Kenya’s Gladys Cherono will defend her title at the 45th edition of the Berlin Marathon that will be held on 16 September, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
The 35-year-old is keen on writing history as she chases for the third title at Berlin, with her main focus on Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, winner of the Chicago Marathon.
Organizers have assembled a fast elite team, featuring three other women who have all run two hours and 20 minutes.
The Kericho born athlete won the Berlin marathon in 2015 and 2017, and her best time of 2:19.25, with 13 seconds short of the course record of 2:19.12 that was set in 2005 by Mizuki Noguchi from Japan. “There is no shortcut at this level of competition. You don’t expect an easy challenge because everyone coming in is a star and has a big record behind them. I have to focus on my own strength and train harder to attain my goal and win the race,” she told the press.
The elite women’s field in Berlin is the strongest for many years. At the top of the pile is Ethiopia’s Dibaba.
The 32-year-old has won three Olympic gold medals and five World Championship golds between 2003 and 2013.
The Ethiopian has a personal best time is 2:17.56, that she got when finished second in the 2017 London Marathon, making her the third fastest woman in the history of the marathon.
Dibaba is keen to lower this record in Berlin, and given ideal weather conditions, might even have a chance of attacking Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25, that she set in 2003.
However, Cherono, with her best time of 2:19:25, will want to claim her own third title in the German capital.
The Kenyan will first tackle the human challenge and make sure she has the title secured before channeling her energies into running a fast time.
“The important thing is to win the race,” she said.
Edna Kiplagat from Kenya will also be on the start line up. The 2017 Boston Marathon winner shows no signs of retiring, and with two world marathon titles to her credit and a silver at the London 2017 World Championships, the 38 year-old will be hard to beat putting in mind the road experience she carries.
Other notable entrants include Ethiopia’s Yebrugal Melese, who has run 14 marathons, Ruti Aga and Aselefech Mergia.