Berlin

Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi starts World Marathon Majors campaign at real,- Berlin Marathon

Japan's Olympic Marathon Champion Mizuki Noguchi will enter the race for the jackpot of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) at the real,- Berlin-Marathon on 24th September. Berlin will be the first of the three WMM races in autumn. It will be followed by the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon (22nd October) and the ING New York City Marathon (5th November).

The best marathon runners in the world are collecting points at this series over a two-year cycle. Besides the three autumn races the BAA Boston Marathon and the Flora London Marathon, which take place in April, belong to the World Marathon Majors Series. Marathon races at Olympic Games and World Championships will count as well. The best male and female runner will split a jackpot of one million US-Dollars at the end. A maximum of four races will be counted.

Mizuki Noguchi will run the real,- BERLIN MARATHON for the second time in a row. "We are happy that we were able to sign the Olympic Champion and last year's winner for a second time. We can expect another high performance and we'll hopefully have another winning time of sub 2:20 hours" Race-Director Mark Milde said.

The 27 year-old Mizuki Noguchi won the real,- BERLIN MARATHON in a new Asian record of 2:19:12 hours last year and is since then the third fastest marathon runner of all times. This time is also the current course record in Berlin. In August 2004 Mizuki Noguchi had won the Olympic crown in the heat of Athens. She didn't only beat world record holder and British favourite Paula Radcliffe but also Catherine Ndereba (Kenya). These are the only two runners who have run a marathon faster than Mizuki Noguchi. At the real,- BERLIN MARATHON Mizuki Noguchi will try to improve her Asian record.

"It looks like that the Japanese winning streak in the women's race, which began in 2000, will continue at the real,- BERLIN MARATHON. But we try to sign high class competitors for Mizuki Noguchi," Mark Milde announced. The real,- BERLIN MARATHON will be the only marathon worldwide where the Olympic Champion has been running a marathon since her victory in Athens 2004. In the spring of 2005 and 2006 the Japanese did not run a marathon.

The organisers of the 33rd edition of the real,- BERLIN MARATHON already have 30,000 registrations. Only 10,000 bib numbers are left. As soon as the limit of 40,000 registrations is reached nobody can sign-on anymore.

For more information and the opportunity to sign-on for the marathon, please click on: www.berlin-marathon.com