24 September 2015, 9am
BMW Berlin Marathon
Sun 27 September 2015
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, arguably the most successful marathon runner of the past twelve months, will join forces with two compatriots who occupy second and third spot in the all-time marathon rankings. In his last two triumphs over the classic distance – Chicago (2014) and London (2015) – Kipchoge already managed to beat elite fields of the highest quality. The former 5,000m world champion will now attempt to improve his personal best of 2:04:05 which he set here in Berlin in 2013, when he was beaten into second place by Wilson Kipsang, who himself ran a world record (2:03:23) that day.
Kipchoge will certainly attempt to complete his hat-trick of wins even though he is up against extremely strong competition again: Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) is the third fastest marathon runner of all time, since finishing relatively close behind winner Dennis Kimetto when he set the current world record of 2:02:57 in last year’s BMW Berlin Marathon. Mutai, who played a large part in maintaining the pace that made the record possible, crossed the line in 2:03:13. The third member of the formidable trio is his namesake Geoffrey Mutai (no relation) whose 2:03:02 in the 2011 Boston Marathon (course not eligible for records) was the fastest ever run over the distance at the time. He went on to win New York later that year and followed this up by winning the BMW Berlin Marathon in 2012.
All three of them have experience on the Berlin course, which is regarded as the fastest in the world. They will be there on the start line for exactly this reason – to improve their personal bests. How the story ends will be determined this weekend and will be partly dependent on weather conditions on the day.
In the women’s race Aberu Kebede from Ethiopia leads the field. She won here in 2010 and 2012, and in the first of the two victories she set her personal best of 2:20:30, which remains her fastest time. Her strongest opponent is Kenya’s Gladys Cherono who is the reigning half marathon world champion (2014), the African champion over 5000m and 10000m (2012) and winner of the world championship silver medal in the 10000m in Moscow (2013). At the start of this year she competed over the marathon distance for the first time and managed an outstanding performance of 2:20:03, showing great promise. The third main candidate for the title is Ethiopian Meseret Hailu, whose personal best is only slightly slower at 2:21:09 – set in her 2012 win in Amsterdam, the same year she was crowned half marathon world champion.