Dennis Kimetto and Tsegaye Kebede head the men´s field of elite runners in this year´s BMW BERLIN MARATHON on September 28. They are challenged by Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) who won the World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen last March, and Emmanuel Mutai, winner of the World Marathon Majors series 2011.
Top contenders in the women´s field are Tirfi Tsegaye from Ethiopia and Shalane Flanagan (USA). Challengers are Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) and most likely Gladys Cherono (Kenya) in her first marathon.
The Men's Field
Dennis Kimetto (30) placed second in the 2012 BMW BERLIN MARATHON, clocking the fastest time ever for a first-time marathoner (2:04:16), one second behind fellow Kenyan, Geoffrey Mutai. He ran a world record for the 25 k (1:11:18) in Berlin in early 2012. In 2013, he won the Tokyo Marathon (2:06:50) and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon (2:03:45), both times bettering the course record, the latter being the third fastest time ever run on a legitimate course.
Tsegaye Kebede (27) is one of the most successful marathon runners of all times. Of the 17 marathons he has finished, he has won six and placed 2nd three times, followed by five 3rd-place finishes including bronze medals in the Olympic marathon in 2008 and the World Championship marathon in 2009. He achieved his personal best of 2:04:38 when he won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2012. Last year, Tsegaye Kebede won the World Marathon Majors´ Series, winning $500,000 in prize money.
Emmanuel Mutai (31) is one of the most successful marathoners of the last decade. He won the Virgin London Marathon in 2011 and took second places several times (New York City 2010, 2011), London (2010, 2013), Chicago (2013) and in the marathon at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in 2009. His best time is 2:03:52 when placing second to Dennis Kimetto in Chicago 2013.
Geoffrey Kamworor (21) does not have to prove his talents any more, especially after he won the World Half Marathon Championships last March, leaving his competition far behind on the last kilometres of the race. The streets of Berlin are familiar to the young Kenyan runner. In 2011, he won the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON, in 2012, he ran his first marathon at the BMW BERLIN MARATHON and he placed 3rd then and again last year.
The Women's Race
The Women's Race should also be an exciting affair, with several contenders for an exciting race.
Tirfi Tsegaye (29, Ethiopia) is one of the top contenders. She ran her PR of 2:21:19, coming in second at the BMW BERLIN MARATHON.
Shalane Flanagan (33, USA) set her PR of 2:22:02 last April in Boston where she placed 7th. She holds the American 10,000 Meter Record.
Kayoko Fukushi (32, Japan) won the bronze medal at the World Championships last year in Moscow. Her PR stands at 2:24:21 (Osaka 2013). Her track speed with a pb of 30:51.81 for 10.000 Meters indicates that she can run much faster in a marathon race.
World Half Marathon Champion Gladys Cherono (31, Kenya) is running her marathon debut at the BMW BERLIN MARATHON. Her credentials on the shorter distances (30:29.23 for 10,000 Meters and 1:06:48 for the half marathon) indicate her marathon potential.
The Fastest Marathon
The BMW Berlin Marathon has delivered the last 5 world records for the men’s marathon: in 2003, Paul Tergat (Kenya) in 2:04:55; in 2007 and 2008, Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) in 2:04:26 and 2:03:59; in 2011 Patrick Makau (Kenya) in 2:03:38; and in 2013 Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) in 2:03:25. The event is part of the World Marathon Majors (WMM), a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: the Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW BERLIN MARATHON, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon. It was founded in 2006. The current leaders of the 2013/14 Series are Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) and Rita Jeptoo (Kenya).