Tag Archives: Berlin Marathon

Kaka to make marathon debut in Berlin

Former World Cup-winning footballer Kaka will make his debut at the 49th edition of the Berlin Marathon that will be held on SUnday (25) in Berlin, Germany.

the 40 year-old said, said he was “just as excited as I used to be before football matches.” Kaka, who played for Real Madrid and AC Milan before retiring in 2017, said his father’s struggle with Covid-19 had inspired him to run the marathon.
“He was 45 days in hospital” Kaka said at the Berlin marathon press conference yesterday. “Fortunately, he is with us today.” Kaka’s father and brother will take part in the “family experience” of the marathon. “He’s not going to run, he’s just walking, but we wanted him in this experience with us – it’s more of a family experience.”

Kaka to make marathon debut in Berlin

Kaka whose real name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite said marathons were particularly special as sporting events because amateurs can take part side-by-side with professionals. “I’m very excited… Of course, it’s completely different than those guys (pointing to the professionals), this is something that is really good in marathons.
“As an amateur athlete, I can run and be in the same field as the professionals. This is something really special in marathons – afterwards I can say that the best one in the marathon ran this time, and at the same time I was running with him.”
Kaka said he was hoping for a time under four hours. “I want to run around 3 hours 40 minutes – if I feel good maybe I can do more,” added the 2002 World Cup winner.

Eliud Kipchoge has eye on world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge will aim to win the BMW Berlin Marathon for the fourth time on Sunday (Sept 25) and the Kenyan is even threatening to challenge his own world record of 2:01:39.

A total of 45,527 runners from 157 nations are set to tackle 26.2 miles on the streets of the German capital but Kipchoge is the stand-out name as he returns to one of his favourite race venues.

His world record was set in Berlin in 2018 and he also won the event in 2015 and 2017. A fourth victory in Berlin would equal the achievement of Haile Gebrselassie, who won the race from 2006-09.

“Berlin is the fastest course. It’s where a human being can showcase their potential to push the limits,” Kipchoge said.

Kipchoge will turn 38 in November but his goal is to win an unprecedented third Olympic marathon title in Paris in 2024. He did not run in the World Championships this summer in Eugene but his most recent marathon was at the Tokyo Marathon in March where he broke the course record with 2:02:40 – the fourth fastest time in history.

On this weekend’s race, he said: “I’m thinking of running a very good race. And if it is my personal best, I will accept it.

“But I don’t want to commit to a time. I will try to push myself. I always say, if you want to push yourself, come to Berlin.”

This weekend his main rival is expected to be defending champion Guye Adola. The Ethiopian won last year’s race in 2:05:45 and posted a brilliant marathon debut of 2:03:46 when runner-up to Kipchoge in Berlin in 2017.

In addition there are a number of runners with PBs inside 2:06 who could challenge. They include the 2015 world marathon champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea (2:05:34), Defene Debela Gonfa of Ethiopia (2:05:46), Mark Korir of Kenya (2:05:49) and Oqbe Kibrom (Eritrea) 2:05:53.

Despite his winning record in Berlin, Kipchoge is not invincible and he has been beaten on the course. In 2013 he finished runner-up to Wilson Kipsang although Kipsang received an anti-doping ban in 2020 for whereabouts failures.

The women’s field is led by US record-holder Keira D’Amato and Kenya’s Nancy Jelagat Meto. D’Amato’s best time of 2:19:12 was set when winning in Houston earlier this year and makes her the fastest female in the line-up.

Jelagat Meto, meanwhile, won the Valencia Marathon lats year in 2:19:31.

Further contenders include Ethiopia’s Gutemi Shone Imana, who has a best of 2:20:11, while Workenesh Edesa has run 2:20:24 and Sisay Gola, has clocked 2:20:50.

Kenya’s Maurine Chepkemoi and Vibian Chepkirui also have bests respectively of 2:20:18 and 2:20:59, although American Sara Hall, an original entrant, has withdrawn with an IT band issue.

Look out too for Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Nigisti Haftu, who are both making their marathon debuts.

Berlin is also a traditionally popular event for British and Irish runners and entrants include Stephen Scullion and Sonia Samuels.

The event marks the beginning of a busy period of autumn marathon racing. The TCS London Marathon is on October 2 followed by Chicago on October 9, Amsterdam on October 16, Frankfurt on October 30 and New York City on November 6.


Source: athleticsweekly.com

Eliud Kipchoge picks his next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge will race the Berlin Marathon for a fifth time on Sept. 25, returning to the German capital event for the first time since he broke the world record there in 2018.

“Berlin is the fastest course, it’s where a human being can showcase its potential to push the limits,” he said in a press release.

Kipchoge has the greatest marathon record of any man, winning 14 of his 16 starts and becoming the first and so far only person to run 26.2 miles in under two hours (doing so in a non-record-eligible event).

Kipchoge, 37, chose Berlin over London, his other usual marathon, and the other fall major marathons, Chicago (which he raced once in 2014) and New York City (which he has never raced).

London, usually in April, will be held in the fall for a third consecutive year due to the pandemic before returning to its spring date in 2023.

Kipchoge called it a “really hard” decision to go with Berlin over the others, speaking in a virtual press conference from training in Kaptagat in his native Kenya.

Kipchoge has said that he hopes to run all of the World Marathon Majors, which would require making his debuts in Boston, which is contested every April, and New York City, which is in November.

So far, Kipchoge has primarily run London every April and Berlin every September, never doing more than two marathons in a year.

He said Friday that Boston and New York City remain targets, and when asked specifically about Boston, said it was on his bucket list.

Kipchoge is expected to race the 2024 Paris Olympics, where he could become the first marathoner to win three gold medals (or three medals of any color).

He has never raced a fall marathon in an Olympic year, so if he doesn’t race New York City in 2023, he may not do so until, at the earliest, 2025, when he will be three days she of turning 41 years old.

Kipchoge said Friday he may continue racing after the 2024 Olympics and into his 40s. He plans to focus on major city marathons rather than specialty races, such as his 2017 and 2019 attempts to break two hours for a marathon in non-record-eligible events.

He ran 2:00:25 on a Formula One track in Italy in 2017 and 1:59:40 in Vienna in 2019.

In Berlin, he has three victories and a runner-up. In 2018, he broke countryman Dennis Kimetto‘s world record, lowering it from 2:02:57 to 2:01.39. The next year, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekelwon Berlin in 2:01:41 with Kipchoge not in the field.

Kipchoge and Bekele, 40, have not gone head-to-head since then. Bekele, who hasn’t broken 2:06 since Berlin 2019, signed up for London on Oct. 2.

The other headliner in Berlin is defending champion Guye Adolaof Ethiopia.

In 2017 in Berlin, an unknown Adola came out of nowhere to finish 14 seconds behind Kipchoge in the then-fastest-ever marathon debut on a record-eligible course, sticking with Kipchoge until the last mile. Adola didn’t know he was running until four days before the race and wasn’t meant to start with the elite group.

Adola said he hopes to break 2:03 this year.

Source: olympics.nbcsports.com

Shura Kitata to defend his London Marathon title despite hamstring injury

Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata who is the reigning London Marathon champion has insisted he is ready to defend his crown on Sunday (3) despite being troubled by a hamstring injury.

Last year in October, Kitata edged a sprint finish in the elite men’s race to topple the great Eliud Kipchoge, who had won the annual event in England’s capital on four occasions.

The Ethiopian could not follow up a maiden London Marathon title with success at the Olympics this summer and pulled out in hot and humid conditions in Sapporo.

“I have some slight problems but still I am preparing to win and looking forward to it,” the 25-year-old said via a translator during Wednesday’s press conference.

“I was prepared very well before the Olympics and just two weeks before I had a hamstring injury, that was a big pressure for me. Otherwise I have prepared well and I am feeling confident to run on Sunday.

“The hamstring and the pain is not really easy and when it is a very fast speed, there might be some problem but I am looking forward to doing what I did before.”

Another sprint finish this year would raise doubts over the Ethiopian’s ability to clinch the event for a second time but he reflected on the life-changing experience of triumphing over Kipchoge, who bounced back to defend his Olympic title in August.

“I was very happy with the win last year and it had great meaning because Eliud is a very famous runner and a very strong runner so winning meant a lot,” Kitata added.

Kitata will battle for the honors with Evans Chebet from Kenya who will be making his debut and Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia who is the fastest man in the field following his winning run of 2:02.48 at the 2019 Berlin Marathon.

Berlin Marathon expected to attract 25,000 runners

Berlin Marathon organisers expect about 25,000 runners to take part on Sunday, making it the biggest marathon since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The September 26 event was cancelled last year because of the global health crisis but returns on the streets of the German capital.

“The time is ripe for us to send a signal to the outside world that we are still a sports metropolis,” Juergen Lock, managing director of organiser SCC Events, said. He expects more than 90 per cent of participants to be either fully vaccinated or to have recovered from a coronavirus infection.

All others must undergo a PCR test no earlier than 48 hours before the start. Wearing masks in the start and finish areas is mandatory for runners, as well as for all spectators along the 42.195-kilometre course. “All runners can run liberated,” Lock said.

With two smaller events in recent weeks including a half marathon, the organisers have gained experience for the big event, which will be held on the same day as the German general election.

The most prominent runner is Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

The 39-year-old missed the world record of Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya by only two seconds in his victory in 2019 in two hours one minute 41 seconds. Kipchoge set the mark in Berlin in 2018. The women’s field is led by Hiwot Gebrekidan, the Ethiopian who ran a year’s best 2 hours 19 minutes 35 seconds in Milan.

Source: thenewdaily.com.au

How to Watch the 2021 Berlin Marathon

It’s no secret that the Berlin Marathon course is fast. In fact, as of 2021, there have been 11 world records set on the flat, 26.2-mile loop around Germany’s capital. The last world record was set in 2018 by Eliud Kipchoge, who clipped off 4:38 miles on his way to winning Berlin in a time of 2:01:39, shattering the previous record by one minute and 18 seconds.

After COVID-19 shut down the 2020 edition, the Berlin Marathon is back to challenge participants and excite viewers.

Ready to get up early for some viewing in the United States? Here’s how to watch this year’s Berlin Marathon.

📺 Here’s how to watch it go down:

WHAT: The 2021 Berlin Marathon

WHY: The fastest marathoners in the world are competing on one of the fastest courses on the map—and records are in reach.

WHEN: The race starts at 3:15 a.m. EST (9:15 a.m. Berlin time) on Sunday, September 26.

WHERE TO WATCH: In the U.S., you can stream the Berlin Marathon on Peacock. To watch live and on-demand afterward, you must have a premium account, which costs $4.99 per month. Coverage starts at 3 a.m. on September 26. FloTrack will also be streaming the marathon. The service costs $29.99 monthly, or $12.49 monthly with an annual subscription. The race will also broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, with coverage beginning at 3 a.m.

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia headlines this year’s men’s race. In 2019, he nearly broke Kipchoge’s world record with a 2:01:41 finishing time. Bekele won the 2016 men’s race as well. Expect him to chase Kipchoge’s record once again. Challengers include Ethiopian teammates Guye Adola, who placed second at the 2017 Berlin Marathon behind Kipchoge, and 22-year-old Olika Adugna, who won his 26.2 debut this past January in Dubai.

On the women’s side, Hiwot Gebrekidan of Ethopia enters with the only sub-2:20 time, owning a personal best of 2:19:35 set earlier this year at the Milano Marathon. She is followed by three women who have run under 2:21: Purity Rionoripo of Kenya, Amane Beriso of Ethiopia, and Shure Demise of Ethiopia.

Source: runnersworld.com

The Record-Breaking History of Berlin Marathon

With Eliud Kipchoge’s world-record race in Berlin in 2018, the course has now witnessed 11 world records.

Is Berlin the fastest marathon in the world? It certainly seems so, as 11 world records on one course is an unmatched credential.

Last year, Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) won Berlin in a blistering time of 2:01:39, a new world record by 1 minute 18 seconds. Kipchoge’s performance marked the first time anyone has broken the 2:02 barrier in the marathon; and it was one of several barrier-breaking performances seen in Berlin. The course also witnessed the first sub-2:05, 2:04, and 2:03 marathons.

Eliud Kipchoge breaks the marathon world record at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Berlin has had a lock on the men’s world record since 2003, as well as hosting three break-throughs by women since 1977. Why is this such a great spot for fast times? Cool conditions, flat well-maintained roads, and carefully selected elite fields are the Berlin formula. Add in a phalanx of well-drilled pace-makers who protect and guide each aspiring record-breaker with Germanic efficiency, and you have many elements for success.

The race was founded in 1974 by a Berlin baker, Horst Milde, who combined his passion for running with a family bread and cake business that had flourished just west of the Brandenburg Gate for 300 years. His first marathon had 244 finishers, only 10 of them were women. It was won in a modest 2:44:53 on the men’s side, and 3:22:01 for the women.

Milde patiently kneaded the race like dough until it rose to become this year’s gourmet mega-dollar global-audience marathon with 44,000 sought-after starters. With Milde still a watchful presence, the race remains under the auspices of his Charlottenburg sports club, with his non-baker son Mark Milde as race director.

When Germany achieved reunification in October 1990 after 45 years of division and military occupation, the Berlin Marathon went through the previous Eastern Zone for the first time and gained a world profile as symbol of the new sense of free and open access that swept Europe.

Here, we’re looking into the stories behind the course’s 11 world records.


Christa Vahlensieck (West Germany) ran a world record 2:34:47 at Berlin at a time when female runners were beginning to discover the new opportunity of the marathon, building the pressure that led to its inclusion for the 1984 Olympics. Vahlensieck was a protegée of Dr. Ernst Van Aaken, a visionary advocate for the health benefits of exercise and the endurance abilities of women.

For three years the world record had been swapped between Vahlensieck, France’s Chantal Langlacé and USA’s Jacqueline Hansen. When Vahlensieck took back the record on German soil, it was consolation for Van Aaken, who had lost both legs in an automobile accident.



Ronaldo da Costa, a Brazilian, youngest of a poor family of 11, had only rarely competed outside his home country. At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, he finished a modest 16th in the 10,000 meters. In his first visit to Berlin in 1997, he placed fifth (2:09:07), but the next year he astonishingly improved by three minutes and broke a world record that had stood for 10 years. Da Costa is the only South American, male or female, to hold the world marathon record. He became a national hero.


The world began to look for the first women’s sub-2:20 marathon after Joan Benoit Samuelson slashed the world best mark down to 2:22:43 at Boston in 1983. But the barrier eluded the first generation of great Africans, even Fatuma Roba (Ethiopia), first African woman to win the Olympic marathon in 1996, and Tegla Loroupe (Kenya), first to win a big-city marathon, New York in 1994. Berlin wanted the sub-2:20 notch on its belt, and Loroupe came close there with 2:20:43 in 1999. After almost 20 years, sub-2:20 began to look like the four-minute mile before Roger Bannister.

Source: runnersworld.com

Kenenisa Bekele to run two marathons in 42 Days

Kenenisa Bekele is still the only elite runner confirmed for the BMW Berlin Marathon which will be the first of two marathons in 42 days for the Ethiopian runner, who is also scheduled to race the TCS New York City Marathon on November 7, a grueling double that will mark Bekele’s first races since March 2020.

A look at the list of favourites shows quite clearly how much the world’s elite is also waiting for top notch races. None other than the running legend Bekele who will aim for victory on September 26. At the 2019 Berlin-Marathon, he clearly demonstrated with his time of 2:01:41 hours that he is always a force to be reckoned with.

“I will come back with good energy and motivation to Berlin-Marathon. The last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.” said Bekele. So, in many ways, the BMW Berlin-Marathon 2021 will be an event with historic sporting significance.

Bekele is a four-time Olympic medallist and 16-time world champion who will make his debut at the New York City Marathon on November 7 in the men’s open division. At the Athens 2004 Games, he won gold in the 10,000m and silver in the 5000m, and four years later in Beijing took gold in both distances. He won the 2019 Berlin Marathon in the second-fastest time ever, only two seconds off the world record time set by Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin the year prior.

“I am proud of the many accomplishments in my career, but I have never had the opportunity to compete in the TCS New York City Marathon,” Bekele said. “I am excited that 2021 will be the year for me to make my attempt in New York. Some of my greatest success has come in cross-country running, and I am told that the hills and turns of New York reward athletes with the strength that comes from running cross-country. I will do my best to join that great list of New York City champions.”

Kenenisa Bekele targets the World record at Berlin-Marathon

World record holder in both the 5000m and 10000m, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia will be targeting to lower the marathon world record at the 48th edition of the BMW Berlin-Marathon that will be held on 26th September in Berlin, Germany.

Bekele will target to lower his time as he clearly demonstrated it when he took the top honors at the 2019 Berlin marathon when he crossed the line with the second fastest time of 2:01.41.

This is underlined not only by his victories at the Berlin-Marathon in 2016 and 2019, but also by his captivating performances at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in the capital city on the Spree River. At the races in the Olympic Stadium, Bekele won World Championship gold in the 10,000 m for the fourth time in a row and took the World Championship title in the 5,000 m a week later.

“I will come back with good energy and motivation to Berlin-Marathon. The last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.” So, in many ways, the Berlin-Marathon 2021 will be an event with historic sporting significance,” Bekele said.

The 39-year-old will try to match or lower the time of his only rival the greatest athlete of all time Eliud Kipchoge, who ran 2:01.39 in 2018 and ranks above him in the world all-time list. Bekele knows all too well what it is like to miss the world record by a narrow margin.

In 2016, he won in 2:03.03 which was just six seconds outside the then world record. There are also historical precedents for such narrow misses in marathon history: in 1985 the Welshman Steve Jones ran within one second of the world record in Chicago.

The 2019 podium clean swept by Ethiopians as Birhanu Legese, crossed the line in second in 2:02.48 to become the third fastest marathoner in history. Third place went to Sisay Lemma, running a personal best of 2:03.36.

Kipsang and Kiplagat focus on New York despite running in Berlin last month

Defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor leads a host of stars to next month’s New York Marathon.

Kamworor, who is the three-time World Half Marathon champion, will face stiff competition from several of his compatriots in the 42km race during the ‘Big Apple’ race.

Kamworor clocked 2:10:53 to win the event last year.

The defending champion will be up against former winner and world record holder Wilson Kipsang, who competed at last month’s Berlin Marathon, finishing third in 2:06:48.

The 2017 London Marathon champion, Daniel Wanjiru, will also be in the mix.

Wanjiru has a personal best of 2:05:21 set at the Amsterdam Marathon two years ago and will fancy his chances of performing well at the event.

Former New York City Marathon champion Stanley Biwott will also be seeking to reclaim the crown he won in 2015 in 2:10:34 while Stephen Sambu, who clinched the New York City Half Marathon in 2016 in 1:01:16, has also been entered.

In the women’s category, two- time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, who finished fourth at the Berlin three weeks ago in 2:21:18, aims to unseat last year’s champion Sharlene Flanagan of the USA.

London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot will also be seeking to win her second marathon crown after her exploit in the British capital in April.

Mary Keitany will be chasing her fourth New York City Marathon crown after victories in 2014-2016.

Keitany is one the country’s most decorated marathoners with wins in other big city marathons including London, where she has won three times (2011, 2012 and 2016).

US-based Sally Kipyego made her marathon debut in 2016 in New York, finishing second to Keitany in 2:28.01 and will be aiming to go one place better.