Sitting with my wife this evening, I stated how exciting Sunday’s race is likely to be. She looked at me bemused, and claimed that I hadn’t told her about anything in the F1 calendar for this weekend. No, no, no, I said, it’s the Berlin Marathon! A rolling of the eyes that I got in response said it all.
Sunday sees the 44th Berlin Marathon. Not exactly what you would call a flat course but it is in fact the only course in the past 15 years that has seen the world record broken for the Marathon, no fewer than six times.
Among the elite men that will be competing include the three fastest long distance runners in the world today. Eliud Kipchoge, unbeaten in the marathon in the past four years and unofficial world record holder following Nike’s Breaking2 attempt. Kenenisa Bekele, widely regarded as one of the best long distance runners of all time and Wilson Kipsang, the only man to ever have beaten Kipchoge over 26.2 miles and the only marathoner (to date) to run back-to-back sub-2:04, which he has achieved in the past 12 months.
Kipchoge’s PB – 2:03:05
Bekele’s PB – 2:03:03
Kipsang’s PB – 2:03:13
Kipchoge is clearly going for another world record, recently commenting “to many, its a barrier. To me, it’s slower than my personal best.”
Whilst that is very true, Nike’s Breaking2 was far and away from anything to be experienced during an official race. An almost perfectly flat course with no right angle turns, specifically designed footwear, perfect weather conditions and the use of an extensive amount of pacers is not something that Kipchoge will experience in Berlin, nor on any other official course.
With the three so closely matched, it really will be an exciting race, and probably more exciting than most of the duels that Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have managed this season. My money is on Kipchoge, with a new world record of 2:02:30.