The reigning Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge still has one box to tick to be considered the greatest marathoner of all time. On September 24, at the Berlin Marathon, he plans to settle that debate.
I want to run a world record,” Kipchoge said. “That’s why I’m going after it in Berlin.”
To date, his best time in a record-legal race is 2:03:05, eight seconds off Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57. To get the mark in Berlin, however, he will have to defeat the second fastest man of all time, Kenenisa Bekele, and Wilson Kipsang, the former world record holder.
“We are all stars at the marathon, so it’ll be very difficult,” Kipchoge said. “But at the end of the race, we will have one winner.”
“I don’t want to say, but provided it’s a world record, that’s what I want,” Kipchoge said. “My coach (Patrick Sang) knows why I am going to Berlin and he has made the program with that in mind.”
Kipchoge knows an attempt on the two-hour barrier is highly unlikely in this setting, but his experience has taught him that it will happen eventually.
“A man can run 1:59, that’s for sure,” he said. “I just missed it by 25 seconds so it’s not impossible.”
Kipchoge spoke during a phone interview with runnersworld.com from his training base in Kenya.
Kenenisa Bekele is the most successful long distance track runner in history. Three times Olympic champion and World champion on five occasions at 5 and 10,000m, he has also won 11 World Cross Country titles over the short and long distances. For good measure, he also holds the world records for 5 and 10,000m.
He ran 2:03.03 when winning Berlin last September, six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57 set on the same course in 2014.
am eyeing, just the world record, he told reporters he believes he can run “around 2:01:30 before retiring.” In a separete interview he said, “I can shave around 90 seconds off the current world record over at the 2017 Berlin marathon on 24thSeptember.”
“I am fully confident. My preparation is going well. I am healthy enough,” he said on the sidelines of a press conference ahead of the coming race that he will battle with two Kenyans, Olympic Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge and former world record holder Wilson Kipsang.
Former World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya seeks to stage a surprise in his quest to win in Berlin and possibly set a new world mark in marathon.
It will be the third time Kipsang is returning to the German capital aiming to leave another mark on the Berlin marathon on Sept.24.
Kipsang said, “I enjoy running in Berlin and I am doing everything right so as to be in top shape and try and win the race. The world record will then have to fall in just by itself.
Am better placed than anyone else to break the world record. I have done it before and believe I am able to do it again”
In 2013, he broke the world record clocking 2:03.13 taking 15 seconds off the time set on the same course by his compatriot Patrick Makau (2:03:38).
Mark Milde, race director of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON since 1999 whose duties include recruiting the elite field, is delighted at this summit meeting of such distance running talent:
“It’s a dream match-up. It’s not often that the three strongest marathon men in the world race each other. As organizers we are crossing our fingers for good weather and thrilling competition.”