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Kenenisa to run Berlin Marathon

Long-distance record holder Kenenisa Bekeleis poised to join elite marathoners Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang at the Berlin Marathon on September 24.

The BMW Berlin Marathon is an Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) event and an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. Kenenisa ran the sixth fastest marathon debut ever when winning at Paris Marathon back in 2014 in course record time of 2:05:04.

On September 2016, Kenenisa won the Berlin Marathon in 2:03:03, setting a new personal best and the second fastest marathon of all time.

Absent following injury that had kept him away from competitions, Kenenisa attempted to break the world record at the Dubai Marathon on January 19, 2017, only to drop out after the half-way mark due to a fall at the beginning of the race.

On April 23, 2017, he finished second at the London Marathon, but failed to make it to last month’s IAAF championships there, claiming he was not in top form.

Expected to be fiercely contested by elite athletes, Berlin is once again awaiting to be a venue for yet another record-shattering race.

Meanwhile, Eluid Kipchoge in 2012 ran a half-marathon in 59:25, the third fastest half-marathon debut. He won the 2013 Hamburg Marathon in 2:05:30. He also won Berlin Marathon in 2015 in 2:04:00, the fifth fastest marathon in history at the time.

On 6 May 2017, as part of Nike’s Breaking 2 project, he completed a 42-kilometer distance in 2:00:25 at the Monza track in Italy, even though it was not an official world record due to the circumstances in which it occurred. Under normal race conditions, a maximum of three pace makers are permitted and no substitutes are allowed.

Meanwhile, the high-point in 35-year-old Wilson Kipsang’s career so far was four years ago at the 40th edition of the BMW Berlin Marathon when he took 15 seconds off the world record of his compatriot Patrick Makau’s2:03:38. But Kipsang’s record of 2:03:23 stood as the world record for just 12 months—in 2014, Dennis Kimetto became the first man to run the marathon under two hours and three minutes with his 2:02:57 finish on Berlin’s renowned fast course. That remains the world record.

In Berlin 2016, Kipsang ran ten seconds faster than his previous personal best, but it was only good enough for a second place, behind Kenenisa, who won the race.

Thirty-five-year-old Kenenisa is one of the most successful long distance runners in history. Three-time Olympic champion and world champion on five occasions in 5,000 and 10,000meters, he also won 11 world cross-country titles over short and long distances. He also holds the current world record in both 5,000 and 10,000meters.

Men’s marathon world records in Berlin
1998 Ronaldo da Costa BRA 2:06:05
2003 Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:04:55
2007 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 2:04:26
2008 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 2:03:59
2011 Patrick Makau (KEN) 2:03:38
2013 Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2:03:23
2014 Dennis Kimetto (KEN) 2:02:57