Mark Kangogo had the feeling beforehand that a beautiful day was waiting for him. "Before the start, I told my friends `I will celebrate today`" he said after crossing the finishing line of yesterday evening's marathon. Nobody had bet on this Kenyan who was born in 1989 and who had won three semi-marathons and finished second in 2017 in San Sebastián in Spain in 2:14:33. Kangogo agreed when saying "I had bib #12, I do not think anyone was waiting for me as winner.".
A third victory in the Grand Duchy was the goal of Kenyan John Komen, winner in 2015 and 2016. This former football player (born in 1977), whose talent in running was only discovered later on, was determined to win a third victory in view of his record of 2:12:57 set in 2016. But as in 2017, Komen had to settle for second place in 2:13:35. This did not stop him from joking with his fellow countryman Kangogo on the podium after the finish, congratulating him and keeping his sporting spirit on the second place: "I feel good, I'm happy. This was my fourth participation in Luxembourg, I will come back to win".
Hosea Kikpemboi (born in 1989, finishing in 2:17:11), also Kenyan, finished third. He finished second at the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg in 2015. Frazer Alexander (born 1981, finished in 2:43:15) was placed 9th overall and was the fastest from Luxembourg He thanked the many spectators for their encouragement: "Everything was perfect today. The atmosphere in downtown was exceptional."
As for the half marathon, Luxembourg participants finished on the second step of both podiums. In men, victory went to Semere Fsehatsion (Eritrea, born in 1983, finished in 1:11:29) in front of Yannick Lieners (Luxembourg, born in 1988, 1:13:16) and Hissam Aissa (France, born in 1984, 1:13:36). In the women's half-marathon, Anna Herzberg (Germany, born 1987, 1:22:01) was the fastest, ahead of Liz Nepper (Luxembourg, born 1988, 1:26:18) and Michelle Bauer (Germany, born in 1989, 1:30:27).
Barely an hour and a half later, around 01.16, the last runners crossed the finish line, including Pamela (36) from Chartres. "It was my first marathon, it was magic. I cried with joy," she said, before hugging her cheerleader Melanie Zender, because "she was so important to me." For the 41-year-old Swiss, it was also an intense experience: "I was able to encourage Pamela to stay on course because she almost gave up at one point. I am very happy that we were able to cross the line together". It is precisely these moments that still fascinate Erich François, race director, who said "The participants are satisfied, they laugh and cry on arrival - all that is expected of a marathon! "
1. Mark KANGOGO (Kenya, born 1989), 2:12:10
2. John KOMEN (Kenya, born 1977), 2:13:35
3. Hosea KIPKEMBOI (Kenya, born 1989), 2:17:11
1. Lakelesh Feysa DERA (Ethiopia, born 1998), 2:51:33
2. Karolina WASNIEWSKA (Poland, born 1980), 3:06:52
3. Isabelle HOFFMANN (Luxembourg, born 1984), 3:25:16
Men: Frazer ALEXANDER (born 1981), 9th, 2:43:15
Women: Isabelle HOFFMANN (born 1984), 3rd, 3:25:16
1. Semere FSEHATSION (Eritrea, born 1983), 1:11:29
2. Yannick LIENERS (Luxembourg, born 1988), 1:13:16
3. Hissam AISSA (France, born 1984), 1:13:36
1 Anna HERZBERG (Germany, born 1987), 1:22:01
2. Liz NEPPER (Luxembourg, born 1988), 1:26:18
3. Michelle BAUER (Germany, born 1989), 1:30:27