26 Sep

Berlin Sees New World Record Again

runners at the Berlin marathon

Berlin confirmed its status as the race of world marathon records when Patrick Makau of Kenya broke the tape on 2:03:38 to set the seventh world best time in the last 13 years. Makau so dominated the race that it was pacemaker Stephen Chemlani who hung in and finished second, in 2:07:55, with Edwin Kimaiyo third in 2:09:50. All three podium places went to Kenyans.

A Kenyan also finished first woman; Florence Kiplagat, the 2009 world cross country champion, who had dropped out of her only previous marathon, in New York last autumn, was never headed and finished in 2:19:44. There was however an encouraging performance from Paula Radcliffe, a creditable third in 2:23:46 . Post-race Paula told reporters that she was disappointed with her third place but her broad smiles belied her words.

Radliffe had run strongly in the early stages but was passed by the steady-starting local hero, Irina Mikitenko at 33 kilometers, and the German went on to take second in 2:22:18.

On a day of drama Haile Gebrselassie dropped out after the 35 kilometre point. A happier runner was Scott Overall who produced an Olympic qualifying performance. Making his marathon debut, the Blackheath & Bromley Harrier ran 2:10:55 to finish fifth and well inside the 2:12 Olympic standard.

Hundreds of runners from across the UK had travelled to Germany to take part in the Berlin marathon to enjoy the vibe of this European major. Most reported a great experience although high temperatures on the day meant that many had to settle for times slower than hoped for.