One second win leads to half a million dollars

Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) won the Men's race at the BMW Berlin Marathon today by one second from teammate and training partner Dennis Kimetto (Kenya).

Kimetto, the World Record Holder at 25m earlier this year in the same city, stayed behind Mutai as they approached the finish line after passing through the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Maybe they had discussed together out on the road about the significance of a win for Geoffrey Mutai here in Berlin. That one second margin from Mutai's 2:04:15 to Kimetto's brilliant debut marathon in 2:04:16 virtually assures Geoffrey Mutai the win and $500,000 in the 2011-2012 World Marathon Majors Series. He has three wins and 75 points. None of the contenders can catch him unless they were to race exceptionally well at BOTH the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon in the next five weeks a most unlikely scenario. Mutai and Kimetto ran the 4th and 5th fastest times in history on a standard course (not counting Boston 2011).

The halfway was reached in 62:12 with four pacers doing a good job leading four principals. By the time the last pacer left the race at 31km, Geoffrey Mutai started increasing the pace, and dropped fellow Kenyans Joanathan Maiyo and Geofrey Kipsang from the lead group with a 2:43 split for the 32nd kilometer.

Only Kimetto could live with the surges. For a while at around 35k the pair flirted with challenging Patrick Makau's World Record of 2:03:38 set in the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon. But a few kilometers at over three minutes pace showed that the strain of the distance and the speed were taking their toll. The record challenge passed, and the duo strode past cheering crowds to the finish line and the �pot of gold' for Mutai. For the statisticians the 10km splits were 29:41; 29:21; 29:09 and 29:11.


Two Ethiopian women battled together for the Berlin crown. Aberu Kebede, the 2010 Berlin Champion, raced Tirfi Tsegaye, the 2012 Paris Marathon Champion.

They passed the halfway point in 1:10:33 and raced through 10km splits of 33:58, 33:01; 33:02 and 32:53, with Aberu Kebede breaking away from her country woman by 35km, to secure her second victory in Berlin. Her win did not impact the 2011-2012 World Marathon Majors Series for Women.


The race to be the World Marathon Majors Champion for Women for 2011-2012 Series is now at an intriguing point.

The women's race is down to three contenders. Mary Keitany (KEN) has a 15 points lead but she is not racing anymore this fall, Edna Kiplagat (KEN/50 points) and Sharon Cherop (KEN/45 points) will fight for the World Marathon Majors title, and $500,000, as they will compete in the ING New York City Marathon.

Liliya Shobukhova (RUS) will be going for her fourth victory in a row at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and while a win there would give her the same number of points as Keitany (65), the two-time London champion would prevail based on a better head-to-head record. (1st versus 2nd, London 2011 and 4th versus a did not finish, London Olympics 2012). So it is most likely that the 2011-2012 Women's World Marathon Majors Champion will be decided in New York.

WMM series points earned in 2012 will also count toward the 2012–13 series championship. Athletes are awarded points for a top-5 finish, with 25 points for 1st, 15 for 2nd, 10 for 3rd, 5 for 4th and 1 for 5th. A maximum of four events can be counted in a two-year period.

World Marathon Majors media contacts:
Boston: Marc Davis + 1 617.778.1633
London: Nicola Okey + 44 207.902.0182
Berlin: Marisa Reich + 49 178.457.7065
Chicago: Jeremy Borling +1 312.992.6614
New York: Richard Finn +1 212.423.2229