Nearly 4.500 runners took part in the DOZ Marathon Lodz with PZU and the accompanying ALE 10k Run, with more than 1.700 marathon finishers alone. Abraw Misganaw (ETH) and Racheal Jemutai Mutgaa (KEN) dominated men and women competitions respectively, while Agnieszka Mierzejewska (POL) took the women national championships title.
It was a sunny and warm marathon in Lodz, Poland. Maybe even a bit too warm as the air temperature amounted to 20 °C, making it difficult to break the course record. In these conditions, Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes proved best with Abraw Misganaw (ETH) taking the victory in 2:13:24. Just behind his back Melly Rogers Kipchirchir (KEN) finished second (2:13:45) while his compatriot Mutai Kipkemei took the 3rd place in 2:14:15.
- I couldn't keep my pace in the second half of the race. The course was really fast and well prepared, but the weather conditions were challenging. Additionally, there was no one to run together with and fight for the win – the winner said at the post-race press conference.
The women competition was dominated by another Kenyan, Racheal Jemutai Mutgaa who crossed the finish line in 2:31:41. Agnieszka Mierzejewska took advantage of the strong local crowd support and took the national championships title finishing second in 2:32:04, yet missing the Olympic qualification. Nastassia Ivanova (BLR) completed the podium with 2:34:47 on the clock.
- Lodz is great and I really enjoyed the race today. I was confident and pretty sure I could win, even with Agnieszka Mierzejewska running fast behind my back. This was not the day but I still hope to improve my PB in the future – said Mutgaa after the race. - I should be happy winning the national championships but I am not. My goal was to get the Rio qualification and I didn't. But this is not my final word and I am going to fight for it on a 10.000m distance – added Mierzejewska.
DOZ Marathon Lodz with PZU is a relatively young event, first organized in 2011. Since then, it has been on a rise.
- This is the biggest DOZ Marathon Lodz in terms of the number of athletes, so we are satisfied and hope to continue to grow each year – says Michal Drelich, race director. - However, we are a bit disappointed with the results of the elite athletes, as we had some really strong names on the starting list. Certainly, the weather didn't help as it was pretty warm and the humidity was high. Taking this into account, we are proud of our Agnieszka Mierzejewska who performed strong and challenged the Kenyan winner almost till the final meters – he adds.
In total, nearly 7.000 athletes took part in the marathon race, ALE 10k Run and the other side events organized during the race weekend. DOZ Marathon Lodz with PZU was a IAAF Silver Label Road Race and the European Athletics' Five Star Quality Road Race. More information on www.lodzmaraton.pl.