Winning Munich Marathon was a fitting victory for Oliver Herrmann, who was born and raised in the Bavarian State capital.
Finishing in 2:27:10, he beat Kenyan Charles Korir and Ethiopian Solomon Merne in a magical race to the finish.
There was similar tension in the women’s race when French Latifa Schuster took right to the last bend to beat German Anne Lupke by just two seconds, finishing in 2:56:08. At 40km Schuster passed the leading woman Coco Wieland, who eventually finished third.
"I learned only at kilometer 40, that I could win and run a personal best,” Schuster said as she waited at the finish for her husband to complete his marathon – more than an hour later.
Oliver Herrmann started running just four years ago and has spent time training at camps in Kenya. Living and working in Southeast Asia means he trains at 4am to avoid the worst of the region’s humidity and high temperatures, then again at noon or 5pm.
His win marks a special chapter in the Munich Marathon’s 31-year history.
Munich Marathon has another reason to celebrate this year. It has won the AIMS Social Award for 2016 for their project ‘Laufend integrieren’, which roughly translates as ‘constantly integrate’.
This project sought to help refugees integrate into German culture by setting up running groups for refugees and local Munich runners.
They also employed more than 100 refugees over the race weekend, preparing race packs, handing them out and stewarding the route.
Bracelets branded with ‘Laufend integrieren’ were sold at the marathon sports expo. The money raised from the bracelets, in addition to donations from sponsors, meant the Munich Marathon donated €30,000 to the social authority for Munich to distribute as they see fit.