At the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in Ireland, Bernard Rotich of Kenya followed his win in the Belfast Marathon earlier this year by taking the men’s race in 2:15:53 with Nataliya Lehonkova of Ukraine taking the women’s section in 2:28:58.
» More in the November 2 issue of AW