Dire Tune to run Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon on October 31

Submitted by Yomi Omogbeja on 16 September 2010 - 6:42pm

Former Boston Marathon champion Dire Tune from Ethiopia and the reigning European Champion Zivile Balciunaite have been signed for the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon.

Organisers, who annouced these two names last Thursday, are eager to improve their women's course record of 2:25:12.

Recently Kenyans Wilson Kipsang (PB: 2:07:13) and Wilfred Kigen (2:07:33) had been signed to run the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon.

The race, which boosts an IAAF Gold Label, will take place on 31st October. A record field of around 13,000 runners is expected to take part in the race. Online entry is still available.

While the men's course record has been broken a couple of times in recent years and now stands at 2:06:14 the women's best stands for five years now. Russia's Alevtina Biktimirova had won in 2:25:12 in 2005.

"We hope to finally see a women's course record this year. It is the goal to get a good sub 2:25 time," said Race Director Jo Schindler.

With the signing of Dire Tune a fast women's race could very well materialize. The Ethiopian had some extraordinary success in the marathon in recent years.

And her personal best of 2:24:40 is a good half minute faster than the course record of the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon.

Around two and a half years ago Dire Tune was regarded as one of the favourites in the race for the Olympic marathon gold medal.

She had started the Olympic year by winning the Houston Marathon in January (clocking her PB of 2:24:40) and then taking the Boston title as well three months later with 2:25:25.

In this race she beat Frankfurt's course record holder Alevtina Biktimirova by just two seconds after a thrilling duel.

But probably the effort it took to win in Boston harmed her form in the Olympic Marathon. In Beijing Dire Tune had to be content with 15th place. Additionally she then ran the New York Marathon as well, where she finished seventh.

'Sprint finish'

In 2009 Dire Tune returned to Boston and this time she was the one beaten in a sprint finish.

It looked as if she would retain her Boston crown, but before she broke the tape Kenya's Salina Kosgei snatched victory. In the closest women's finish in the history of the Boston Marathon Dire Tune was beaten by just one second.

In the summer she again could not show her potential in a major championship. In the Berlin World Championships she finished 23rd in 2009.

This year however Dire Tune chose a different approach to the marathon. After running six races in less than two years in 2008 and 2009 the Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon will be her first one in 2010.

Still only 25 years old Dire Tune hopes to bring her marathon career back on track with a great performance on 31st October.

She has run a couple of half marathons plus shorter distances in 2010. While her personal best in the half marathon stands at 67:18 she ran 67:58 in February finishing fifth in Ras Al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates).