The Ugandan runner posted a time of two hours, seven minutes and 31 seconds after 42km to count for his third best time of his six-year marathon career.
Only finishes at the 2011 Enschede Marathon (2:07:11) and the 2015 Tokyo Marathon (2:06:33) have been better. The latter is the current national record (NR) as well as his personal best (PB).
“It was tough,” the 2012 Olympic champion Kiprotich told this paper hours after the race.
Prior to this race, Kiprotich had told this paper that his desire was to lower that time ahead of the London World Championships due August.
The Nike-sponsored runner will feel a little discontent considering he recouped a distance of nearly 2km to lead with about 6km left but could not peel away.
Opting to run in Hamburg instead of a more lucrative London Marathon that was won by Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru ahead of Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, Kiprotich was part of the leading pack of 14 runners in the cold conditions after 15km.
Kiprotich and Ethiopian Mekonnen kept at the back of it but the latter went ahead to join Kenyan pacemaker Jacob Kedangor after the 20km mark.
That move disintegrated the front pack and had Kendagor and Mekonnen run shoulder to shoulder, creating a significant gap between them and the rest.
Using lots more energy, Kiprotich resurfaced in third place after 32km and charged to go past the pair after the 35km mark.
Kendagor fell off and would later finish third in 2:08:50. But Kiprotich and Mekonnen exchanged leads until the Ethiopian broke away after the final turn, leaving the weary Ugandan in his wake to win in 2:07:26.
HAMBURG MARATHON RESULTS
1 Tesgaye Mekonnen (ETH) 2:07:26
2 Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 2:07:31
3 Jacob Kendagor (KEN) 2:08:50
4 Robert Chemosin (KEN) 2:09:51
5 Japhet Kosgei (KEN) 2:11:12
6 Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 2:12:31
7 Elkanah Kibet (USA) 2:13:36
8 David Nilsson (SWE) 2:15:40
9 Brad Milosevic (AUS) 2:16:24
10 Kenta Iinuma (JAP) 2:16:52
Source: The monitor
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