13. May 2023

A new course and a super-strong starting field will make the Copenhagen Marathon 2023 the best edition ever.

Marathon in May and half marathon in September – and always on a Sunday. Although Copenhagen’s two major international running events are firmly anchored in the calendar, there is still room for improvement. This year, the Copenhagen Marathon introduces a new and improved course, which unfolds more centrally in Copenhagen. A new course and a super-strong starting field will make the Copenhagen Marathon 2023 the best edition ever and is thus also more audience-friendly.

The new course invites you to set records
With the rerouting, the course has also been made faster. Therefore, the organizers from Sparta are hoping for new ones race records that will confirm the Copenhagen Marathon as not only the most important, but also the fastest marathon in the Nordic countries. When Berhane Tsegay from Eritrea crossed the finish line in 2:08.23 hours last year, it was thus the fastest marathon time ever run in the Nordic countries. The race record for the women also dates from last year, when the Kenyan Helah Kiprop only needed 2:24.10 hours to cover the classic 42.195 km.

“It is always a great experience to see some of the world’s best runners unfold. And we are proud that our small capital has established itself on the big, international running scene with such a strong elite field as we have this year. And with the new course, we are looking at some faster times than before,” says Dorte Vibjerg, managing director of Sparta Athletics & Running.

If anyone can break the men’s record, Reuben Kiprop Kipyego is a good bet. The 26-year-old Kenyan has several top positions on his resume, where he is also noted for having run under 2:05 hours three times. For the women, Juliet Chekwel from Uganda is a good bet for the new record holder. Among other things, she won bronze in the team competition for the WC Cross in Aarhus four years ago, and has a personal record of 2:23.13.

Strong DM field in place
This year’s Danish championship is again included in Sunday’s marathon, and especially for the men, an open race is planned. Andreas Lommer from Odense Athletics is the defending champion here, but the Fynbo can look forward to strong opposition from AGF runners Rune Bækgaard and Jacob Sommer Simonsen.

The Aarhus club has an even faster runner at the start in the form of Ethiopian-born Omar Hassan, but despite living in Denmark since 2016, he still does not have Danish citizenship and thus cannot win DM gold. According to the rules, however, he can win the team gold (where a club’s three fastest times count).

In the women’s category, the gold can also go to an Aarhus runner. Karen Ehrenreich is the clear favorite to regain the title, and with her latest improvement – in Seville in February – to 2:34.15 hours, the 38-year-old Aarhus 1900 runner now ranks as the 8th fastest Danish woman of all time.

“It will be exciting to see what Karen can do on Sunday. She prepares optimally like no one else, and so far she has delivered the goods every time,” says national running coach Kersti Jacobsen, who herself won the Copenhagen Marathon back in 1988.

Tribute to female marathon pioneers
At the first Copenhagen Marathon in 1980, the female runners made up only 6 percent. That trend has changed greatly over the years with a provisional peak of 35% back in 2016. This year marks 40 years since the women’s marathon entered the international championship program and it will be marked by the three World Cup participants from 1983 – Lone Dybdal, Mette Holm Hansen and the aforementioned Kersti Jacobsen – jointly press the starting gun.