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News Release - Mainova Frankfurt Marathon:

Olympic Champion Stefano Baldini pays tribute to Frankfurt winner Brimin Misoi


When the victory ceremonies in the Festhalle were well and truly over and all of the 7,946 finishers had left the arena, Brimin Misoi, winner of the men’s title at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, received a surprise but particularly welcome honour. In the lobby of the event hotel, the Mövenpick, the Kenyan was congratulated by the Olympic Marathon champion from the Games in Athens in 2004, Stefano Baldini. This achievement, naturally enough, made the latter a hero in his native Italy and the lustre has lasted to this day. “Brimin ran a really strong race today in tough conditions, it was an impressive performance,” said Baldini as he reflected on Misoi’s performance in setting a personal best of 2:06:11 by exactly two-and-a-half minutes. “Because of the high temperatures it was more like a championship race in August. Anyone who can cope with such conditions so well is well prepared to contest medals in peak summer.”


Stefano Baldini was present at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon in his role as coach. One of the athletes in his group, Rebecca Lonedo, ran her debut marathon and finished in 2:39:54. “We chose Frankfurt because of the fast course and the normally good weather conditions. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case today. Rebecca struggled with the high temperatures and suffered stomach problems,” said the 51-year-old Olympic champion of Athens, who looks after a group of 25 runners. His most promising athlete at present is Pietro Riva, who finished fifth in the 10,000m at the European Championships in Munich. A week before Frankfurt he improved his personal best for the half marathon to 60:30 in Valencia. “I hope that he will be in the 10,000m at the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024,” said Baldini, whose 21-year-old daughter Alessia is not part of his training group. She runs 200 and 400m and improved her best for the latter to 55.81 this year. 


This year’s men’s winner of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon has something in common with the Olympic champion in that Brimin Misoi has also won on the same classic marathon course from the town of Marathon to the heart of Athens. The Kenyan won there in 2018.


When Stefano Baldini crowned his career with Olympic gold in 2004 he ran 2:10:55. The times are not really comparable, but they differ by just one second. The Italian was running in the summer heat of Athens while Brimin Misoi ran 2:10:56 there 14 years later in November. “The Athens course is very tough. Anyone who runs well there has to be strong and deserves respect,” commented Baldini, who returned to the race in 2019 and ran the highly respectable time of 2:57:07 as a 48-year-old. “That was the last time I ran a marathon. But I keep myself fit and can still run 10k in 33 minutes.” As far as personal bests are concerned, Brimin Misoi has overtaken the Olympic champion in the world all-time list with his own best mark of 2:06:11, although it has to be said, the Italian achieved his without the aid of the new style of shoes which have boosted performance. “The Frankfurt course is very fast,” said Baldini, who these days works as a TV commentator for Sky Sport Italia.


For Brimin Misoi, a victory in 2:06 is far from being the last time he might be celebrating. “In future I would like to run times of 2:03 to 2:04. I’ll begin training again in December and may well run the Tokyo Marathon in March. If possible, I would love to return next year to Frankfurt and defend my title,” said the Kenyan. On 29th October 2023 the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon will celebrate its 40th edition.


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