The real,- BERLIN-MARATHON for the inline skaters was once again thrilling, impressing and boosted a high-class field. About 250,000 people were watching the race which took place for the third time in a row on Saturday, a day before the runner’s real,- BERLIN-MARATHON. Annually the event is the international marathon highlight for inline skaters. With its 8,098 skaters the race once again confirmed its position as the biggest skating marathon in the world. And the leaders achieved the best
results for years.
Mass sprints brought the decision in the men’s and women’s and races. The Italian Luca Saggiorato got to the finish with a flimsy winning margin and clocked a world class time of 1:01:21 hours. No other winner in Berlin had been so fast since 1999, when the Frenchman Tristan Loy had set the course record of 61:08 minutes. In the women’s race Briggyte Mendez of Colombia won in 1:10:43 hours, also a top time. This was the fastest winning time in Berlin since 2000.
The starts had gone smoothly in beautiful weather conditions. Immediately a thrilling race developed with numerous breakaways. But in this world class field nobody could break away decisively from the leading group. At 10 k Jorge Botero (Columbia) and the Frenchman Franck Cardin were leading the field. They passed this mark in a fast 14:18 minutes. But this duo was recaptured by the big chasing group with the stars of the scene. When the Frenchmen Arnold Giquel and Alexis Contin broke away they were captured as well. In the meantime the pace slowed down a bit. The group reached 20 k in 29:08 minutes and the half marathon mark in 30:40. Therefore the dream target of a time of sub one hour was out of reach. Nevertheless the race was very fast.
So it came to a great mass sprint on the last stretch, which ended with an Italian triple victory. It was the first Italian victory at the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON of the inline skaters. Luca Saggiorato finished in 61:21minutes and it was the third fastest time ever in Berlin. Runner-up was his countryman Francesco Zangarini and third was Massimiliano Presti. The first seven skaters finished with the same time. „It was a very tough race, because it was so fast. There were a lot of breakaways, so you had to work a lot to get back into the lead. Berlin is the best race I know because of the great crowd along the course,“ said Luca Saggiorato, who is as well as Presti a team member of Fila International.
In the women’s race the group kept together until the finish. Briggyte Mendez came through to win in 1:10:43 hours ahead of Brittany Bowe (USA) and Julie Glass (USA). All three skaters finished with the same time. “The real,- BERLIN-MARATHON was very nice, but it was a hard fight on the long home straight,” said Briggytte Mendez and added: “I competed for the first time in Berlin. I am happy that I won straight away.” While the winner is a member of the K2 Empire Team both Americans are with the Powerslide Team.